Lucknow, Sep 2 : A case has been filed by the state government against the whistleblower who filmed students eating rotis (chappatis) with salt at a government school in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district as their mid-day meal under a flagship scheme of the central government.
The whistleblower in this case has been the journalist who shot the video.
In its complaint, the Block Education Officer of the area has accused the journalist, Pawan Jaiswal, and a representative of the local village head of conspiracy to defame the Uttar Pradesh government.
The FIR however, mentions that only rotis were cooked in the school on the day when the video was shot. It further adds that the village head’s representative should have arranged for vegetables instead of calling a reporter to the school premises.
The FIR also says that the video was shot by the local journalist, who works with the Jansandesh Times, and then forwarded to the news agency ANI. The video was widely shared on social media and defamed the state government, it adds.
The journalist and the village head’s representative have been accused of cheating and criminal conspiracy.
The midday meal scheme is designed to provide proper nutrition to scores of children from poor families who study in government schools across the country.
In the video from the Mirzapur school, young children are seen sitting on the floor of the school corridor, eating rotis with salt.
The website of the Uttar Pradesh Mid Day Meal Authority describes an elaborate menu that is supposed to be served to the children at the state-run primary schools. It includes pulses, rice, rotis and vegetables. Fruits and milk are included on certain days, according to the meal chart.
The Uttar Pradesh government spokesman said that it is providing midday meals in over 1.5 lakh primary and middle schools across the state. Over 1 crore children are supposed to benefit from the scheme.
According to the Centre, the midday meal scheme is designed to provide a minimum of 450 calories per child per day, which should include at least 12 grams of protein each day too. These meals should be served to each child, at least, 200 days a year.