After being questioned by the media about the incident, State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee ordered a probe into the matter.
Locket Chatterjee, the Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian from Hooghly, paid a sudden visit to a high school in Chinsurah on August 19 to discover that the students were being served only boiled rice and salt for their midday meals.
Six hundred students studying in Classes five to eight at the Chinsurah Balika Bani Mandir are entitled to midday meals. These meals should ideally include boiled rice, a mixed vegetable dish, and lentils. Additionally, the students ought to be served eggs at least once a week.
However, Chatterjee alleged that the funds provided for midday meals had been misappropriated, reported The Telegraph. Gourikanta Mukherjee, the chairman of the Trinamool-run Chinsurah municipality who also heads the school’s managing committee, has laundered the funds, Chatterjee alleged.
The students of the school were reportedly served only rice and salt for five days. Defending the school’s move, a teacher there said that the teacher-in-charge who sanctioned money to purchase grains for the midday meals had been away for 28 days, which is why they could not procure vegetables and pulses.
After being questioned by the media about the incident, State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee ordered a probe into the matter. He said: “This kind of serving of midday meals can't be tolerated. The matter will be investigated.”Chatterjee, however, alleged that she was aware of the corrupt practices the school’s managing committee was indulging in, which is why she decided to pay a surprise visit. She further stated that she had reports that show how 5,000 eggs were bought for Rs 25,000, yet the students were served plain rice for lunch. Moreover, she claimed, more than 250 kg of rice was kept at the school, which eventually disappeared.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.