Activists slam linking of Aadhaar to mid-day meals

A file photo of students with their mid-day meals at a school in Karugamputhur near Vellore.

A file photo of students with their mid-day meals at a school in Karugamputhur near Vellore.

The Right to Food (RTF) Campaign plans to challenge the Centre’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for children to avail themselves of the mid-day meal schemes in schools across the country.

The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry’s notification is likely to affect nearly 120 million schoolchildren across the country. While the government’s rationale is that the decision will improve efficiency and transparency, Right to Food activists maintain that the notification is in violation of a Supreme Court’s order. India has the dubious distinction of having the largest number of stunted children in the world at 72 million.

Important entitlement

In a statement, the RTF Campaign said, “School meals are an important entitlement of Indian children, legally enforceable under the Supreme Court orders as well as under the National Food Security Act. Numerous studies show that India’s mid-day meal scheme has made an important contribution to higher school attendance, better child nutrition and more effective learning.”

“We filed a petition last week on making Aadhaar mandatory for the Public Distribution System and will now include the mid-day meal notification as well in it. The argument that the unique ID number will bring transparency is completely illogical. Where is the need for transparency in how much children are eating? Even if children registered at private schools are eating mid-day meals at government schools, it is completely acceptable. We need more children, eating more meals without being asked for IDs,” said Dipa Sinha, convenor, RTF Campaign Delhi chapter.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2022 5:42:21 pm |