Taking a serious note of the caste-based discrimination in the distribution of mid-day meals, the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to serve meals as per the roll number of the students.
HP Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has ordered the government officials to circulate the instructions immediately. Also, the violators would be punished in accordance with the law.
The chief minister was presiding over the first meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Koli Welfare Board and Himachal Pradesh Sant Ravidass Kalyan Board.
He also assured probe into caste-based complaints.
“Some cases have been brought to my notice by Dalit leaders pertaining to students of scheduled caste communities in serving of mid-day-meal in some schools and also ‘Anganwadi Kendras’. I have directed the authorities to re-circulate the orders to all the schools and ‘Anganwadi Kendras’ and ensure that such practices are stopped immediately.”
The Mid-Day meal programme was started to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide. Under this, free lunches are given to students in primary and upper primary classes in government schools, government-aided, local body, and other schools.
The chief minister also said that the state government was implementing protection of Civil Rights and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Protection of Atrocities Acts in an effective manner and no person would be allowed to violate these Acts or discriminate with the SCs. Other benefits like providing land for free to landless people in rural and urban areas respectively was announced.