When one looks at a galance on the title of the above work one is reminded of the importance of the schools in India. One also feels that health is one of the most important issues for a child to grow. Article 21 of the Indian Constitution makes ?Right to Life? as a Fundamental Right. Justice Bhagwati in many of his judgements has always stressed the need for a good healthy life. Great Greek political philosopher Aristotle has opined that “Man comes into existence for the sake of life and continues to exist for the sake of good life. If proper nourishment and food is not provided to a person he continues to remain dull. A strong mind in a strong body is most essential.” Children are the future of the country. In a democratic country they must be provided with food nourished along with proper schooling. The government is thinking of providing compulsory education to the children. This awaking would provide strength to Indian democracy. Nowadays in almost every newspaper one finds a magazine section which provides articles on modern education and health for the upcoming generation. Justice Bhagwati, in one of its august judgements had said that free and compulsory meals should be given to students. Food for health and health for school children is essential. Right to Equality and Right against Exploitation exists in the Indian Constitution but practically both are not practiced in the country in the context of schooling. There is a gap between the rich and the poor. The rich feel proud in wasting food while the poor cannot afford even two meals a day. This has also resulted in the exploitation of the school children.
Initially the government used to provide unbaked food to the children. Later on it was felt that cooked food is most essential. It is not the quantity of the food but the quality that matters. Midday meal has gained significance since it partially addresses hunger in class rooms. Children living in poverty do suffer from chronic hunger and therefore exhibits different degrees of malnutrition. The nutritious food increases the trends of education and awakens the feeling of health. It has rightly been linked with poverty as one of the authors writes that “when poor and weak mothers give birth to children in the absence of family, community and institutional support, an intergenerational process of poor heath, nutrition and education is set in motion in which majority of the Indian children are willy-nilly caught. These very handicaps have a long term effect and become even more evident in children, shaping the childs development.”
The author of the present work has done a good service to the society by giving a book shape to the papers of various seminars. The author has wisely differentiated between food and quality food, undernourished and malnourished food, quantity and quality, baked and unbaked food. In his acknowledgements he has not only thanked to the contributors but also outlined the importance of the work. Besides dividing the work into seven different sections, there is a good number of tables and figures. Six boxes have been formed to highlight certain important aspects. The work in the book is based not only on quality of food which should be provide to the students but also socio economic aspects and psychology . Good number of suggestions have been given. The work is the need of the hour and needs appreciation.