Uttar Pradesh to set up students’ lunch helpline

June 22nd, 2009 - 6:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, June 22 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government is all set to start a helpline-cum-call centre for complaints about the midday meal scheme under which lunch is provided to school children, officials said Monday.
The helpline-cum-call centre would have a toll-free number on which students or parents would be able to register complaints about any problems in the scheme, they added.

“The government has decided to launch the helpline following complaints of sub-standard food being made by children to school authorities,” officer in-charge primary education, Rakesh Kumar told IANS.

According to the government, the helpline would be launched jointly by the state midday meal authority and the state Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (education for all) project board by July end, he added.

Besides registering complaints related to the midday meal scheme, students and parents could also use the helpline for complaining against negligent school officials.

“The caller’s identity would not be revealed under any circumstances,” Rakesh Kumar said.

About 150,000 schools come under the scheme in Uttar Pradesh, in which lunch is provided to students till Class 8. Over 18.6 million students are enrolled under the scheme.

The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education, also known as the midday meal scheme was launched by the central government on Aug 15, 1995, with the objective of boosting universalisation of primary education and to improve the nutritional status of children.

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