NEW DELHI: Close on the heels of the nationwide outrage over the adulteration of milk with water at a school in Uttar Pradesh, a dead rat was found in the mid-day meal for children at the SD Hari Mandir Girls Senior Secondary School in the national capital.
The school, located in the Nabi Karim area, is recognised and aided by the Delhi government. A letter written by the school’s vice president to the Mid-day Meal department of the Delhi secretariat said as per the staple mid-day meal menu at the institution, Namkeen Daliya and Halwa was to be served to the students.
“However, it was and shocking that just as the lid of the container full of Namkeen Daliya was lifted, a dead rat was spotted lying inside,” the letter read. In the tersely-worded letter, the vice president said the school will not accept the midday meal supply from the agency concerned and will stop distribution of the food delivered to the school.
“We request your good self to kindly take steps against the downline suppliers, as today, the same food was supplied to other schools also,” the letter stated. According to Anita Jain, educational advisor and former Principal of the school, prompt action was taken against the contractor after word of the incident reached the school authorities.
The supplier’s contract for delivering mid-day meals to the school was cancelled immediately, Jain said. “A team from the Mid Day Meal department came and took a sample of the food. It would undergo quality checks at the department’s Dwarka laboratory,” Jain said. She further said that the contractor in question was appointed two months ago and both the students and teachers had voiced dissatisfaction over the quality of food delivered.
“The contractor may not have spiked the food intentionally, but the negligent attitude is unacceptable,” Jain said. “The Delhi government claims to have turned its schools into world-class institutions. But this is the actual state of affairs,” Jai Prakash, chairperson, standing committee, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, said.
Supplier’s contract cancelled
According to Anita Jain, educational advisor and former Principal of the school, prompt action was taken against the contractor after word of the incident reached the school authorities. The supplier’s contract for delivering midday meals was cancelled, Jain said. The same food was distributed to other schools as well.