In response to a petition filed by human rights campaigner Akhand, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has ordered the state government to complete the kitchen sheds within a time frame.
The petitioner alleged that over 10,000 schools in the state do not have kitchen sheds to cook mid-day meals. As a result, the children are constantly exposed to the risk of food poisoning and other health hazards.
"I had brought this matter to the notice of the commission and requested it to direct the state government to fix a time frame to complete the construction of kitchen sheds in all primary schools," Akhand told IANS.
In its reply to the commission, the state nodal officer for the mid-day meals communicated that about 10,000 sheds could not be completed for paucity of funds.
"The commission is of the view that in the interest of wellbeing of the school children, the kitchen sheds should be completed in all schools within a time frame," the commission said in its direction to the state.
"The commission hopes the government of Odisha will take necessary steps in this regard," it said.