MID-DAY MEAL SCHEME AND DISCRIMINATION: AN ANALYSIS
Keywords:Mid-day meal, Right to Food, education, social inequality, discrimination
The present paper is an attempt to understand the mid-day meal scheme. The scheme launched in mid-1995 had both positive and some negative impact. Although the scheme succeeded in bringing large number of students in its ambiance and retaining them in schools but in certain parts of India, it also led to ‘caste based discrimination’ against certain communities. It also enhanced gender equality whereby it succeeded in bringing girl child into the school, liberated working women and generated employment opportunities (as cooks). But the study showed that the caste based discrimination continued. During the meal times, the students were segregated on caste basis and the appointment of Dalits as cooks were opposed in certain areas. The study suggested that in some cases, the school became a mechanism to reinforce rather than eroding the prevalent social inequalities.
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