The headmistress of a private aided primary school here was arrested after police found eight sacks of rice meant for midday meal dumped on the school premises on Wednesday.
The action against Kumudini Sukhdeo Nandeshwar (56),the headmistress of Bhola High School,followed an alert by local corporator Sandip Sahare. Sahare reportedly got to know about the dumping of rice from two students of the school.
Police Inspector Prakash Bele told The Indian Express: The headmistress says the rice was infested with insects and hence she was advised by the management to dump it so the health of children could be protected. The total quantity of the rice was sufficient for 20 days meals,Bele added.
Asked if action will also be taken against the management,Bele said: We are contemplating to question them.
The school is run by the Motibagh Education Society headed by J K Majumdar,who expressed shock at the finding and denied having directed the school to dump the rice.
Deputy Director (Education) Mahesh Karajgaonkar said: It is intriguing why the headmistress decided to dump the rice. Surprisingly,we also found pulses there,which we dont supply. The management had apparently sent her a letter three days ago about improper serving (lesser quantity) of meals to students. Also,the dumping was done in broad daylight with the students watching. So there was nothing stealthy about her action. There was no monetary gain also from the dumping. If the rice was bad,she could have had it replaced. Our officers are investigating.
Asked if the management could be penalised,he said: Midday meals are entirely the headmistress responsibility. The management doesnt check it on a day-to-day basis.
About students not being served proper meals,Karajgaonkar said: From what I gather,that wasnt the case. Maybe they were being served in lesser quantities.