One of the most successful and important scheme which is commonly known as MID-DAY MEAL in Mizo Chawchhun or Chhun chaw was started in Mizoram since 15th August 1995 by distributing raw Rice to students. However, Supreme Court of India in its Writ petition © No.197 of 2001 (PUCL vs OUI or ORS) directed all the states of India to provide cooked Mid-Day Meal not later than 1st September 2004 in which the State Government started providing Mid-Day Meal to students of Primary Schools from 15th February 2006 and 1st August 2008 for Middle Schools till date without interruption.
The main objective of the programme is uiversalization of enrolment, retention, reduction of dropout children in the school and also to provide nutritious food through this programme.
As decided by the Government of Mizoram, School Education Department is entrusted to implement the programme and expected to create Mid-Day Meal Cell in the office of Director of School Education to look after the programme in the state which may further be developed gradually. As of now some officer are engaged for Mid-Day Meal in addition to their normal duties with 4 nos of staff under the guidance of State Nodal Officer (MDM).
The Scheme has enormous positive impact on student enrolment, attendance, retention, learning and achievement level and reduction in drop out rate, increase in nutritional status. Also the parents are relieved in their daily works without worrying about their children as they know that their children are fed in the School.
It is obvious that the School Education Department alone could not handle the scheme properly. Public Health Engineering Department provides water connection in urban areas and storage water Tank in Rural areas under Central and State Fund. Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department lift the foodgrains such as Rice upto school, Health & Medical Department provide medicines like Vitamin ‘A’, Micro Nutrient and De Worming tablets etc. A team of Doctors visit the school and check health condition of students and some of them referred to Hospitals. Department of School Education deeply appreciated those who involved in the successful implementation of Mid-Day Meal in Mizoram.
On 1st March 2005 under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary to the Govt. of Mizoram, School Education Department, State Level Co-Ordination Committee on Mid-Day Meal had decided to implement the scheme throughout the state by serving cooked meals to primary students despite numerable shortcomings and School Education Department is entrusted to implement the Programme thus, it created Mid-Day Meal Cell in the same year in the office of Director of School Education and look after the Programme. Some appropriate officers are entrusted to take initiation and look after Mid-Day Meal in addition to their normal duties with staff under the guidance of State Nodal Officer(MDM).
In District level SSA Mission under the District Project Co-Ordinator is entrusted to implement the Programme in line with SSA such as Block Resource Centre Co-Ordinator and School Management Committee with his existing staff engaged under SSA.
Components of Mid-day Meal Scheme
- Conversion cost/Cooking cost:- Conversion cost/Cooking cost is shared between Central and State in the ratio of 90 : 10. The annual requirement of fund is estimated as under :-
No. of Enrolment × Entitlement of student (per child, per day) × No. of working days in a year
The present rate of cooking cost per child per day contributed by Central Government is Rs 3.72 in Primary School and Rs 5.56 in Middle schools whereas the state Government contributed @ Rs 1.20 in Primary School and Rs 0.70 paisa in Middle School. Cooking cost is released to all District Project Co-Ordinator SSA in terms of Cheque for Aizawl district and the remaining district are given in Bank draft for further released to Schools.
- Foodgrains:- Foodgrains is provided by Central Government through Food Corporation of India @ 100gms per child per day in Primary School and 150gms in Middle School. The cost of this foodgrains is paid by Central Government @ Rs 5650 per Mts. through state Government.
- Honorarium to Cook-cum-Helper:- As per norms laid by Central Government, salary of Cook-cum-Helper is to be shared in the ratio of 90 : 10. At the same time, State Level Co-Ordination Committee on Mid-Day Meal Scheme held in the decided to allow Rs 600/- (instead of Rs 100/-)to contribute for the same, whereas the Central Government contributed Rs 900/- per Cook per monthly. Therefore, the total salary of Cook-cum-Helper is become Rs 1500/- which is still inadequate for Mizoram. Eligibility to engage Cook-cum-Helper in a particular school is categorized according to enrolment as under :-
Eligibility to engage Cook-cum-Helper in a particular school is categorized according to enrolment as under :-
1. School having enrolment 1 - 25 1 Cook-cum-Helper
2. School having enrolment 26 - 100 2 Cook-cum-Helper
3. School having enrolment 101 - 200 1 additional Cook-cum-Helper
4. School having enrolment 201 - 300 1additional Cook-cum-Helper
5. School having enrolment 301 - 400 1additional Cook-cum-Helper
- Transportation cost of foodgrains:- When Food Corporation of India stored the foodgrains in the Godown within the state. Department of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs lifted up to nearest Fair Price Shop so as to collect from the school. Transportation cost of foodgrains is paid by Central Government through State Government @ Rs 3970/- per Mts.
- Kitchen-cum-Store:- Kitchen-cum-Store is constructed @ Rs 60,000/- per unit prior to the year 2010, then after, the unit cost is enhanced according to enrolment as under.
Unit Cost (in lakhs)
151- 200 children
The estimate is prepared as per prevailing S.O.R of respective state.
- Kitchen Devices:- Kitchen Devices is provided by the Central Government @ Rs 5000/- per unit. It may be replaced in every cycle of five year
- Management, Monitoring & Evaluation: - 1.8% of the fund is slice out from total quantification of annual requirement of fund for a particular state for Management, Monitoring & Evaluation Fund. The fund may be utilized as 50% for school level, and another 50% for Office management in the state office as well as district office etc.