Widespread fiscal indiscipline has often been detected in the implementation of mid-day meal (MDM) scheme, a flagship programme aimed at arresting school dropout rates by providing nutritious food. Even after the ire of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development Ministry over the irregularities in the MDM scheme, no action is taken to undo the anomalies because those responsible for acting against it are sitting hand-in-hand. At least half a dozen state governments agree that the funds as well as foodgrains meant for the scheme is being misused in their states. But very strangely, they defer from divulging the kind of action being taken by them against the offenders. Neither do these state governments fix responsibilities for the guilty officials, nor do they take any step to cover the loss caused by their irresponsible attitude. Therefore, should we draw the conclusion that all social welfare schemes by the government shall be rampant with irregularities and any effort directed towards getting rid of these will prove futile? If this is not the case then what is the reason behind the state governments’ silence over the misutilisation of a good scheme like MDM? Isn’t it worrisome that the fund as well as foodgrains allocated for MDM is being used elsewhere? The utmost precaution with which government money should be utilized is not taken. On the contrary, government funds are all the more being misused. This free use of government finance is taking place only because it is being allowed to. What kind of a country is this where food meant for the poor is unabashedly being swallowed by middle-men? Can there be a more ignominious crime than this? Agreed that in order to put an end to the irregularities in the government projects, all possible measures should be adopted. But isn’t anyone ashamed of the fact that the food meant for children is being digested by someone else? And that such an act demands the government officials to follow their call for morality.

Such obliteration of morality in any country can be seen only when the people at the helm of administrative and social affairs themselves exhibit immorality. After all, why isn’t the predominance of a moral power over corruption visible in our society? The recommendation by Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD Ministry that the punishment meted out to the guilty should be harsh so as to set an example for those who dare to act in a whimsical manner. But then, it is easy to give such recommendations but hard to follow it in the literal sense. Also, it is known practice of our administrators to dump cases in a closed box in the name of investigation. As such action against highly corrupt officials is rarely taken. Basically, the MDM scheme of Tamil Nadu was implemented in the country with an aim to improve the future of crores of children and to achieve a notable success in the field of primary education. But corruption has ruined this dream. The corrupt elements have scuttled any means adopted to make this scheme a success. Another proof of activeness of the corrupt elements is the unused funds lying in various states for the past three years.