SONEBHADRA: The menu for mid-day meal for 81 children of government primary school in Salaibanwa under Chopan Block of Sonbhadra district had milk — 150 ml each — and ‘tehri’ (rice cooked with vegetables).
However, the ‘nutritious’ meal that the children got was 150 ml of ‘milky water’ for each of them. One litre of milk mixed in a bucket full of water.
Dev Kalia, a member of the Kota gram panchayat, reported the alleged adulteration.
As the news broke on social media, Sonbhadra DM S Rajlingam rushed to the school and questioned the school’s officiating principal Shailesh Kumar Kanaujia, a ‘shikshamitra’ (Adhoc teacher) in-charge of mid-day meal distribution.
An FIR was lodged against Shikshamitra Jitendra for diluting the milk with malafide intention.
Despite the presence of teachers and their assurance of getting more milk, Jitendra diluted the milk and got it distributed before the scheduled time for distribution among children.
The DM said that the teachers present on duty were also suspended for not ensuring that milk was there before time.
Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) Gorakhnath Patel said, “It was the laggard school staff which failed to arrange the required quantity of milk. More milk was arranged and served to the children only after the lapse was brought to our notice.”
In response, Kanaujia said, “I have the responsibility of two schools. Milk had to be arranged for both schools and I could not monitor the quantity of milk that reached government primary school. The cook was provided with the milk and she distributed it among all those present.”
Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) Gorakhnath Patel said: "As soon as the matter came to my knowledge, I inspected the school and sought information from the school headmaster.
"Such laxity will not be tolerated. A probe has been ordered into the matter. A team of Education Department officials will conduct a probe and submit a report within two days. Strict action will be taken against whosoever is found guilty in the probe."
Sonbhadra: One bucket of water was allegedly mixed into 1 litre of milk to serve 85 students in mid day meal at Salai Banwa Primary School in Kota village. Asst Basic Shiksha Adhikari says, "I am investigating the matter, Action will be taken against the culprits." (27.11.2019) pic.twitter.com/aq1445EgJA— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 29, 2019
Block Education Officer Mukesh Rai said that he received information from locals that water was added to the milk and served to the children. He said a probe had been ordered into the incident and strict action will be taken so that such instances are never repeated in future.
Senior Congress leader, Ajay Rai, said: "Even children are not getting a midday meal properly. The government has failed even in providing a proper meal for the children. This is an irony that diluted milk was served to the children in a government school".
In August, a government school in Mirzapur was found to be serving flatbread with salt to schoolchildren as part of the midday meal. As a video of this got viral, a few education officials were transferred while the journalist who had broken the news was sent to jail.
(With Inputs from Agencies)