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Children in Bengal fight malnutrition as allocation of fund for mid-day meal reduces

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Agartala: There are multiple complaints about mid day meal from different parts of West Bengal. There are allegations of distribution of rotten potatoes, insect-caught pulses and gram. Somewhere again there are complaints of giving less content. 

Even more worrying is the fact that the budget allocated for mid-day meal is constantly declining. For a long time, eggs have not been provided to the students in the mid-day meal and soybean was being given in its place, shockingly that too was also cut.

Rice, potatoes, lentils and soap were being served at the Mid-Day meal since January after the Corona outbreak. The students were being given 2 kg of rice, 1 kg of potatoes, 1 kg of lentils and 1 soap. The students also started receiving pulses, sugar and soybeans from April. 200 grams of soybean, 500 grams of sugar, 250 grams of pulses were given. 

In June, the amount of sabhavin was reduced to 100 grams, besides giving lentils. In September, the budget was further tightened by the allocation of mid-day meal. Although potato has been increased from 1 kg to 2 kg, lentils and soybean have been left out.

Meanwhile, the cost of a mid-day meal at school has also come down significantly during the pandemic period. There is no cost of cooking gas. However, the question is why the cost is reduced if the cost of cooking? 

At the same time, there is a question that the project of giving mid-day meal to the students with the aim of nutrition was started. If the school is open, the daily cost of a mid-day meal for primary level students is 4 rupees 97 paise. 7 rupees 45 paise 6 for upper primary.

If the school is open the full month, the allocation per student is 149 rupees. There, the allocation in September stood at Rs 78 only. As a result, parents are concerned about the mid-day meal cuts, including student nutrition. On top of that, there are frequent complaints about the quality of the mid-day meal.

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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