RAUTAHAT, May 17: The mayor and chief administrative officer of a municipality in Rautahat have distributed noodles to students while inaugurating a mid-day meal program at the local unit.
Santosh Mehta, the mayor of Ishnath Municipality, and acting administrative chief Nandakishor Gupta distributed unhealthy noodles to the students of Auraiya Primary School located at the Marwadi community of the local unit. By queuing up in the soaring heat, the students received their junk food lunch.
At a time when the government has banned the sale of junk food in schools, the distribution of noodles by the mayor has raised many eyebrows. “We have kicked off the mid-day meal program by distributing noodles to students,” said Mayor Mehta.
The mid-day meal program has started quite late in Ishnath which has 21 schools including four secondary levels. Under this program, the government provides Rs 15 per student for lunch on the basis of their attendance. Though the budget for the program was released in January this year, Ishnath Municipality started distributing the mid-day meals only from May 15.
As the mayor himself provided noodles to the students, chances are high that they will have unhealthy diet from now onward. Speaking to the media, Mayor Mehta admitted that he distributed noodles to students during the inauguration of the mid-day meal program.
As most of the students would go home during the lunch-break and not return to attend the remaining classes, the government introduced this program. The schools have been asked to provide nutritious food to their students with the money provided by the government. But the local unit has ignored the health of students in order to save the budget meant for the program, accuse the locals.
Nandakishor who worked as a section officer at the District Education Office (DEO) has also worked as the acting education officer in the past. After working for a long time at the DEO, he was assigned as the administrative officer at Ishnath just a month ago.
Despite being active in the educational field for such a long time, it’s sad that he is promoting unhealthy food habit in schools, says local Shekh Jamil Akhtar. The incident has received wide criticism from education lovers and locals.