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Champamaya Primary School Kalimpong provides no mid-day meal

Champamaya Primary School in Kalimpong
The students of Champamaya Primary School in the outskirts of Kalimpong town have reportedly not been provided with the mid-day meal for the last one year. The scheme is part of the central government’s initiative to promote primary school education in the country, but the students of the school have been denied the benefit. The news came to light today after the two cooks employed under the scheme complained about them being left without any source of income.
The two women, Ganga Chettri and Harka Maya Chettri have been working as cooks under the mid-day meal scheme since 2004, but once it was abruptly stopped last year they have been without any source of income. Later, when the meager Rs1,000 grant was also stopped, the two women approached Kalimpong Farmers’ Welfare Union on the issue. The union after hearing their grievances forwarded a letter to the National Commission of Child Rights Protection, New Delhi, state government and the school administration.
Following the letter, Champamaya PS headmaster Bhim Basnett today convened a meeting with the villagers and tried to explain the situation. However, the villagers visibly unsatisfied with the explanation have demanded the state government to immediately transfer the headmaster and the four teachers of the school and also conduct an investigation into the alleged scam. The villagers have demanded the mid-day meal to be restarted at the earliest. They also discarded a proposal by the headmaster to form a committee comprising of villagers and school authority to look into the issue, saying unless the investigation into the irregularities in mid-day meal is conducted they will not support the move.
Meanwhile, KFWU general secretary Bishnu Chettri said the villagers have been putting pressure on the school administration about the irregularities in the scheme since it was stopped, but they were not able to reach a common consensus. Claiming there has been rampant corruption in the mid-day meal scheme in the school, Chettri also demanded immediate transfer of the headmaster and the teachers.
The irregularity in the providing mid-day meal to the students of Champamaya Primary School was also confirmed by Mothers Teachers Association president, Sony Rai. She said her organisation too had intervened in the issue earlier, but had not reached any conclusion.(EOIC)

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