Hyderabad: The Telangana high court issued summons to the state government functionaries on Wednesday demanding that they produce appropriate data relating to “midday meals” supplied to pre-primary and primary school kids in all government institutions within four weeks.
The Chief Secretary, principal secretary (School Education), director of school education, principal secretary finance, and secretary, of the Child Welfare Department were summoned by the bench consisting of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili.
The court turned a letter from an Osmania University student named Bagkekar Akash Kumar into a PIL that emphasized the state government’s dismal budgetary allocation to the “Midday Meals” programme, which provides meals to disadvantaged people throughout the day.
“The state government has the obligation and responsibility to ensure that children in state-run schools receive a free education as well as healthy and high-quality food, which it does not do, depriving underprivileged students of a good education and nutritious food,” the letter said.
Water is being added to dal and curry served to students, the headmaster of a government school said, causing the dish to lose its original flavour, resulting in youngsters not consuming nutritious food.
The PDS system delivers rice to schools, and the quality is low (broken rice). Because the government’s funding for midday meals is so little, low-income students are refused healthy food.