New Delhi [India], June 30 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday adjourned till July 21 hearing on a plea seeking directions to provide cooked midday meal or food security allowances to all eligible students amid the ongoing coronavirus-induced lockdown.
A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan on Tuesday granted more time to Delhi government file an additional affidavit.
During the arguments, the Delhi government's lawyer said that the funds needed for the mid-day meal are yet to come, following which the bench observed that it is not right if the children have to wait for mid-day meals this long.
The PIL, filed by NGO Mahila Ekta Manch through advocate Kamlesh Kumar, sought directions to the respondents to ensure distribution of cooked meal or cash transfer in account of beneficiaries of midday meal scheme.
The plea said that the petitioner NGO was approached by parents of certain school-going children who are also beneficiaries of the midday meal scheme of the Central government being channelized through state governments across the country.
Mid-day meal scheme, which aims two vital goals of increasing enrolment of students from the disadvantaged sections of society and food security for poor children, supplies free lunch on working days to children in primary and upper primary classes in government, government-aided, local-body, education guarantee scheme and alternate innovative education centers, Madarsa and Maqtabs supported under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan and National Child Labor Schools.
"When pandemic started making effects in our country, government agencies and medical experts vouched for efforts to boost immunity... However, the Delhi government has stopped distributing hot cooked nutritious meals to eligible students under the midday meal program," the plea said.
"The beneficiaries of the scheme come from economically weaker sections of society. Parents of these children are facing hardship due to the closure of economic activities. These children have been deprived of nutritious food during this difficult time," it added. (ANI)