No bank accounts, kids fail to get money under food scheme - ECAS Punjab

No bank accounts, kids fail to get money under food scheme

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Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 11

Amid the Covid pandemic, thousands of students in the state haven't received the cooking amount under the Mid-Day Meal Scheme since March.

In Jalandhar, Education Department officials are struggling to disburse the amount among a large number of students because neither the kids nor their parents have bank accounts. As schools are closed, instructions had been issued to officials to transfer the amount directly to the bank accounts.

Department officials said in Jalandhar, around 15,000 students and their parents did not have bank accounts.

Baljinder Singh, mid-day meal officer, said last week, some progress had been made and with the continuous efforts, accounts of several students had been opened and the mid-day meal cooking amount would be transferred in a day or two.

For primary classes (I to V), Rs 4.97 is given per student per day and for upper primary classes (VI to VIII), Rs 7.45 is given per student per day.

The officials said many parents didn't have proper documents. "We have ascertained the reasons why the accounts are not opening, so steps are being taken in that direction," an official from the department said.

District Education Officer (Primary) Rampal said they had written to the higher authorities several times regarding the problem. "We will have to follow the rules and thus, we cannot give the amount in cash," he said.

Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla said, "We had written to the Centre seeking permission to distribute the cooking cost of mid-day meals to the beneficiaries in cash but the permission was not given. The department is trying its best. The problem will also be resolved soon."



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