New Delhi, Aug 27: Government on Tuesday said that a total of 447 NGOs, trusts and centralised kitchens are engaged in serving meal to children in schools located in urban areas where there is no space for kitchens and stores.
This was stated by Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor while replying to a query in Rajya Sabha on outsourcing the flagship programme to NGOs for supplying mid-day meal in schools. He said that six complaints of violation of mid-day mela norms by NGOs have come to the notice of his ministry.
hese complaints were referred to the respective states for investigation and report. In four of these cases, the state governments have made proportionate recoveries from the bills of the concerned NGOs, Tharoor said.
The minister said that the mid-day meal guidelines emphasise the promotion of school-based cooking in kitchens- cum-stores in the school with the help of cooks-cum-helpers through local panchayati raj institutions, self-help groups, Mothers' organisations and the local community. "The total number of NGOs engaged in the current year 2013-2014 in this programme in the country is 447.
The maximum number of NGOs working for this programme are in Uttar Pradesh followed by Karnataka with a total of 185 and 102 respectively," Tharoor said.
He added that the decision to award the supply work to an NGO is taken by a body empowered by the state government like gram panchayat and others and the agency should be a body registered under the Societies Act or the Public Trust Act.
The body should have been in existence for a minimum period of two years. It should have a properly constituted managing or a governing Body with its powers and duties clearly defined in its constitution, he said.
Tharoor added that a contract between the NGO and the local authority responsible for engaging the NGOs shall be signed to define the liabilities of the parties and the consequence of non performance on their parts.
It should also include a stringent mechanism to check and supervise the quality and quantity of meal supplied by the NGO to the children, he said.