|The DM serves rice to students at Khagrabari Harendrachandra |
Vidyamandir on Thursday.(Main Uddin Chisti)
MAIN UDDIN CHISTI TT, Cooch Behar, April 6: The district magistrate of Cooch Behar today cooked chicken for students of one school and served rice to children in another during a visit to check the quality of food served in midday meals.
P. Ulganathan, the district magistrate, and other officials posted in several blocks visited at least five government-aided schools and anganwadi centres.
"I visited only some schools. But officials of the district administration went to all the schools and anganwadi centres. In many schools, it was found that firewood is still being used as there is no LPG connection. Also, self-help groups are cooking food in many of the schools. We have decided to pursue the matter so that each such group gets an LPG connection in its name. It is also safe to use LPG," the district magistrate said.
Ulganathan also instructed the authorities to put up a menu chart so that students and their guardians know about the food to be served on that day.
In Cooch Behar, there are 3,223 schools, ranging from primary to higher secondary, including Madhyamik Siksha Kendras and Sishu Siksha Kendras. There are another 4,000 anganwadi centres.
"There were complaints about the quality of food served in these places. That it why it was decided that the administration would send officials to all these institutions," an official said.
During the visits, the district magistrate went into the kitchens of all the schools. As he reached Kaljani Sahajuddin High School, he himself took the task of cooking chicken for the students.
The cooks, teachers and students were visibly surprised and simultaneously elated to find Ulganathan preparing chicken for them.
" Chicken badia bana hain. Line pe lag jao (The chicken has been cooked nicely. Stand in queue)," he was heard telling the students, as they curiously stood outside and peeped into the kitchen to see Ulganathan using the "khunti" (peg) with deft move.
At Khagrabari Harendrachandra Vidyamandir, where today's menu was rice, egg curry and fried papad, Ulganathan walked up to the place where members of the self-help group were serving the students. He took the ladle and started serving them in helpings.
"DM saheb khete dilen. Jiggesh korlen khete kono osubidha hoy ki na. Darun laglo (the DM himself served me food. He asked me if I faced any problem in having food at the school. It was an amazing experience)," said Shibani Das, a Class IV student.
Ulganathan said he enjoyed the visit.
"It was nice seeing the children having food. We found most of the kitchens clean. The quality of food was also good. Nevertheless, we have asked all the school authorities to keep a steady watch. It was a different experience cooking and serving the children," he said.