The recent events of mid-day meal horrors reveal so much about the society we live in, a country where none of the bureaucrats are ready to take responsibility for the tragic event which took place at chhapra and the political parties are busy playing the blame game all around. 22 innocent kids lives had to be taken for the present day media to shower light on this badly implemented scheme. It can be agreed that providing meals on a daily basis to 120 million kids in over 17 states is a humongous task, but with some changes in the system, I feel this wonderful scheme of providing nutritious food to kids can be implemented in a better way so as to ensure another Chhapra like incident never occurs.
I would suggest implementation of something like a hub and spoke system, the “hub” being a common kitchen where the food is cooked for all the “spoke” schools in and around the district and towns.
How does this work?
A group of 20 -30 nearby schools in the radius of 30 kms can have a common kitchen complex. A complex with good storage facility equipped with modern cooking facilities can make the job a whole lot easier. Ensuring quality and timely monitoring also becomes much simpler.
· Easier to provide necessary requirements such as water and storage facilities.
· Cleanliness can be ensured by periodic monitoring.
· Ensures better quality of food to kids.
· Money spent on these schemes will also be easy to track and seen to it that full allocated funds are put to use.
· Supply of rations will also be easier. Having a facility in a city can reduce the transportation costs.
Although it may have some drawbacks such as delivery of food to the individual school, I personally feel it should not be such a huge problem. We can have few vans to do the job and the cost of delivering should not be extra as money is being saved as a whole by not actually delivering rations to individual schools. If providing transportation facility is not possible, public transport can do the job. India is a well connected country and I’m sure there are ample public transport to most of the towns and villages.
The media should also try to track various such schemes on a timely basis. It is the power of media which can play a huge role in bringing about change. Although it might seem to be a uphill task to track each and every scheme, random checks can be done time and again to ensure the implementation is being done in a right way.