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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

Uttar Pradesh NGO finds ‘rat-in- mid-day-meal’ claim, fishy

As per the FIR, the rat was found in a bowl of cooked lentils on Tuesday afternoon, when several class 6 students were having their meal along with an assistant teacher Munnu Prasad, a member of school’s mid-day meal committee.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2019 23:24 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
The rat was found in a bowl of cooked lentils on Tuesday afternoon when school children were having food.
The rat was found in a bowl of cooked lentils on Tuesday afternoon when school children were having food.(HT Photo)
         

The Uttar Pradesh NGO which was booked on Tuesday night and blacklisted after a dead rat’s body was found in the mid-day meal it supplied to a Muzaffarnagar school, alleged a conspiracy to defame and disrupt its operation. The NGO’s counter-attack follows registration of an FIR against the NGO and the principal of the school, along with three of his school staff for alleged negligence.

The principal of Mustafabad Janta Inter College, Dr. Vinod Kumar, assistant teachers Sandeev Kumar and Munnu Prasad, staff Babita and the Hapur NGO Jan Kalyan Shiksha Vikas Samiti, were all named in the FIR filed by the district coordinator of mid-day meals (MDM) Vikas Kumar Tygai on Tuesday night.

As per the FIR, the rat was found in a bowl of cooked lentils on Tuesday afternoon, when several class 6 students were having their meal along with an assistant teacher Munnu Prasad, a member of the school’s mid-day meal committee. Nine students and Prasad were given primary treatment at the local hospital and discharged.

Muzaffarnagar’s basic education officer Ram Sagar Pati Tripathi said on Wednesday that the accused NGO responsible for supplying meal to the school and to 29 other schools in 5 blocks had been blacklisted.

The NGO responded to allegations and said it was being framed in a pre-planned conspiracy to take away its work.

Sanjay Kumar, the president of Jan Kalyan Shiksha Vikas Samiti, told HT over the phone that it had been supplying food to 26 schools since January 5, 2019, and not one had ever complained.

“For some unknown reasons the school principal Dr. Vinod Kumar was not very keen to take mid-day meal from our NGO,” Kumar said.

He claimed the mid-day meal is cooked at “250-300 degree Celsius temperature” and there was no question of a dead rat’s body remaining intact in the meal. Kumar also wanted to know why the meal was served at 10 am instead of the “usual” 12 noon.

The NGO chief claimed the entire episode was planned to give them a bad name as media had reached the school before government officials after the incident. “We believe that it was all done to malign the NGO,” Kumar said.