Mid-day meal scheme turns deadly in Bihar

As the death toll of children who died after consuming the mid-day meal on Tuesday at a primary school in Chhapra district of Bihar continued to rise, the spotlight turned on the many deficiencies of the scheme.
  • Schoolchildren receive treatment for food poisoning after consuming mid-day meal at a government primary school in Bihar’s Saran district. At least 20 children in the age group 8-11 have died and many others have fallen sick after eating in the school. AP
  • The incident has led to protests in Chhapra. However, this is not the first time that food consumed as part of the mid-day meal led to children falling ill or even dying. The scheme which was started in the 1960s has been riddled with scams and controversies. PTI
  • Relatives of one of the dead school children. The scheme was introduced by the then Tamil Nadu chief minister K. Kamaraj in the 1960s and has been adopted by most Indian states after the Supreme Court’s directive on 28 November 2001. PTI
  • Schoolchildren eat food served as part of the mid-day meal scheme in Hyderabad on 23 June 2010. The main objectives of the programme is to protecting children from classroom hunger and to increase school enrolment. AFP
  • Children line up for mid day meal in New Delhi. The scheme has been popular in the country, but has also had a tainted history. In December 2005, the Delhi police seized eight truckloads of rice meant for mid-day meal being carried from UP to Delhi. HT
  • Students queue up for the mid-day meal in New Delhi on 3 July 2003. In November 2006, residents of Pembong village in Darjeeling complained about not receiving the mid day meal for 18 months. Such incidents have plagued the scheme. AFP