LETTERS: Food programme

The government has been spending billion of rupees for education reforms for the last one decade. These funds come from different donor organizations which are whole heartedly supporting the government’s School Sector Reform Programme (SSRP).

However, the quality of education, especially in the public schools, is still questionable. There are a number of reasons for this shortcoming, including the late arrival of text books in the rural areas of remote districts, politicization of the teaching profession, lack of proper supervision and monitoring of teaching-learning environment from the concerned authorities. Among them is the “Food Programme for Education” launched in the rural area schools.

The main purpose of this scheme is to increase access of education, boost the enrollment rate and minimise the drop-out rate. Normally, the food, which is simply a nutritional supplement, needs to be cooked which requires firewood for which the guardians are supposed to provide to the school.

However, this programme has not been very effective in some of the rural areas of remote districts due to little interaction of the concerned officials with the guardians. Unless the schools are supplied with firewood, nutritional supplement cannot be prepared.

Rai Biren Bangdel, Maharajgunj


A rainbow with its ~ Violet - Indigo - Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red - colours can work its magic on us. Nature is indeed not only magical but a teacher as well. We need to learn from a rainbow how we all ~ Black - White - Brown - Yellow ~ should join hands and walk together to create pure magic of harmony and fraternity. When we talk about

colour blindness, we obviously focus our attention to the physical aspect of it. But there is another area. That is mental colour blindness. Yes, you get it right ~ a symptom of the disease is an obsession for fair complexion. We may say that the scientific name of the disease is apartheid! But apartheid to a certain colour or colours is nothing but showing disrespect to the divine design. There is a beautiful song in Bengali which goes like this ~ “If black is bad then why do you cry when your hairs start greying?” It is horrific to visualise a monochromatic world. It is not absence of or being blind to just one colour but the presence of only one colour! There is no chance of enjoying the beauty of happy-go-lucky clouds floating in an azure sky or colourful flowers in various shades of green leaves in such a world and no chance of seeing a school-boy with his jet-black-hair, wearing a lemon-colour-shirt and purple-trousers. One colour means our not being able to see flying birds in the sky.

Have we ever imagined how many accidents a one-colour-world may cause? One-colour-cars on one-colour-roads are being managed by one-colour-traffic-signals! That would have made us see red. We will definitely feel blue if we are to live in a monotonous monochromatic world.

Sujit De, Kolkata