Foodgrains supplied to aashram shalas (residential schools) are unfit for human consumption. They are infected with insects, larvae and rat extracts.
This was revealed by Additional Solicitor General Darius Khambata while submitting an inquiry report by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a sealed cover to the Bombay High Court on Monday.
The sorry state of affairs at residential schools came under the high court scanner after social activist Suresh Shinda wrote to the Chief Justice on December 12, 2007.
The letter said that in 2006-07 five tribal children had died at a Dahanu residential school because they did not get proper medical treatment.
The high court had taken cognisance of the poor quality of food in the state’s residential schools during subsequent hearings.
The division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar has directed the state government to take action against the officers responsible for providing infected foodgrains to the schools.
The high court also asked the government to frame a scheme to ensure that quality food is procured and channelised to residential schools.
“Do you realise that you [the state government] are infecting them [children] for life? They won’t die immediately. The system gets used to infected food and it slowly affects them,” said the Chief Justice.
The high court also directed the National Cooperative Consumer’s Federation, to take action against its officers for procuring foodgrains without following the system.
Additional Government Pleader Jyoti Pawar told the Bombay High Court that since July they have been providing better quality of food to the schools.
Khambata also said that the CBI has registered a case against “certain persons” for providing low quality foodgrains and would soon file a charge sheet.