Featured image courtesy Amalini De Sayrah
It’s 10:30 am at the Social Institute for the Development of Plantation Sector (SIDPS) pre-school on the Strathspey estate in Maskeliya.
The children, most of them around five years old, queue up – boys first, then girls. The pre-school doesn’t have a toilet, as it’s located next to a chemical store room. Because of this, the Government didn’t give the clearance needed. They have to make do with an open sewer outside.
Then they open up their lunch-boxes. According to the mid-day meal programme initiated by the Ministry of Education in 2010, these children are supposed to be provided with food and a glass of milk. But this school hasn’t received funds for the mid-day meal for over a year now – a 2015 World Bank report flagged the need for a National School Feeding Policy which could have helped avoid this.
But the teachers point out two students – one of them has roti and a banana for lunch, while another has instant noodles. Both these contravene the recommended nutrition plan tacked up on the school wall.
View the full story, compiled on Adobe Spark, here, or below: