Funds not received, Banjar teachers attend lunches : The Tribune India
Kullu, 4th of July
Elementary schools in the district’s Banjar block have not received midday meal funding under the PM Poshan Shakti Nirman program for the past four months. The meals in these schools are prepared with the money paid by the teachers. A total of Rs 50,000 has been spent by the teachers on the meal so far.
The cost of cooking per day per student is Rs 4.48 to Rs 4.97 for primary classes and Rs 6.71 to Rs 7.45 for upper primary classes. The amount is provided to procure ingredients such as pulses, vegetables, oil, salt, spices, turmeric and LPG. Rice was supplied separately to schools. The quantity of midday meals provided to schools depends on the number of pupils.
Members of the Banjar Elementary Teachers Association had written a letter to the Ministry of Elementary Education. Association president Jivan Sandhu said funds for the midday meal had not been received by the schools since March. He added that the teachers were spending money out of their own pockets for the children. He said the rice was provided by the government but funds for other ingredients were four months past due.
According to sources, dues through February were disbursed last month to schools in various blocks in the district. Kullu Deputy Director of Elementary Education, Surjeet Rao, said payment for the midday meal was pending statewide as funds had not been received from the Center. He said the payment would be released shortly after the funds were received.
Meanwhile, parents of schoolchildren said relevant authorities should be more specific about this so that nutritious food is provided to their wards and teachers don’t face inconvenience for it.