Village of Morbi: the school “proves” that it has no bias against the midday meal prepared by the Dalits, but the entrepreneur alleges a plot


Days after the husband of a midday meal entrepreneur alleged that children at a government primary school in Morbi district were refusing to eat the food because the entrepreneur was a Dalit woman, more than two dozen children, village chiefs and a government officer shared pulao cooked by the same entrepreneur on Saturday. However, later that day, the contractor and her husband asked for help from the police, saying the villagers were planning to attack them.

Led by Morbi District Social Welfare Officer (SWO), Atul Chhasiya, village sarpanch, village panchayat members, school management committee members, school principal, teachers and about 25 students ate lunch together after school hours ended on Saturday. The breakthrough came after Chhasiya and education department officers held a meeting with the village sarpanch and community leaders on Friday.

“The officers asked us to prove that there is no caste prejudice and that the children do not eat the midday meal because it is prepared by Dalit women. We said we would prove it by having the meal prepared by the same school cooks and encouraged the students to do the same. As a result, we shared the meal with the students today,” said the village sarpanch.

The SWO said the government did not force students to eat lunch at school. “After learning about the incident from the media, I visited the village and held a meeting. Community leaders said their village had a bad reputation due to the controversy and they went to dispel misconceptions. I offered to join them and accordingly shared the meal with them,” Chhasiya said, adding, “However, we did not pressure any student to eat the meal prepared there. school, as evidenced by the fact that there are 153 students enrolled. at school and not all of them had lunch today.

Incidentally, the education department had sent a team of officers to the school on Thursday to investigate after media quoted the midday meal contractor‘s husband as saying that students from communities in the OBC refused to eat the food because the Dalits were cooking it. The team, in its report, had debunked the claim and instead concluded that the children preferred to eat the lunch they brought from home.

The sarpanch said his son, a class 1 pupil, was among those who ate the cooked pulao at school on Saturday.

However, in the afternoon, the contractor’s husband requested police assistance, alleging that a group of villagers had gathered near the school to assault them. The couple was then taken to the Morbi taluka police station.

While Rahul Tripathi could not be reached for comment, a police officer with knowledge of the development said there was a row between the contractor’s family and the mother of a student. “After having lunch at school, a student started to vomit. Therefore, her mother went to school and started arguing with the midday meal contractor. Due to the hubbub, three or four other women also gathered at the school and the Dalit couple felt they were at risk of being assaulted. Therefore, they asked for help from the police. As a result, a team was dispatched,” the officer said, adding, “The couple, however, have not filed any formal complaints.”

However, the contractor alleged a conspiracy. “The villagers wanted to trick us into having lunch at school just to show the world that there is no bias, but later they accused us of getting sick,” he said. she said, adding, “I offered that I have no problem if some OBC women prepare the midday meal and we will pay for these services. However, the village wants me to give up the contract because we are Dalits .


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