Home/ News / India/  West Bengal: Snake found in mid-day meal, several children fall sick in Birbhum

In a case of utter negligence,a snake was found in the mid-day meal prepared for the school students in West Bengal's Birbhum.A school staffer who had prepared the meal also claimed that a snake was found in one of the containers filled with lentils.Several school children were hospitalised after consuming food in which a snake was allegedly found, officials said. Around 30 students of a primary school in Mayureswar block in the district fell ill after consuming the food served to them in mid-day meal on Monday.

"It happened in Mandalpur Primary School. All the students were taken to a hospital. I also went to the hospital and talked to the parents. Students are fine now," said P Nayek, Chairman, Dist Primary School Council.

Block Development Officer Dipanjan Jana told reporters that complaints have been received from several villagers about children falling sick after eating the mid-day meal. "I have informed the district inspector of primary schools who will visit on January 10," Jana said.

All the children, barring one, have been discharged from hospital, the official said, adding, he is out of danger.

Also in another case of negligence a rat and a lizard were found in a mid-day meal in a school in Malda.

"The case of dead lizard and rat found in mid-day meal has come to our notice. Strict action is taken against those who are responsible for it," said Malda District Magistrate Nitin Singhania.

A local said that the quality of the mid-deal meal is terrible and the students have been complaining about it for quite some time.

"The quality of the mid-day meal provided in the school is terrible. Students have been complaining about it for a long time. Today we have caught them red-handed," said Afsar, a local.

Earlier on January 6, the West Bengal government decided to serve chicken and seasonal fruits in mid-day meals for four months starting January and allotted 371 crore for introducing the same.

According to an official notification, chicken and seasonal fruits will be served weekly once for four months for additional nutrition under PM POSHAN.

Notably, in the new scheme, an amount of 20 will be spent per week on providing additional nutrition to every student, and the process will continue for 16 weeks.

Currently, students are provided with rice, pulses, vegetables, soybean and eggs in schools as part of mid-day meals.

The additional items will be served from January 23 to April 23 in every block on different days of the week.

*With agency inputs

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Updated: 12 Jan 2023, 09:45 AM IST
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