At least 90 students fell sick due to suspected food poisoning after consuming the mid-day meal (MDM) served by NGO Akshay Patra at three government schools in Juggaur village of Chinhat area here on Wednesday afternoon.
Students of all three schools-- two primary and one pre-secondary --started feeling uneasy after eating kadhi-rice and complained of stomach ache and vomiting. Eight ambulances were rushed to the schools in which the students were first rushed to the Juggaur Primary Health Centre and later to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for treatment.
At RML Hospital, 50 students were discharged after being given medication while the condition of six students was stated to be serious. Those admitted to the emergency ward were Sonam, Dilshan, Pawan, Meenu and Mansi. Some students were admitted to the Juggaur PHC as well.
“At least 82 children were brought to RML Hospital for treatment,” said a doctor.
This is the second incident of students falling ill after eating the mid-day meal provided by Akshay Patra, an NGO involved in the supply of mid-day meal, in the state capital recently. On July 29, 50 students of Arya Bazar Madhyamik Vidyalaya in Topekhana Bazar area fell ill after consuming the milk served to them as part of the mid-day meal.
Food samples have been collected and the food safety department has also been asked to collect the samples from the Akshay Patra kitchen for laboratory tests.
“It is a matter of concern as this is the second case in recent days. The students will be given the best possible treatment. We will ensure that an inquiry is conducted and action taken against those found guilty,” district magistrate Raj Shekhar said.
State health minister Ahmed Hasan and chief medical officer SNS Yadav also reached the hospital to take stock of the situation. “All the children will be given free of cost and quality treatment,” said Hasan.
According to teachers who accompanied the students to the hospital, the food was delivered to the schools at around 930AM. The teachers claimed that they served the food to students after tasting it at around 10.30pm.
On getting information about the incident, angry villagers reached the schools and started blaming teachers for the incident. Heavy police force was deployed outside RML Hospital to pacify anxious parents.
Mohd Anaf and Abhishek, both students of Class 3 said, “After eating kadhi-rice, we complained of stomach ache and vomiting and were taken to the hospital.” Both the students have been discharged from the hospital after being given medication.
“I had just started eating the meal when my classmates complained of stomach ache. Soon after, I also started feeling unwell,” said Mansi, who was admitted to the emergency ward of RML Hospital.
On getting information, a team from Akshay Patra also reached the school, but angry parents armed with sticks didn’t allow them to enter the campus. “We will visit the school again to look into the matter,” said the official spokesperson of the NGO Mahesh Babu.