Children not receiving regular mid-day meals in Jharkhand
Gulab Chandra Prajapati v. Union of India & Ors. [W.P.(PIL) No. 2214 of 2014], Hon’ble High Court of Jharkhand The petitioner who is also a social activist and the coordinator of Damodar Bachao Abhayan filed a petition for the welfare of children in the State of Jharkhand stating that the children were either not receiving regular mid day meals or not receiving it at all. The following PIL was substantiated by a fact-finding study that was initiated by Ministry of Human Resources Development, which evaluated the performance and the implementation of this scheme wherein Jharkhand was placed at the 33rd position. The petitioner through his personal visits collected information that the Mid Day Meal was temporarily discontinued in 19 schools owning to insufficient funds, fuel shortage, and non-upliftment of grains from FCI godown etc. Therefore, the respondent was in absolute violation of the guidelines for Mid Day Meal as issued by Government of India. The PIL prayed for an immediate direction to the respondents to implement the mid day meal scheme in all the eligible schools across Jharkhand and to take effective follow up steps so that the scheme is not hampered. It was also prayed that the respondents are directed to take appropriate strict action against the wrong doers for the corruptive and/or negligent measures undertaken by them and for the failure on their part to implement the scheme. The concerned respondent filed a counter affidavit regarding the status report of eight districts out of twenty four and for remaining other districts, four weeks time was granted to the concerned authorities. The petitioner will file a rejoinder of the Counter Affidavit given by the respondent, regarding the present status and implementation of the Mid Day Meal scheme in 24 schools of the State.