Don’t rope in ISKCON for mid-day meals: Goa Congress

Panaji, Aug 3 (IANS) The Congress Saturday asked the Goa government to rule out ISKCON as one of the suppliers for the mid-day meal scheme, which is in the process of being overhauled after a string of scandals.

Speaking to reporters at the party’s state headquarters in Panaji, Sudip Tamhankar said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government should instead streamline the mid-day meal delivery system.
“The Congress party is completely opposed to the idea of ISKCON being invited to cook and give food under the mid-day meal scheme,” Tamhankar said, rejecting the idea of big organisations being appointed for the task.
Last week Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had said that one of the suggestions he received from parents was to appoint ISKCON, among other agencies, to cook and provide mid-day meals for students.
The mid-day meal scheme in Goa is in the process of an overhaul after a series of incidents involving students falling ill after consuming meals were reported in the state over the last few months.
Under its Akshaya Patra scheme, ISKCON provides fresh cooked food to school children.
Tamhankar added that instead of appointing the spiritual organisation to supply food to schools, food made by local self-help groups should be checked in stringent fashion.
“Our local self help groups should continue to be encouraged and not discarded in favour of ISKCON. Their output should be checked,” Tamhankar said.