Funds awaited, teachers pool money for mid-day meals - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Funds awaited, teachers pool money for mid-day meals


Funds awaited, teachers pool money for mid-day meals

Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10

With schools in Ludhiana district not receiving funds for the Mid-day Meal Scheme since August 15, the accounts of many institutes are running low. However, the schools still continue to implement the scheme either by contributing money or getting goods on credit.

Government Primary School, Sukhdev Nagar, last received the funds in July. “We received Rs 85,000 in July. Since the account was already running low, the funds exhausted in no time,” said Sukhbir Sekhon, head of the school.

Sekhon said the school had nearly 400 students and the approximate expenditure on the mid-day meal every month was around Rs 35,000. To continue with the scheme, the schools are taking rice, pulses, flour, etc. on credit while teachers are contributing to buy vegetables on a daily basis.

“The skyrocketing prices of vegetables are giving us a tough time. With onions being sold at Rs 60 and tomatoes at Rs 80, it is becoming difficult to make the both ends meet,” he said.

Head of another school, Government Primary School, New Subhash Nagar, Sukhwinder Singh said they had already taken food supply worth Rs 65,000 on credit. “In July, we received Rs 65,000 and after that we got no money. Left with no other option, all teachers are contributing money to serve mid-day meals to the students,” he said.

He further said he had been regularly contacting the block-level in-charge but funds had not been released so far. Another principal, on the condition of anonymity, said they had not received the funds. “If we don’t receive the money soon then it will become very difficult for us to continue providing mid-day meals to children as shopkeepers have refused to give foodgrains and other things on credit,” she said.

Nazima, Ludhiana District Accountant for the Mid-day Meal Scheme, said the mid-day meal funds were received till August 15.

“Many schools have ran out of funds. We are in touch with the head office regarding the issue and hope that we will receive the funds soon which will then be disbursed to the schools,” she said. Prabhcharan Singh, General Manager, State Mid-day Meal Cell, said he was aware that schools had not received the funds but assured that the amount would be transferred by Friday.

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