Corruption is destroying government's midday meal scheme, stated Union Minister for Chemicals Ananth Kumar.
The government has been implementing midday meal scheme to benefit 12 crore schoolchildren everyday but it is not even being served to 1.15 crore children, Kumar revealed.
Kumar was distributing plates and glasses to 5,000 children in the government and aided schools in Gulbarga on Sunday. The programme was sponsored by Srimathi Girija Shastri Memorial Trust under Adamya Chetana Programme.
The minister expressed his resentment over the corruption-infested scheme and the irregularities in implementing the same nationwide.
The midday meal scheme is intended to enroll more children into schools, encourage regular attendance of children and increase the rate of literacy gradually.
Kumar said that the midday meal is not being served regularly to even half of the total 12 crore students, studying in government schools throughout the country, The Hindu reported. He added that the scheme's failure is due to large scale corruption in spending funds, irregularities and lack of monitoring.
The minister said that non-government organisations (NGOs) and people's representatives should strive to enroll more children into schools, encourage regular attendance and reduce school dropouts in the country.
Kumar also called upon schoolchildren to pursue preachings and ideologies of Basaveshwara/Basavanna, a 12th century social reformer.
Kumar's family-run Adamya Chetana Trust serves midday meal to over two lakh schoolchildren in schools of Bangalore, Hubli, Gulbarga in Karnataka and Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
As per the minister's personal website, the midday meal served to school children varies everyday. The menu is varied like rice and sambar, curd rice, pongal, bisi-bele-bhaat, sweet pongal, daal, roti, daliya etc.
In Bangalore alone, Adamya Chetana serves midday meals to 72,000 children of 324 schools daily. The midday meals are prepared hygienically at the Trust's well-equipped kitchens. School children get served quality and variety of meals everyday, it added.