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Venue-IDCOL Auditorium, Bhubaneswar Date- 17.9.13
Right to Food Campaign, Odisha
Report of State-level Public Hearing on Mid-Day-Meal Programme Venue-IDCOL Auditorium, Bhubaneswar, Date- 17.9.13
Mid-Day-Meal scheme is recognized as one of the most important food security programmes in the country. The key objectives of the programme are: protecting children from classroom hunger, increasing school enrolment and attendance, improved socialization among children belonging to all castes, addressing malnutrition, and social empowerment through provision of employment to women etc. With direction of the Supreme Court, it has been the entitlement of the children to get food under MDM programme. The new National Food Security Act, 2013 has also made provision for providing hot cooked food to the school-going children. Since 1995, Govt. of Odisha has been implementing MDM programme for the school children. Presently, in 2012-13, MDM programme is being implemented in 79,252 Govt. Primary and Upper Primary schools, Govt.-aided primary schools, schools managed by Self-government Institutions and Madrasa covering 51,99,164 children in the state. the State Government on 1.4.2011 introduced new guide lines for MDM with a view to decentralizing management of MDM, the programme which was earlier with the Dept. of Women and Child Development was handed over to the Dept. of School and Mass Education from 12.8.2011. A Revised guidelines for management of MDM came into force w.e.f. 1.1.2013 and those again revised on 1st July, 2013. Under new guidelines, each child of Primary school is entitled to get of Rs. 3.79 for food under MDM per day, whereas Rs.5.65 is allocated for each child of Upper Primary school per day. MDM is provided to the children for 200 days in a year. As per the new arrangement, Transport Agents appointed by the Collector are authorized to lift rice from FCI go-down and supply it to the schools directly as per allocation fixed by the administration. Other Items like dal, soya Bari, vegetables, oil, condiments etc. will be purchased by the Women SHG or SMC responsible for management of MDM in the schools. The School teachers will be no way involved in purchasing the items or cooking activities. The menu fixed under MDM for the children across the state is as follows. Day Monday Tues day Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Item Rice and Dalma Rice and Soyachunk curry Rice and egg curry Rice and Dalma Rice and Soya Chunk Rice and egg
Funds under MDM will be managed by women SHGs through opening an account in Bank under joint signature of president of Women SHG and the Head master of the school. Where SMC has taken responsibility, the bank pass book will be opened under the joint signature of the President, SMC and the Head Master of the school. The Head Master will be responsible for monitoring a. Quality and quantity of food given to the children b. Entitlement of the children to get food shall be displayed on the wall of the school. c. Proper sanitation should be maintained and the children should wash their hand before taking food d. Stray animals should not be allowed to the campus e. Health of cook and helper should be examined periodically.
On 1.10.12, Dept. of School and Mass Education has issued operational guideline for flow of MDM scheme fund and accounting procedure to be followed for the release of fund at different levels. The Department shall sanction funds from the total budgetary allocation for MDM to DEE(O) who will act as the controlling officer in this regard. Then, DEE(O) will remit the total fund to the Bank account of State Nodal Officer, State Project Management Unit(MDM). Then State Nodal Officer will release funds to nodal D.I. of Schools ( District headquarters) through an electronic fund transfer mechanism. The fund transfer process shall be completed within 3 days. Nodal D.I. of Schools shall be responsible for fund disbursement to FCI, Transport Agent etc. against supply of rice and transport cost. They will also disburse funds directly to the joint account (HM, SHGs/SMCs etc. ) for a quarter for procurement of dal, condiments, vegetables, eggs, fuel/gas/wood etc. The joint signatories will withdraw money from the account for the purpose of procurement of ration as per requirement. Then the Head Master will submit a statement of expenses every month to the nodal School Inspectors. The nodal S.I.s will collect school-wise absentee statements by 25th of every month from Head Masters and submit the same to the D.I. of school. The honorarium for helper and cook shall be disbursed directly by D.I. of school through their respective bank accounts electronically by 1st of the subsequent month. The Nodal D.I. of schools, BDOs, SIs will be responsible for any disruption in feeding due to delayed payment for any reasons whatsoever. Despite all these arrangements, MDM is yet to be fully streamlined. Every day, mass media carry the news about causalities suffered by the school children due to mismanagement of MDM in the schools. Public anger against the authorities is growing day by day in the state. Protest like Mass demonstration, road blockade etc. have been organized to pressure on the authorities to ensure effective arrangements for MDM. Some people have suggested to Govt. for an Independent grievance redressal mechanism at block and district levels, constitution of independent monitoring team with involvement of Civil society Groups for monitoring of MDM in the schools etc. Public Hearing on MDM Keeping in view all the issues, a State-level Public Hearing on “Mid-Day-Meal programme” was organized by Right to Food Campaign, Odisha (a state-level platform of Civil Society Groups working on food security issues in Odisha) at IDCOL Auditorium, Bhubaneswar on 17.9.13. Social Activists, NGOs, Govt. officials, Panchayat Representatives, Teachers’ Association, Federation of Cooks, School Management Committee Members, representative of political parties attended the hearing and put up their grievances/ complaints/problems/suggestions during the course of hearing. The objective of the programme was to provide a platform to the affected people, children, parents, SMC members to share the problems confronted by them in respect of management of MDM at school level.
A total number of 170 participants from 15 districts e.g., Malkangiri, Keonjhar, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Kondhamal, Sundaragarh, Puri, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh, Khurda, Deogarh, Jharsuguda etc. participated in the hearing and presented testimonies. The Jury Members in the hearing were Sri Aurobindo Behera, former Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Odisha, Sri Rabi Das, senior Journalist and Sri Khirod Rout, Advocate Odisha High Court.
Though Secretary-cum Commissioner, Dept. of School and Mass Education and State Nodal Officer for MDM were invited, they remained absent.
The Public Hearing started with Sri Tapan Padhi, Member of the Campaign welcoming the participants and introducing Jury Members which was followed by the introductory speech by Sri Pradeep Kumar Pradhan, State Convener of the Campaign. Sri Dillip Das, Chairman ANTODAYA, an NGO working in Kalahandi and core-committee member of RTF coordinated the hearing. The testimonies presented in the hearing are attached herewith. The prominent figures who spoke in the public hearing and made a number of suggestions for effective implementation of MDM were Sri Pradipta Nayak, State Convener, Child Rights Watch, Odisha, Sri Dhanada Mishra, Member, Am Admi Party, Sri Suresh Panigrahi, CPI(M), Prof. Nandini Sen, KIMS, KIIT University, Sri Ashok Nanda, Lok Samukhya, Pradeepta Sundaray, Member, State RTE Forum, Prof. Jantrana Parikhit, Sri Bijay Parida, NCP, Sri Ashok Mallik, State Convener, National Confederation of Dalit Organisations etc. The major issues highlighted by them are as follows.
Rajendra Majhi, Kalahandi
1. Centralization of MDM stands as the biggest problem in the country. Before policy decisions are taken, adequate consultations are not held. 2. Corruption, irregularities in the management of MDM stand as the greatest obstacle for effective implementation of MDM. It needs to be checked at all costs. 3. As Gram Panchayat is the lowest democratic institution and closely connected with the people at grass-root level, it should play a more proactive role in the management of MDM. 4. Centralisation of cooking under MDM programme by the organizations like Nandi Foundation and Akshaya Patra Foundation is against the Supreme Court Judgment which favours decentralization of cooking. Instances of Nandi Foundation and Akshaya Patra foundation offering sub- standard food in the schools have been noticed.
5. Infrastructure facility like storage system, kitchen room should be provided to each school in the state. In the absence of this facility, MDM has suffered a lot. 6. All the complaints presented in the hearing should be presented to the Govt. for remedial action. 7. All out effort should be made to strengthen primary education in the state.
8. To ensure effective monitoring of MDM, Civil Society Organisations should be involved in all monitoring bodies from the State to Block level. 9. The amount allocated per child per day under MDM is not sufficient and it needs to be enhanced at Rs. 5.00 per child of primary school and Rs. 7.00 for upper primary school. After presentation of all testimonies and keeping in view the suggestions given by the Civil Society Groups, Sri Aurobindo Behera, summarized them and made the following recommendations on behalf of Jury Members and the participants for effective implementation of MDM in the state.
1. Non-supply, short supply and irregular supply of food-grains, poor handling of food-grains, absence of food committee in the schools , long delay in release of fund to the schools, absence of kitchen room, teachers absenteeism, in tribal and backward districts like Mayurbhanj, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Malkangiri, Bolangir are the major complaints presented by the parents, SMC members in the hearing. 2. Circular, protocol and Notifications for MDM are issued in English which the common people. All circulars and notifications should be made available in Odia language for easy understanding of all the stakeholders. 3. The Govt. should devise a strategy to ensure MDM in case a single teacher remains absent in the single-teacher. 4. If the general perspective was towards in favour of decentralized preparation of MDM which allows children and other stakeholders to get more closely involved in it. 5. There is long delay in disbursement of honorarium to the cooks. It needs to be rectified. 6. There is no kitchen room in many schools . It is alleged that in some cases, Money has been withdrawn and UC submitted without completing the building. It needs to be investigated and action should be taken by the State Govt. to complete kitchen shed in all schools as early as possible . 7. The cost for MDM per child per day should be fixed keeping in view market price of the vegetables and other items. 8. Long delay in disbursement of funds to the schools is the biggest problems presented by the people in the public hearing. The Govt. has introduced the system of electronic transfer of fund . Therefore it should be possible to ensure that the funds are disbursed to every school in the first week of every month. 9. It was learnt that Women SHGs are required to make advance deposit of Rs. 4500/- prior to taking up management of MDM. This system could be done away with in order to facilitate involvement of more number of groups in management of MDM in the state. 10. Making mandatory for cook or teacher to taste food prior to serving it to children creates an environment of trust deficit in the school. Rather, there should be provision for the teachers to share the meal with the students in the schools. 11. In case of any complaint , the collector of the district should enquire and take action within 3 days of receipt of the same. 12. Drinking water problem still haunts many schools in the state. Urgent action is required to be taken by the Govt. to ensure that potable water is available in or near every school on a war-footing.
Report prepared by Pradip Pradhan, State Convener
Senior Journalist & the Jury member Mr. Rabi Dash addressing on the occasion
A lady SHG member describing the problems in the system of MDM
Details of Testimonies about Mismanagement of MDM in different districts of Odisha presented in the Public Hearing on 17.9.13 Sl.No District Name of the Complainant with designation and address Caste Subject matter of complaint Gist of complaint Remarks
Jagadish Bhoi , Social OBC Activist and Mamata Bhoi, student At/PostMundadarha, BlockBelapara, Dist-Bolangir
Dilapidated school building with no kitchen room
Purna Chandra Podh Guardian Vill: Bahadur Padar PO: Patharla Block/ PS: KESINGA, Kalahandi
substandard materials supplied to their school for MDM
Jagat Singh Pur
Sanatan Pradhan Member, School Management Committee,Vill: Sananai PO: Badanai, Block/ PS: Champua, Keonjhar Somanath Patnaik Parent, Village- Ayar, Post- Sadeipur, DistJagat Singh Pur
Problem of Drinking water & fuel
There is one class room for the children of Class-1 to Class-V in Jamakhari Primary School under Belapara Block of Bolangir district. The same class room is in dilapidated condition. No kitchen room has been constructed till yet. The children are getting MDM properly in a very unhygienic place. In the month of November, 2012 in Bahadur Padar school of Kesinga block 187 children were taken ill after consuming substandard food in MDM. Despite huge hue and cry over the issue, still the quality of rice and other materials supplied to the school are not good. The water quality from the Tube well is bad and smells foul. The water quality from the Tube well is bad in the school and smells foul & 1 km distance from school. Fuel is biggest problem for cook to prepare MDM because very nominal price for fuel is given by Govt. The cooking place for preparation of food under MDM is not environment-friendly with insanitary condition.MDM is stopped in every Saturday. Egg is given once in a
The children and the head master have demanded construction of school building and kitchen room as quick as possible.
In this matter ANTODAYA, an NGO had conducted the Fact finding and sent the letter to High Court which has been accepted as PIL case.
He suggested to increase cost of fuel price for MDM.
Mismanagement of MDM in Sankreswar Bidya Mandir
Action should be taken against Head Master of the school. Though they have made several complaints,
High school under Ayer GP 5 Kalahandi
Sanu Majhi, Parent ST Vill: AMJHOLA PO: NAKRUNDI Block: Thuamul Rampur, Dist-Kalahandi
Irregularity of MDM in Amjhola primary school
Bikram Swain, Social General Activist, Bhubaneswar
Hospitalization of School Children by Consuming Khiri(Rice Pudding) during Mid-Day-Meal hours at Upparsahi Primary School Under Balianta Block of Khurda District
In Amjhola village there are two teachers in the school out of whom one is given the additional charge of Bhitarswing village school construction and remains absent many a times. The other teacher (from Junagarh block) comes for a day or two in a week and on those days MDM is cooked and served to the children in the 5school. Though in other days the school remains closed and MDM is not served, schhool record shows MDM is distributed every day. Sharing the fact-finding report, Sri Bikram Swain said that 23 children of the school were hospitalized due to consuming stale khiri, kind of Odia dish in the Upparasahi Primary School Under Balianta Block of Khurda District. No kitchen room is available in the school. MDM is stopped in every Saturday. No information is provided to the president, SMC about MDM fund released and utilized. Head Master is careless in managing MDM.
no remedial measures has been taken by the authority. Govt. should take action against the teachers and ensure their presence in the school in every day. MDM should be given to the children even in the absence of the teacher in the school.
The fact-finding report has been produced the Govt. Kitchen room should be constructed immediately. The Head Master should be dismissed.
OBC Satyananda Bidya HM I/C Murusuaon Primary School, Chamakpur, Joda, Keonjhar
No Kitchen room Kitchen room is not available and MDM & drinking water prepared at verandah which is not safety. is available in the Drinking water is burning problem in school. Murusuaon Primary School.
This case was presented by a volunteer in the public hearing. The Govt. should take steps to ensure availability of drinking water in the
Atal Bihari Rout, Village- General Badakorkor, GPAdhaeikula, DistJagatsingh Pur Dasarathi Munda ST President-SMC Taduabahal UGME School, Vill: Taduabahal PO: Rimuli, Block: Champua, Keonjhar Dhanesti Naik SC Teacher –cumAccountant Nagavali Child Labour School , Vill: Semikhal GP: Kerpai, PO: Nakrundi, Block: Thuamul Rampur Kalahandi
school and construction of kitchen room Mismanagement MDM is not given regularly. The food is Kitchen room needs to be of MDM in prepared under open sky. SMC is not constructed immediately. Badakorkor consulted for preparation of MDM. There Primary School is no kitchen room in the school. There is no kitchen room in the school. DO No Kitchen MDM is prepared in unsafe condition and room in in a very old room. There is no safety Taduabahal and unhygienic condition. UGME school
under Chamua Block
Materials are not given to the school for MDM by the block authorities Nagavali Child Labour School of Semikhal village in Kalahandi is managed by ANTODAYA. It is school run under National Child Labour project under Ministry of Labour, Government of India. Though there is an instruction from the government to supply Rice and other facilities for MDM in Child Labour schools, BDO Thuamul Rampur gives the RICE once in three four months. Money for the other materials is not given by the Block office. There are 50 children studying in the school. The Teachers are not coming regularly to Pati Gram and Paikasahi Primary school. Due to their absence, MDM is stopped in the school. Cook and helper is not provided honorarium regularly. The long delay in payment also discourages them to come to the school for preparation of food. Though the villagers have made Collector Kalahandi has given written orders to the Block, but it has not been complied by the BDO till date. This matter needs to be investigated and action to be taken accordingly.
Umakant Samanta General Sinhar, Nimapara, DistPuri
Long absence of Teachers in the school and delay in payment of Honourarium to the cook and helper engaged for cooking in
Action against Teachers should be taken immediately.
Sashi Shekhar Panda, General Parent Vill/Post-Bamanal, Block-Nimapara, DistPuri Bidyadhar Jena, Parent, General Vill- indol, Pos-Salang, Block-Nimapara, DistPuri
Rajendra Majhi ST At-Melaghara, PostNakarundi, BlockThuamul Rampur, DistKalahandi
Bhuguli Mankadia, Vill- ST Mankadia Colony, Post-
Pati Gram and Paikasahi Primary school under Nimapara Block of Puri district. MDM is not served to the children in the Janra Primary school two days in a week. Irregular supply of rice to Amarang, Ambilihata, Arisandha Primary School under Nimapara Block. MDM is not given to the children in Melaghara Primary School under Nakarundi GP of T. Rampur Block and the teachers remain absence in the school No drinking water in the Hill Block-4 New Primary school of
several complaints to the D.I of School and S.I., no action has been taken against the teachers and ensure payment tto the cook.
The teachers stop MDM in two days in Action should be taken every week in Janra Primary School under against the teachers Salang GP of Nimapara Block. The responsible for it. children are not provided egg as MDM is stopped on Saturday. In all the Primary Schools like Amarang, Ambilihata, Arisandha, the Transport Agent never supplies rice under MDM for which the teachers face a lot of difficulty for preparation of food for the children and forced to stop MDM. Despite complaints by the parents to the authority, no action has been taken in this regard. Since 2007-08, Primary School is functioning in Melaghar village. Two teachers have been appointed in the school. But they hardly come to the school. In their absence, MDM is not provided to the children. The children do not get MDM for days together in the school.
Action should be taken against the teachers in the school and MDM should be ensured to the children in every day.
The New Primary School was established The Govt. should and started functioning from 8.3.10. 54 immediately take steps children of Mankadia Primitive tribal to ensure drinking water
Uthanisahi Mankadia Colony of Kaptipada Block. The children are using water from nearby Nallah
Nilamani Joshi, General At/Post/Dist- Bolangir
Bhubanesw ar, Khurda District
Mabhad Nayak, General Rickshaw Colony, Niladri Vihar, Bhubaneswar
No Kitchen room in the Govt. Upper Primary School, Uparjhar under Bolangir Block Mismanagement of MDM in Niladri Vihar Slum Project Upper Primary School , Bhubaneswar
group are reading in the school. A Tube in the school. well was set up there and not functioning . The people have made several complaints about this problem to BDO, Kaptipada, DPC, Baripada and SubCollector, Udala. But no step has been taken in this regard. The children are forced using water from nearby Nallah for drinking purpose and the Cook also uses same water for preparation of food. Though this is old school, kitchen room Kitchen room should be has not been constructed here. The constructed there. children are facing a lot of difficulty at the time of taking MDM. The food is prepared under open sky.
Prativa Rani Ray, Village- General Dhalatangagada, PostPuruna Basant, DistJagatsingh Pur
Prem Silla, volunteer ST Vill/Post-Niliguda, Dist-
Around 500 children are reading in this school. Total number of 11 teachers have been appointed in the school. The food is prepared in very unhygienic environment. Drinking water is the biggest problem. Low quality of food is distributed in the school. Insanitary and The school is situated near to the forest unhygienic area. Snakes enter to the school. Egg is condition of not given to the children. Deulasahi Upper Primary school under Raghunath Pur Block and not suitable for MDM Mismanagement The Primary school is functioning since 35 Stringent action should be of MDM and no years in Nunurguda. The school teacher taken against the
education provided in the Primary school, Nunurguda
Ramesh Baipari, Vill- ST Kamarguda, PostNiliguda, GP-Niliguda, Dist-Malkangiri
Irregularities in MDM in Kamarguda Primary School
Sumendra Beti, Vill- ST Jhiliguda, GP-Materu, Dist- Malkangiri
Corruption and irregularities in MDM in Jhiliguda Primary School
Mayurbhanj Ser Singh Banara
Vice-president, Hudi Sahi New Primary School, Noto Panchayat, Kapipada Block, mayurbhanj district
No kitchen room and no water facility in Hudi Sahi New Primary School, Noto Panchayat, Kapipada Block,
hardly come to the school. Due to his absence, The children neither read nor take MDM. Sri Bijay Raj Duari, Head Master takes drinks in the village. Though SMC Members have protested it several times, no step has been taken till yet. The children get MDM for ten days only in a month. The Primary school is having classes from Class-I to V. 25 children are reading in the school. The Head Master is misappropriating all the money and rice sanctioned for MDM. The children are not provided MDM in the school though the villagers have lodged complaint, nothing has happened till yet. There are five classes in Primary school. 30 children are reading. Sri Gangadhar Madakami, Head Master of the school hardly gives MDM to the children. He misappropriates all the fund meant for MDM. Despite complaints given by the villagers , no step has been taken against Head Master. Hudi Sahi New Primary School, Bandhasahi-Noto is established in 2010. The school building is still incomplete with no door and windows. The children sit in open floor with sand and pebbles. There are hundred children in the school. The school neither has a kitchen room nor any water facility in the school. It is daily nightmare for the cooks and the children
teachers and MDM to be ensured regularly.
There should be enquiry into it.
The School building needs to be completed and drinking water to be ensured in the school.
Smt. Sanjukta Swain, OBC Vill-Redhua, BlockRaghunath Pur, DistJagatsingh Pur
Mismanagement of MDM in Redhua Nodal Upper Primary School Discrimination at the time of food being served to the children in the school
Bikram Mallik, 8th Class SC Student, ChakadaGogua High school in Mahakalapada area of Kendrapara district
Raghunath Majhi, ST Naradpur, Keonjhar
Narad Pur Primary School, Jhumpura Block, Keonjhar district No kitchen room in Bileisath Primary School under Patnagarh block
Budhadev Sahu OBC Parent, Bileisathi, Panagarh, dist-Bolangir
to bring water from the place which is one km distance from the school. During summer, the same is not available leading to irregularities of MDM. Though I am member of the food committee of the school, the Head Master did not intimate us about the fund sanctioned and spent for MDM. The children are provided substandard food watery dal with no vegetables. As I belong to lower caste, I get discriminated in the school. We the dalit students were not allowed to offer prayer to Lord Ganesh during the Ganesh Puja in the school. Now protesting the unequal treatment in the school, more than 60 students have stopped going to the school. Similarly, we are also served MDM separately from Upper caste. On day, I touched the salt to add to my MDM food, the cook and helper scolded me for the act. Drinking water is the biggest problem in the school. Govt. has not made any step to ensure setting up tubewell in the school premises. There is no kitchen room in Bileisah Primary school. The food is prepared in some other place in a unhygienic condition.
There should be high level inquiry into the matter and action to be taken against the Head Master, cook and helper for creating discrimination among the children in the school.