BUNDI: In a unique initiative to remove corruption from mid-day meal scheme, Rajasthan government has launched an SMS-based system through which meal data will be sent everyday by schools to a toll free number that will be monitored at the state-level.
Earlier, the per day mid-day meal data was reported on a monthly basis to the district education department.
Under the new system launched today, the mid-day meal in-charge of the school will have to send the meal data immediately after serving food to students to a toll free number, 15544, that would be checked at the state-level every day, District Education Officer (Secondary set up), Paras Chand Jain said.
The in-charge has to report everyday about the type of school, the students’ attendance status, number of students benefited by the mid-day meal and the quantity of food items used for the meal, he said.
The new system would bring transparency and reduce possibility of manipulation of data in the mid-day meal programme, said a teacher posted in a senior secondary school.
At present, a total 62.50 lakh students from class 1 to 8 in 73,199 government schools and elementary education institutions of the state are availing the scheme, according to data available on the mid-day meal programme’s website.
The cooking in at least 68,729 schools for 58.58 lakh students is managed by School Management Committees (SMC) while the rest are looked after by Central Kitchen, Annpurna Mahila Samities or by different NGOs.
According to the data, a total of 1,19,071 cooks — including 1,05,902 women and 13,169 men — are engaged in mid-day meal cooking programme across the state.