Evaluation of Mid-Day Meal (MDM) scheme in Western region in Gujarat
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Hunger and nutritional status adversely impacts learning process of children. It contributes to increased dropout rates. It is collective impact is reflected in human development index. It is in this backdrop that Government of Gujarat (GoG) had introduced Mid Day Meal scheme. The considerable portion of children studying in primary education come from low socio-economic society and suffer economic hardship, as a result they drop out from schools at early age, which hampers their overall development Poor enrolment and high dropout rate are the result of poverty of parents, child labor prevalent in the society and lack of awareness. In the event of the funds not reaching on time, the Sanchalak or the teachers as the case may be have to pay from their own pockets. Usually this has been the most vocal complaint from the sanchalak and the teachers. Most principals suggested that they be relieved from this arrangement. Arrangement of water is a tremendous problem in some talukas the water has fluorine content which is causing a lot of physical harm to the children. In banaskatha the source of water is often far away from the school. So the supply is quite rationed. Arrangenenr of fuel is also problematic since the allocationis quite less, the cooks are asked to collect fuel on their own. There was one school in which roti saag was not being prepared for some time because of the lack of fuel. Infrastructure is also a problem. There are no pucca kitchens in place where the Mid Day Meal is cooked within the school premises, it distracts the students’ attention Also there is no provision for plates in the school. The children get them from their homes and where they do not they tear paper from their textbooks and notebooks also. The collateral benefits of MDM were expected to reduce burden of poverty on poor parents and caste discrimination in the society GoG started MDM scheme in 1984 this study has been commissioned to assess the situation and take corrective measures for improvements.