Food prices skyrocket but daily budget stuck at Rs 24- The New Indian Express
ROURKELA: For around 50,000 students residing in the hostels of the ST & SC Development department in Sundargarh district, the food on their plates seems to be declining, thanks to the rising prices. With a meager Rs 24 per capita diet at many hostels, authorities are trying not to compromise with breakfast as well as evening snacks.
The state government provides Rs 750 to each student of the listed tribes and castes for monthly mess expenses as a pre-matric scholarship. The cost of the diet was last revised on July 4, 2015 and since then food prices have skyrocketed. As food inflation did not subside, authorities at many hostels reportedly skipped breakfast and evening snacks and also compromised the quality and quantity of the food in completely unintended ways.
In fact, the monthly cost of the diet is actually Rs 724, as Rs 26 out of the Rs 750 total is set aside for miscellaneous expenses, TV / DTH and sanitation. For lunch and dinner for each student, Rs 15 is reserved for subsidized rice, Rs 400 for pulses, vegetables, edible oil, salt, spices and condiments in addition to Rs 10 for eggs two times per month. By keeping the price of fish / chicken at Rs 140 per kg, Rs 84 is set for the provision of these non-vegetarian items four times per month. For breakfast and evening tiffin, Rs 150 is reserved.
The school authorities point out that the fish / chicken prices in force are Rs 200 / Rs 240 per kg. The government has set Rs 65 for fuel but in reality, after the phasing out of subsidies, the price of cooking gas has almost doubled. They say edible oil, vegetables, and other items have also become more expensive. In addition, the cost of the diet of a 16-year-old Class X student and a six-year-old Class I student has been set at Rs 24 per day, regardless of food intake capacity and needs of a child and adolescent.
Sources say that students at hostels in Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya and Eklavya model schools are better placed than their counterparts in hostels in the ST & SC Development department. The first touch between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,500 per month.
MPP Bonai Laxman Munda said Sundargarh is a tribal dominated district with a large population of SC. The students at the ST & SC Development Department hostel deserve a fair deal given the prevailing general increase scenario and food prices. The state government should seriously consider an upward revision of the scholarship to meet the dietary needs of poor students, he added.
Contacted, District Social Welfare Officer (DWO) Pabitra Mohan Pradhan said the pre-marital scholarship for ST&SC students is provided by the state plan. He said the stock exchange review is under review by the government.
- Rs 750 provided to each ST&SC student for mess expenses per month
- Rs 26 out of Rs 750 allocated to miscellaneous expenses
- Rs 15 for subsidized rice, Rs 400 for pulses, vegetables, oil for lunch and dinner for each student in one month
- Rs 150 reserved for breakfast and evening tiffin
- Rs 10 for eggs twice a month
- Rs 84 for providing fish / chicken four times a month