Dehra Dun: Nothing seems to come as a surprise in Uttarakhand, where corruption is rampant almost everywhere and even at places where it is felt that perhaps better sense will prevail and things will be done properly.
The latest in this line is that despite there being no provision for gas for cooking and even not having a cooking place, mid-day meal was being provided to the children of a school in the Chakrata region of this small mountain state for the last 18 months.
The matter would probably have never been exposed, bur for the fact that the woman who was supposed to do the cooking was also not paid her salary for the last 18 months. When her matter was brought to the concerned authorities, they opened the files and saw that mid-day meals had not been cooked in the school for the last 18 months.
It was during this time that investigations started and it was found that from Oct 2010 to April 2012, almost 2000 kgs of rations had been provided to the school to be cooked and provided as mid-day meal for the 70 odd children studying there. But the ration had never been given to Neeu Devi to be cooked and provided to the children.
When the matter reached the directorate of education here, the authorities of the school responded by saying that they had distributed raw ration to the children, which was why it was never cooked, but they have not tried to explain when a woman for cooking had been provided, why was raw ration distributed to the children.
The district education officer (primary) also wanting to brush the matter under the carpet said that there is all possibility that the school authorities may have distributed raw ration to the children, but hastened to add that this was against the provisions. It appears that there is something wrong, but for that the school records will have to be checked, she maintained.