Panaji, Sep 28 (IANS): A day after the Goa State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (GSCPCR) served a notice to the state Education Department over worms being found in a Mid-Day Meal served to children in three schools, the state government has temporarily suspended the licence of a Self-Help Group.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Thursday that the licence of the Self-Help Group (SHG) had been temporarily suspended.
“Self-Help Groups should maintain the quality of the food. We will not tolerate such incidents again,” he said.
The incident had taken place on Tuesday, wherein three schools in South Goa's Priol area had found worms in the Soya Chunks Pulao served to the children.
Officials of the Directorate of Food and Drugs Administration had collected food samples after the schools had complained.
Subsequently, the GSCPCR had served a notice to the Education Department in this regard.
“This is outrageous, sheer neglect and shocking, especially to notice that it was already consumed by children, despite monitoring mechanisms being in place. The MDM scheme has elaborate monitoring mechanisms at state, district as well as local levels to ensure quality food is served to children under the scheme,” Peter F Borges, Chairperson, GSCPCR, said in a Press statement.
Borges said that this incident shows "complete carelessness" on the part of all those who are part of the monitoring mechanism across all levels and demands serious action.
“The Commission called for an enquiry into the incident and for necessary action against those responsible as per the law. It has further called the Directorate of Education to file the status of all monitoring mechanisms at various levels in place to prevent further such incidents,” Borges added.
Mid-Day Meal is given to school students from Class I to Class VIII. This benefits around 1.60 lakh students of 1,400 aided and government schools of the coastal state.
There are 100-odd SHGs engaged in preparing Mid-Day Meals in Goa, and around seven parent teacher associations that cook for their schools with help from the government.