Ramechhap, March 1
Long after the government directed the district level bodies to provide lunch allowance for the kids from marginalised communities studying at community schools, most of the schoolchildren in Ramechhap have yet to receive such allowance.
According to Ramechhap District Education Coordination Officer Mukund Keshari Pokharel, some 12,000 out of the total 41,546 students studying at some 399 community schools in the district are from marginalised communities. Eight months after the government had sent the required budget, most of the kids are yet to receive the allowance.
The government envisions providing Rs 15 a day for 180 school days to a child from marginalised communities studying at community schools.
Ramechhap Municipality Resource Person Bharat Bhattarai attributed the delay in providing lunch to the kids in the municipality to the delay in receiving expenditure order from the centre. “As for some 300-odd kids from marginalised communities studying at community schools in the municipality, we are preparing to release the allowance for them by mid-March,” said Bhattarai.
In Sunsapati Rural Municipality, on the other hand, only a small number of students have been provided with the lunch allowance so far.
“Out of the total 38 schools in the rural municipality, we’ve been providing allowance to kids of seven schools, while we are yet to distribute such allowance to the students of other 31 schools in the rural municipality,” said the rural municipality chair Dhawa Lama
“Though we had got the budget meant for the allowance on time from the centre, we haven’t distributed the same as we are yet to collect the details of the beneficiaries,” he said.
“As we’ve asked the ward chairpersons in the rural municipality to collect the details of the kids entitled to the allowance and send it to us, we will release the lunch allowance once we receive the details,” Lama said.
Meanwhile, schoolchildren in other local bodies are also said to have been deprived of the allowance.
A version of this article appears in print on March 02, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.