whenever she asks for the money, Ramesh (her father) refuses
An 11-year-old Indian girl from the southern state of Odisha trekked 10km on November 16, 2020, to complain against her father for taking away her government allocated midday meal.
Sushree Sangita Sethi from Dukuka village in Odisha submitted a written complaint to the local authorities.
She accused her father of forcibly taking away the midday meal money and rice sanctioned to her.
Sushree stated that after her mother passed away in 2009, her father got remarried and the new couple refused to take care of her.
The Indian government is depositing money Rs 8 (£0.08) a day, meant for midday meals in the bank accounts of students and their guardians.
In addition, students are also being provided 150g of rice a day from their schools.
Sushree was deprived of the same. She stated that she has a bank account but the school authorities are depositing the money in her father’s account.
She alleged that whenever she asks for the money, Ramesh (her father) refuses and also takes her quota of rice from school.
The complaint filed came under the notice of Samarth Verma in the District Magistrate’s office in Odisha’s Kendrapada.
Samarth Verma has announced that:
“On hearing the plight of the student, I have directed the District Education Officer (DEO) to deposit the money in her account from now.
“Besides, the DEO will take necessary steps to recover the money and rice from the student’s father.”
Contacted, DEO Sanjb Singh said as per the Collector’s order, the mid-day meal money will be deposited in Sushree’s account.
Steps will be taken to refund the money taken by her father to the Indian girl.
The school headmaster has been directed to provide rice only to Sushree.
What is the Indian Mid-day Meal Scheme?
The Midday Meal Scheme is a school meal programme of the Government of India. It was designed to better the nutritional standing of school-age children nationwide.
The programme supplies free lunches on working days for children in primary and upper primary classes in various kinds of educational institutions.
Such as government aided, local body, Education Guarantee Scheme, and alternate innovative education centres, Madarsa and Maqtabs.
National Child Labour Project schools run by the ministry of labour are also included in the mid-day meal scheme.
Serving 120,000,000 children in over 1,265,000 schools and Education Guarantee Scheme centres, it is the largest midday meal scheme of its kind in the world.