Dead rat found in midday meal, nine students take ill
At least nine students and a teacher of an inter college in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar were hospitalised on Tuesday after they ate a midday meal that allegedly contained a dead rat.
They complained of giddiness after seeing the rodent in the food and were taken to the district hospital for a medical examination. All of them were provided treatment and discharged, district officials said.
“Nine students and a teacher were brought to the emergency. They were given treatment and no traces of any poison were found in them,” said Dr Navneet Bansal, emergency medical officer, Muzzafarnagar.
A case has been registered in Nai Mandi police station of Muzaffarnagar against NGO Jan Kalyan Sanstha Committee which supplied the meal and principal of Janta Inter College, Dr Vinod Kumar, along with assistant teachers Sanjeev kumar and Manu Prasad, and teacher Babita.
NGO Jan Kalyan Sanstha Committee serves the midday meal in Janta Inter College. The organisation prepared the food at its designated kitchen and delivered it to the college. On Tuesday afternoon, when the food was delivered, students spotted a dead rat in the rice and lentils that were being served to them, said additional district magistrate (enforcement) Amit Singh. The NGO could not be contacted for a comment.
Singh claimed that nobody else consumed the food after the rat was found in it and college principal Vinod Kumar immediately reported the matter to the offices of the district magistrate and the district inspector of schools.
He said an order had been issued to lodge a case against the NGO and college staff who were responsible for checking the quality of food before serving it to students and teachers.
Basic education minister Satish Dwivedi ordered Muzaffarnagar authorities to blacklist Jan Kalyan Sanstha Committee. Ordering a probe into the incident, the minister asked said: “A review meeting will be called soon to find a solution on how to ensure quality mid-day meal to students. These incidents should not have happed in the first place. The guilty will not be spared.”
A senior official in the basic education department said that in the last three years there had been only 22 complaints of poor quality midday meals being distributed to students in 168,000 schools of Uttar Pradesh.