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Ankita & Antra Vijay, Hindustan Times
Patna, July 19, 2013
A day after the Saran mid-day meal tragedy, thousands of children across the state dumped school meals in garbage bins. Others refused to even touch the food. And despite the state government’s orders, even teachers balked at acting as food tasters. In many schools, meals were not distributed by the agencies on Thursday. Almost everyone brought their own lunch.

“We are trying to convince everyone that the tragedy will not be repeated,” said Lakshmanan, director of the mid-day meal scheme in Bihar.

But the authorities’ efforts were in vain. Reports from districts, including Madhubani and Ground Zero Saran, said school meals went untouched.

Things were no better at the state capital. At Patna’s Sheikhpura primary school, even the headmaster refused to eat the school meal, citing doctors’ orders.

At Patna’s Adalatganj School, children brought their own lunch boxes. “The children in fact, had stopped eating on Wednesday, after the news of the Saran tragedy broke. Only a few touched the food, that too after the principal himself ate it,” said Ramapati, a teacher. “The agency engaged to supply cooked meals has stopped supplying food from today.”