A day after a video on social media showed children at a government school in Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra district being served milk mixed with water as part of the mid-day meal, the district authorities on Friday took action against those responsible.
The video, which was shot at the Salai Banwa government primary school on Wednesday, shows a cook boiling water in a large aluminium container before adding milk from a one-liter carton. Later, the cook is seen giving half-a-glass of the diluted milk to students in steel glasses.
According to the menu prescribed by the state government, school children are to be served tehri (rice) and milk on Wednesdays. Every student gets 150 ml milk under the mid-day meal scheme.
The video of the incident went viral on social media on Thursday, following which Sonbhadra DM S Rajalingam rushed to the spot and formed a two-member committee, comprising Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) Gorakh Nath Patel and District Development Officer (DDO) R B Tripathi to conduct inquiry into the matter.
On Friday, on the basis of the inquiry report, an FIR was lodged against Shiksha Mitra (contractual teacher) Jitendra Kumar under IPC Section 408 (Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant) at the Chopan police station. Kumar has been terminated.
Rajalingam also suspended teacher Shlesh Kumar, who held the charge of the mid-day meal distribution. A letter has also been written to the state government recommending departmental action against assistant basic shiksha adhikari (ABSA) Mukesh Kumar, who also has charge as Chopan Block education officer.
When contacted, Tripathi said that during inquiry, it came to light that of the total 171 students, 81 turned up the day the video was shot.
The incident at the Sonbhadra school comes months after a journalist was booked after he claimed that children at a school in Mirzapur district were served rotis and salt as part of the mid-day meal.