Bihar Mid-Day Meal tragedy: Taking cognizance of the matter, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Bihar government over the reported illness of about 150 children after consuming Mid-Day Meal at a government school in West Champaran. According to the information, the NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report about the matter which occurred at a government middle school in the Narval-Barval area of West Champaran on June 1, 2023.
The Commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, amount to the violation of the human rights of the children. Apparently, there was a supervisory lapse on the part of the school authorities due to which food was prepared unhygienically and served to the students. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar calling for a detailed report on the matter within 4 weeks.
Commission asks detailed report
It should also include the steps taken or to be taken to ensure that this type of incident shall not recur in the future. The Commission would like to know whether the Government guidelines were being followed by the particular school, if not, then what action has been taken against the officers/officials responsible for the negligence, the NHRC statement said.
According to the media report, the students complained of vomiting and pain in their stomach after consuming the food after which they were taken to the hospital where the doctors opined that food poisoning was the reason for the illness of these students. The students were taken to hospitals on private vehicles available in the village as well as through ambulances.
Parents of affected students held protest
The parents of the affected students also held a protest against the school administration and the NGO which supplies cooked food to the school. "Around 150 students feel sick after consuming midday in a government school. They are admitted to the hospital. Doctors have discharged 50 students after primary treatment," Bagaha SDM, Dr Anupama Singh had said. "We have initiated an inquiry into the incident. If the guilt is proven against the NGO, we will blacklist it and take action against its officials," she further added.
(With inputs from agencies)