Exercise caution on mid-day meal scheme, States told

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on November 22, 2017 Published on July 17, 2013

M. M. Pallam Raju, HRD Minister

Expressing sorrow over the death of over 20 children in Bihar due to food poisoning, Human Resource Development Minister M. M. Pallam Raju on Wednesday asked States to exercise caution while implementing the mid-day meal scheme.

“I came to know about the sad incident where 20 children have died. I have taken serious note of it. Our Additional Secretary has rushed to the spot to get a first-hand report. It looks like a case of contamination of food but we are awaiting forensic report,” Raju said.

He said “This is an example where we should exercise caution,” he said. The HRD Ministry has asked for a report of the incident from the Bihar Government while the Union School Education Secretary has spoken to the Bihar Chief Secretary on the issue.

Terming the incident as “unfortunate”, the Minister of State for HRD, Jitin Prasada, said it should not be politicised. “The mid-day meal scheme guidelines say the cooked food should be tested by two adults before serving, while the teachers should also look into the quality of food and the cleanliness of the utensils,” he said. Prasada said the monitoring mechanism should be strengthened as it was the responsibility of the district administration and the village heads to ensure its proper implementation.

The mid-day meal programme is one of the largest programmes in the world, serving hot cooked food to over 10 crore children in more than 11 lakh schools across the country.

Published on July 17, 2013
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