Over 50 students of Arya Bazaar Madhyamik Vidyalay in Topekhana Bazar area fell ill after consuming milk served to them as part of mid-day meal (MDM) on Wednesday.
NGO Akshay Patra had distributed milk in 90 schools of the district. Yasmeen, a student, said: “Soon after having milk, we felt uneasy. My stomach started aching.”
Many other students complained of vomiting and abdominal pain, following which they were taken to a nearby hospital. Angry parents gave vent to their ire by damaging vehicles outside the school and throwing containers in which the milk was brought.
District magistrate Raj Shekhar said he spoke to chief medical officer SNS Yadav and basic shiksha adhikari (BSA) Praveen Mani Tripathi and instructed them to ensure immediate and best possible treatment to the ailing students. In all, 55 students were admitted to the Cantonment Hospital for treatment.
Senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi visited the hospital and said government should take appropriate action.
“After treatment, 34 children were sent home and the remaining 21 are also out of danger. They will be discharged soon,” said the DM. He ordered collection of milk samples and asked the city magistrate to inquire into the matter and submit a report within three days.
The administration said an explanation was sought from the general manager of Parag dairy, which had supplied 12,000 pouches (200 ml each) to Akshay Patra on Wednesday morning.
The problem did not crop up for all 12,000 pouches but for a specific school which is a matter of investigation, said authorities. Pasteurized milk usually remains safe and consumable till 10 hours, if it is maintained at room temperature, said sources.
The BSA has already taken a sample of the milk supplied. “We are in touch with Akshay Patra to know what exactly happened in this matter,” said an education department official.
Akshay Patra officials said the children did not consume MDM food but only had milk after which they fell ill. From this July, it was made mandatory that children be given 200 ml milk every Wednesday, in accordance with the changes made to the mid-day meal menu by the government.
On July 15, as many as 14 students of a primary school in Lakhimpur Kheri schools fell ill after consuming milk that was distributed for the first time under the mid-day meal scheme.
On the same day, students at Queens Anglo College in Qaiserbagh had to skip their MDM after spotting worms in the kofta-rice served to them. The Chattishgarh Sewa Sansthan, an NGO, had served the meal in this governmentaided school.