The HC issued notice to the Principal Secretary, Education Department, Commissioner and Others of the Gujarat Government, regarding the midday-meal schemes (MMS) of the state of Gujarat. According to a survey carried out by IIM, Ahmedabad and UNICEF Gujarat, 85 % of the parents said that since March 2020, children are not getting any benefit of the mid-day meal scheme. Even in the month of March, only 30% of the children availed of this benefit.
Gujarat Congress Chief Spokesperson Manish Doshi had recently raised the issue that 52 lakh children of poor and general category, who were supposed to get benefits under the MMS did not get it. The government also did not provide ration or food coupons to these children. He also stated that the government used to distribute milk to the children in tribal areas, but now those areas have been closed due to the pandemic.
Around 52 lakh children were being provided nutritious food under the MMS in many cities of the state, including Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and in the villages, but it was completely stopped due to the virus. 100 gms of food was given to children from Class 1 to 8 and 150 gms of food grains were given to children from Class 5 to 10 and Rs. 4.50 per student, which has been completely stopped for the last 9 months.
On 18th December, 2020, the division bench of Justices J. B. Pardiwala and Ilesh J. Vora took suo motu cognizance after taking into account a news report that mid-day meals are not being made available to 52 lakh children since March 2020. The State Government were not providing MMS to the children and neither ration or food coupons were issued to them.