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Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
Master i International Social Welfare and Health Policy
In recent years there has been an increase in the public expenditure for providing welfare assistance to the people. With the UN convention making the access to social welfare to maintain a decent standard of living as a fundamental human right, the government intervention has increased not only to reduce the general poverty but for enhancing the human capital. due to the universal coverage, the huge number of participants and the insufficient government resources, in addition to the public institutions, private institutions are also participate in its implementation. Mid Day Meal Scheme in India one of the welfare programmes covering all the school going students from class one to class eight are aimed to prevent class room hunger, increase school enrolment and retention and to enhance quality of education. The free meal is provided to students of public school and also students who are enrolled in private aided schools. There are a number of studies which examine the shame experienced by the beneficiaries of the social benefit at different stages of implementation. These studies mainly covers the public institutions. Hence this study is undertaken to make a comparative analysis of the shame experienced by the beneficiaries of social welfare programmes provided through public and private institutions. The study was carried out in two schools, one public school and one private school situated the District of Wayanad, Kerala state, India. Information were collected from the students, teachers and the cooks through in-depth interview. The study found that the scheme is shaming to the beneficiaries in one way or the other. The selection of beneficiaries, the poor quality material used for cooking, the poor quality of the meal, monotonous menu, the process of distribution of food, lack of sufficient infrastructure including the lack of safe drinking water are all shaming to the beneficiaries. The meager fund allotted is the main hindrance in providing a decent meal to the students. The students also experience shame in various stages of the receipt of the benefit. The students of the private school are forced to stand in the open space even in adverse climate. There is lack of discipline during distribution, unequal distribution and at times insufficient quantify of food. Since there is no alternative to what is provided, those students who cannot take the food for various reasons including their religious belief have to go hungry. The study shows that the experience of shame is more in private school compared to that of the public school. The public school adopt a few strategies to reduce the feeling of shame or the stigma associated with the meal. They active involvement of the benefit providers at different stage of implementation, the community participation and improvement in the quality of the meal are some of the strategies adopted to reduce the feeling of shame.
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