25 students take ill due to stale food in Andhra school

by IANS |

Amaravati, Nov 26 (IANS) At least 25 children studying in a government school in Andhra Pradesh's Sri Sathya Sai district were taken ill after having food supplied by school authorities under the Mid-Day Meal scheme.

The incident occurred in the municipal primary school in Kadiri town of the district.

Of the 148 children, 121 had attended classes on Friday. The students complained that food served to them became stale. School principal Lavanya then asked the catering agency to supply fresh food to students.

However, before cooking fresh food, the agency provided meals to some students. At least 25 of them took ill.

The affected students complained of vomiting and stomach upset. Initially eight students were shifted to government hospital Kadiri. Later, 17 more students were taken to hospital.

District education officer S. V. Krishna Reddy visited the hospital and called on the students. He described the condition of the students as stable. He said the students were taken ill due to poor quality food served to them. The officer promised an inquiry and appropriate action against those found negligent.

Interestingly, a new menu under the Mid-Day Meal scheme called Jagananna Gorumudda was introduced on November 21. The government changed the menu to strengthen physical fitness among the students.

The officials said students studying in government and aided-run schools are being provided better nutritious food than earlier.

Under the scheme, the government supplies Rs 6.13 and 100 grams of rice per student in primary schools and Rs 8.53 and 120 grams rice per student in upper primary schools. As per new norms, the mid day meals agencies should provide rice, vegetable curry, dal sambar, egg curry, chutney and so on and also provide at least three boiled eggs in a week to the beneficiary students.

In recent months, both the Telugu states have seen a series of incidents of students in government schools, especially in residential schools, falling ill after eating food supplied by school authorities.

This is attributed to poor quality of food items being prepared by the catering agencies given the contract and their negligence while cooking the food.

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