TAMIL NADU

AIDWA flays Governor's remarks

AIDWA national vice-president U.Vasuki addressing a press conference in Ramanathapuram on Thursday.L. Balachandar

AIDWA national vice-president U.Vasuki addressing a press conference in Ramanathapuram on Thursday.L. Balachandar  

Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s suggestion that the noon meal scheme be handed over to Akshya Patra Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, will lead to privatisation of the social welfare scheme, according to All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA).

The Governor’s suggestion, which came at the launch of a Kaalai unavu thittam (breakfast scheme) in a Corporation school in Chennai recently, was ‘very dangerous’ and aimed at destroying the government’s scheme, AIDWA national vice-president U. Vasuki said on Thursday.

Briefing reporters on the deliberations of a two-day AIDWA State committee meeting here, she said the State government should ignore the Governor’s suggestion and continue to implement the scheme. There were reports of irregularities against the NGO, which was serving noon meal in some other States, she alleged.

Mr. Purohit’s remarks in favour of the NGO was also aimed at promoting vegetarianism as the organisation did not serve eggs to school children in other States. “This is an attempt to thrust vegetarianism on school children”, she said. “We all know as how beef eating is being politicised in the country.”

Referring to the controversy over the Centre’s announcement of board examinations for class V and VIII students, Ms. Vasuki urged the School Education department in the State to issue communication declaring that there would no such examination for the children in Tamil Nadu. School Education Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan had merely stated that there would be no board examinations this year, she said.

The State Commission for Women and the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights should be more assertive in protecting the rights of women and children, who were increasingly vulnerable to abuse, violence and harassment.

As they were statutory bodies they should have their say in drawing policies, she added.

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