IMPACT – Clean and Healthy Food Provided in Katrasi, Bihar – Video Volunteer Asha Devi Reports

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I made a video in the month of August on problems with the mid-day meals. At the Government Middle School in Katrasi village (Rampur Panchayat, Makhdumpur Block, District Jehanabad, Bihar), children found worms in their mid-day meals when they sat down to eat . Do you get a proper mid-day meal? Yes, but the food is not hygienic. One day I wanted to eat in the classroom. When I went to take the vegetable I noticed something strange. I asked the cook, and she took it out in her hand and said, “it’s a worm.” You saw it with your own eyes? -Yes. Did you eat your food that day? -No. Why then did the cook serve that food? I felt the food was smelling strange, only then the cook smelled it. I’ve heared there are worms in the mid-day meals? How is it happening? Er… in this? Yes, I found it to be true. So I checked how we clean the food. The “soup” and other techniques we use to clean food must be blamed– Don’t you have proper equipments in school for cleaning food? In my home? No, here in school? No. You can open the doors and have a look around. If we had proper means of cleaning, the food wouldn’t have been like this. I’ve just one–this small–bucket, and a few utensils, that I use it somehow to carry the school’s food to my home for cleaning. We don’t even get a regular bucket here. Not even as part of school’s development? Who knows? They just don’t get buckets. Everyday, some story about buckets… Many days we’ve suffered without utensils. People of the village… Is there no committee here? No one comes here to see. No one for inspection? No… no one comes here for any inspection. After making the video, I met an officer in the Block Development Office (BDO). Thereafter, he went to inspect the food. Finally, after my efforts, the mid-day meals here are getting cleaner and better, and everyone in school–from children to teachers to cooks–are now happy. And now do you see any change since I made the video on mid-day meals? Yes, a lot… a lot has improved. We are now cooking clean food here. You should ask the children about it, they wouldn’t lie. We now also have proper equipment and means to clean and prepare food. Cooking is really better now. So was there an improvement here? We had to change after all, after listening to some strong words from the authorities, after inspections. That’s how improvement happens. How is the food now for you all? It’s better. How is it better? No more worms. Do you get food according to the menu? Yes. We’ve improved a great deal. We’ve bought proper equipment, means to clean food. We maintain overall cleanliness. The cook is working attentively. She tries hard and works till 4 PM here. She properly cleans the rice. The cook and teachers have their food first to check quality, and only afterwards the children have it. It is only because of this camera that a change has been possible here. I’ve worked really hard on this. I’m Asha, from district Jehanabad, for India Unheard.

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