Though the district level Republic Day celebrations on Thursday had a very few spectators, street food vendors in the area got good business as hungry kids flocked to the only option they had.
School students, who had been present at the venue since early morning for the cultural performances, were not given any refreshment till noon. Ironically, though the top district officials and representatives of the health department were present at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium, there were no checks on the sale of unhealthy food to the kids.
Moreover, teachers expressed their helplessness stating that they had no option amid inadequate arrangements.
Most participants had been asked to report at the venue by 8am. While were private school students were seen sitting on floor mats, most government school students had to manage with a spot on the floor in the cold, without any sweaters.
"We had asked students to reach by 8am. They have been practicing tirelessly but no one bothered to serve any refreshments. Now, at 11.30am, these street food vendors are the only option we have," said a teacher at a government school.
Every year, a large number of residents fall prey to diarrhoea due to consumption of unhygienic food. In December last year, nearly 100 patients were admitted in city hospitals with such complaints.
Despite repeated attempts, deputy commissioner PC Meena was not available to comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, to the surprise of many officials, nearly 45 supporters of Anna Hazare from various age groups also held a march past at the venue before the chief guest arrived.