The Patna High Court on Friday asked the Bihar Government to “continue schemes like the Mid-Day Meal and the Sarwa Shiksha Scheme to provide meals /ration as feasible along with textbooks and notebooks to the Government students.
The directions were issued after the Court took suo motu cognizance of a news item titled, “School shut, no mid-day meal, children in Bihar village back to work selling scrap” published in the newspaper.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar ruled that “the government had to ensure that statutory benefits under the Food Security Act are disbursed in a timely manner, and updated records are maintained for the same.”
Further the court said, “Children are the wealth of this nation. Our failure, or delay in acting on the present situation could lead to incorrigible long-term consequences on the health, development, and general well-being of our children.”
The Court has passed the slew of directions to the State Government which includes “Install community-level TV sets and distribution of radio sets, ensuring the increase of reach of remote learning platforms. Perhaps, at the community level, small batches of children can be shown lectures on TV, while maintaining social distancing norms.”
“The above directions, if implemented well, have the potential to provide immediate relief to more than 1 crore 19 Lakh school going children across the State, also tuned to establish long term machinery which shall support their development and care. We have no doubt that any elementary issues of data protection owing to the monitoring that may arise, would be dealt with adequately by the authorities,”, the court said in its order.