Kids can demand more at mid-day meals now

Mandira Nayar

May cost the NDMC Rs. 70 lakhs a year

NEW DELHI: The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is all set to get "Oliver Twists" in its schools and children will be encouraged to ask for more at mid-day meals from the next academic year. In an attempt to reduce the dropout rate in the schools, the State Education Department has asked them to conduct a survey of children who want more than the usual helping of mid-day meal. The initiative is expected to cost the NDMC Rs. 70 lakhs a year.

"Why can't children get more food? The idea is for students to get a proper, full meal. So now children in each class will be asked whether they want more food for the meal. The matter has been discussed with the NDMC Chairperson and she has responded very positively. While we won't get an exact figure, we want an approximate figure so that there is no confusion," said an NDMC official.

Getting the figure right will also ensure that there is no ambiguity and no chance of any "cheating": "If we are unclear and just say that students want extra, then there is a possibility that the NGO can become hand in glove with officials and take advantage of the situation. We want to avoid that," pointed out the official. Though the survey is yet to begin in full earnest, the NDMC claims that with the feedback it has got from two schools, one-third of the children in each class will ask for more food.