Bengal: Dead lizard in mid-day meal makes 35 children ill
At least 35 children fell ill after allegedly consuming a mid-day meal contaminated by a dead lizard at an Anganwadi center in West Bengal's Bankura district on Friday. The children have now reportedly been discharged from the hospital after being kept under observation. Meanwhile, the district administration served a show-cause notice to the concerned person after the incident and assured a thorough probe.
Children hospitalized after complaining of vomiting, severe stomach pain
On Friday, 35 children complained of vomiting and severe stomach ache after consuming food at an Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) center in Hatgram. They were admitted to a local government hospital and later shifted to Bankura Sammilani Medical College Hospital for further treatment. Later, people found that the food served to the kids under the mid-day meal scheme had a dead lizard.
'Brother's son vomited shortly after taking lunch at center': Relative
Bapi Pramanik, a relative of one of the children, said his family panicked after his brother's son started vomiting shortly after taking lunch at the center. Following the incident, he claimed, locals investigated the food given to the children and found a dead lizard in one of the containers. Notably, nearly 60 families rely on the facility for lunchtime meals during the summer break.
Residents protest against ICDS center staff
According to India Today, the residents soon after gheraoed the ICDS center in protest. However, the staffers claimed they were "unaware of the condition of the food served" and denied any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, midday meals were stopped by them shortly after the incident.
Necessary action will be taken soon: Additional district magistrate
On Saturday, Additional District Magistrate Arindam Biswas stated that "it was an unfortunate incident," and the child development project officer (CDPO) was informed about the dead lizard in the daal that was served to children. He said a show-cause notice was sent to the concerned person at the ICDS facility. "All necessary administrative steps will be taken against those responsible," Biswas added.
Similar incident was reported in January
On January 9, at least 30 school children were hospitalized in West Bengal's Birbhum district after consuming food in which a snake was allegedly found. The students of a primary school in Mayureswar reportedly fell ill after consuming the food served to them as part of the mid-day meal scheme, said reports.
What is mid-day meal scheme?
The mid-day meal scheme was launched on August 15, 1995. Earlier, it mandated providing designated ration every month to the government school children studying in classes 1-5. However, in 2001, following the Supreme Court intervention, schools started serving cooked lunches to children in all primary schools to ensure they come to school and get nutritious food.Share this timeline