Mandating the provision of midday meals and soap to vulnerable children during Covid-19

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As an educator, I have been extremely worried about my students' and fellow teachers' wellbeing in lieu of the Covid-19 pandemic. With schools and other educational institutions seizing operations throughout the World, it was clear that it was only a matter of time before our Government, too, implemented similar imperative nationwide bans. Thus, the announcement of schools' closures in March brought a sense of relief and security. However, it also left me with a sinking concern about my students' security both, from abuse and malnutrition.

Public schooling comprises over 50% of India's educational sector. Catering to students from vulnerable sections of society, these schools not only provide learning opportunities but also work as a safe haven for these children while their parents work long hours each day. The mid-day meal scheme, particularly, has proven to be a contributing factor to increased enrolment rates. 

Most of the parents of India's government-school students are daily-wage earners. With no means of earning, children and their families have been suffering. 

Thus, it may be time for our Government to take responsibility for these children. Sign my petition urging the Ministry of Women and Child Development to require every State government to:

a) continue providing mid-day meals while schools are closed;

b) provide soap so children are empowered to stay clean.