Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday issued a notice to the state government to file its response on how it plans to ensure that children, who have been missing midday meals since schools closed, can receive adequate and nourished food.
Judges for Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said the case required “the immediate and urgent attention of the state.” The court commented on a way to require the state to provide daily food and nutrients as referred to in the National Food Safety Act 2013 to children enrolled in the noon meal program at their doorstep.
The court said there could be logistical and practical difficulties in this regard, but it must be done given that these families have lost income due to the pandemic situation and the lockdown. “There is no doubt that the state must take aggressive measures to ensure that children are well fed and nourished, especially since many families have lost their jobs or have fewer resources available due to the pandemic and cases that are not normal, ”said the court.
The judges suggested that the state could organize the drive through businesses and municipalities in urban and semi-urban areas. And in rural areas where it may be more difficult, the state has been asked to bring in NGOs in addition to using the panchayat system.
“To this end, notices must be issued immediately,” the court said. The case was published on July 7 for the initial response of the government of Tamil Nadu. “It would serve children well if the state had a roadmap ready so that the lack of food and adequate food that children have suffered for the past 15 months or so, especially among the most vulnerable sections, can be corrected without delay, ”the court said.