Tamil Nadu's noon meal scheme in peril?
Confusion reigned supreme in the social development sector in Tamil Nadu last week. The cause was a circular from the office of the Commissioner of Social Welfare that sought to rationalise the staff in over 8,900 noon meal centres where the strength of children was less than 25. Many people read it as a move to cut down the number of noon meal centres. That’s when panic set in.
However, the Social Welfare Department clarified that it was only following up on a 1992 rule, and was going to retain only two staff in these 8,900 centres, instead of the existing three members.
Each centre, as per existing arrangements, is entitled to a noon meal organiser, a cook and a cook’s assistant. V. Amuthavalli, Director, Social Welfare, reiterated that none of the noon meal centres would be closed. “We will only be shifting the organisers in centres that have less than 25 children. The cooks and assistant cooks will remain. And, an order has been issued not to shuffle organisers who are scheduled to retire in 2019,” she told