Nine students and a teacher of a government school in Muzaffarnagar district were taken ill on Tuesday after consuming midday meal in which a dead rat was found. The incident took place at Janta Inter College at Mustafabad Pachendra Kalan village on Tuesday morning.
Additional District Magistrate Amit Kumar Singh said that an inquiry has been ordered and strict action will be taken against those found guilty of negligence.
“The containers in which the meal was stored have been seized while a letter has been sent to the Mid Day Meal Authority (MDMA) in Lucknow for necessary action against the NGO, Jan Kalyan Sewa Samiti which was serving the mid day meal in the college for the past six months,” said Basic Siksha Adhikari (BSA) Ram Sagar Pati Tripathi.
College principal Vinod Kumar said that students of class six and seven were being served the mid day meal when one of them spotted a dead rat in the serving container. “By the time we could take action, around nine students and a teacher had eaten a portion of the meal. They started vomiting immediately and were rushed to the hospital,” said the principal, adding that Muzzafarnagar co-ordinator of mid day meal, Vikas Tyagi, will investigate the matter.
Last week, another case of apathy had come to light when a video showed that a litre of milk was allegedly diluted with a bucket of water so that 81 children could be served during their midday meal at a government school in Sonbhadra district of UP, following which a teacher was suspended.
Two months earlier a similar shocking video had emerged from Siyur Primary School in Mirzapur district showing a woman distributing rotis and another giving salt to children in the midday meal. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had taken note of the Mirzapur incident and sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary following which two teachers were suspended. According to a NHRC statement, the commission had also sought a detailed report about the status of the midday meal scheme across the state within four weeks. The state government had filed a case against the journalist who had reported roti-salt mid day meal.
Last week, the Union government told Parliament that of 52 complaints received regarding corruption under the Midday Meal Scheme (MDMS), largest was from Uttar Pradesh. The second largest number of corruption complaints came from Bihar (11), followed by West Bengal (6).
The HRD ministry also informed the House that 931 children had fallen ill after eating their midday meal in the last three years and the current year. Of these, the largest number of such case were reported from Jharkhand (259), Maharashtra (201) and Uttar Pradesh (154).