Soggy raw rice served to students in Karnataka: SDMC | Mangaluru News – Times of India



MANGALURU: The quality of rice served to students in high schools across the state as part of the midday meal scheme is in the eye of a major controversy. Students, teachers and parents have complained that the rice supplied for students in Class 9 and 10, after cooking, turns soggy, thereby rendering it unsuitable for consumption.
The School Development and Monitoring Committee, students and teachers in high schools have complained that cooked raw rice, instead of boiled rice, is being served for midday meals. Supplying boiled rice for midday meals for children studying in Class 9 and 10 is the norm. However, this time, high schools have been supplied with raw rice, it was complained.
There has, however, been no complaint over the quality of rice supplied to students in Class 1 to 8, which is sourced from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) under a central government scheme. That rice is fortified with three micronutrients: vitamin B12, iron and folic acid.
Children are refusing to take soggy raw rice, says teacher
Under the midday meal scheme, rice for students in Class 1 to 8 is supplied by FCI, while Class 9 and 10 receive their supplies by inviting tenders, where the price is fixed at Rs 26 per kg. In comparison, boiled rice costs around Rs 34 a kg. It is being complained that in view of the higher price of boiled rice, suppliers purchased raw rice.
Mohiuddin Kutty, president, SDMC Coordination Committee, told TOI that children in the coastal districts are used to consuming boiled rice and not raw rice. However, since last week, there have been complaints about the rice being soggy after cooking, instead of being fluffy. “Why does the government supply such rice when it is aware that children do not prefer it?” Kutty complained.
A government school teacher in Kadaba said school children have been refusing to have their midday meals in view of the change in rice quality. “How does anyone expect a child to eat soggy rice for lunch,” he questioned.
When TOI contacted Usha M, executive officer, Akshara Dasoha, she confirmed that the department had received complaints from the SDMC and teachers regarding the supply of raw rice for students in Class 9 and 10.
“Raw rice can be consumed if cooked properly, but it will turn soggy if overcooked. Even then, we have brought this issue to the attention of our higher officials, who have assured us that it would be resolved as soon as possible,” Usha said, adding that 753 quintals of good quality raw rice were procured for November and December last year.

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