Heightened security at Bodh Gaya temple hits mid-day meals of kids in nearby school

After the Indian Mujahideen triggered a series of blasts at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya in July 2013, security measures around it have been strengthened. So much so that whenever VIPs visit this world-famous Buddhist pilgrimage site, children in a nearby school suffer the most.
By Ruchir Kumar | Hindustan Times, Bodh Gaya
UPDATED ON DEC 16, 2013 03:52 PM IST

Security and traffic restrictions imposed whenever VIPs visit Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya in Bihar occasionally force the children in a nearby school to go hungry.

After the Indian Mujahideen triggered a series of blasts at the temple in July this year, security measures around this world-famous Buddhist pilgrimage site have been strengthened. Five people were killed in the blasts.

The school, in Mastipur, half a kilometre from the temple, has 99 students aged between six and 12, belonging to the poorest of the Dalit families. The meals, which encourage the poor families to send their wards to school, have become the casualty of the heightened security.

At times, traffic restrictions do not allow commercial vehicles, including pick-up vans carrying cooked mid-day meals, beyond the traffic barrier a kilometer from the temple. This happens especially during VIP visits to the temple or in the event of security alerts.

On December 2, the children were not given the meal. The same day Bihar assembly speaker Uday Narayan Choudhury was to inaugurate the International Tipitaka Chanting Ceremony.

In the wake of the largest post-blast international congregation of Theravada Buddhists, attended by 3000-odd monks, security bandobast was unusually tight.

Later in the evening, ambassador of France in India Francois Richier was also temple bound.

In fact, the schoolchildren did not get meals even on July 8, a day after the blasts, when security had been tightened. Again on July 10, they went hungry when Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde visited the blast sites along with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Ambika Soni.

School principal Kaushalendra Prasad said, “Sixty of our children, who attended school on December 2, did not get mid-day meal, as it was not supplied.”

The Ekta Shakti Foundation, a Delhi-based NGO, is responsible for the supply of cooked mid-day meals to children in 162 schools of Gaya. Given the proximity of the Mastipur school to the Mahabodhi temple, it is always challenging for the NGO to convince the dodgy cops for a smooth passage to the school during a VIP visit to the temple.

Chief coordinator Sanjay Gupta Parmendra Prasad partially blamed the cops.

“Our vehicle, carrying cooked meal, was not allowed to pass through the traffic barrier on December 2. At times, I have to reason out with cops and even make them speak to the school principal on my mobile phone (the principal testifies to this), leading to delay. Even traffic snarl-ups add to our worries,” said Prasad.

Deputy collector and district in-charge for mid-day meals Mohammad Shafique said the NGO has not informed the administration about the problem.

“If this is the case, we will issue special and priority vehicle passes for their vans, but the NGO first needs to inform us in writing,” Shafique said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Parliament in September 2020 approved an Ordinance promulgated in June to improve revenue from the mining sector and the Centre now wants states to carry out these changes too.(REUTERS)
Parliament in September 2020 approved an Ordinance promulgated in June to improve revenue from the mining sector and the Centre now wants states to carry out these changes too.(REUTERS)

Govt plan to take over mine auctions faces opposition from a few states

By Chetan Chauhan, Gerard de Souza, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, Goa
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:21 AM IST
  • The changes have been opposed by some states who see it as another attempt by the Centre to take over mining auctions and impose central rules on a state domain.
Close
India must rapidly build and nurture grassroots-based habitat monitoring and governance.(Representational Photo/HT File)
India must rapidly build and nurture grassroots-based habitat monitoring and governance.(Representational Photo/HT File)

India must strive to catch the ecological bus

By Bharati Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:16 AM IST
  • A re-invigorated biodiversity management policy is India’s survival strategy. At this point in our development trajectory, we don’t pay any heed to either biodiversity or landscape conservation.
Close
Satellite image of NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System of forest fires.(Courtesy- NASA)
Satellite image of NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System of forest fires.(Courtesy- NASA)

Early summer, lack of rain spark fires

By Jayashree Nandi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:10 AM IST
  • According to Forest Survey of India’s forest fire alert system, there were 2,317 fire points last year between February 26 and March 7, but the figure rose to 53,211 this time after data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) was taken into account.
Close
Selvi at the age of 32 rappelled down blindfolded from a 155 feet high rock mountain in a Tamil Nadu village(Representative Image )
Selvi at the age of 32 rappelled down blindfolded from a 155 feet high rock mountain in a Tamil Nadu village(Representative Image )

Woman, 32, mother of two rappels down 155-feet mountain blindfolded in 58 sec

ANI, Kancheepuram
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:54 PM IST
The record was entered in the UNICO Book of World Records and was certified by an official adjudicator R. Sivaraman.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

24-yr-old man gets death for rape, murder of 5-yr-old boy

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:10 PM IST
Rudrapur A 24-year-old man has been awarded death penalty for sodomising and murdering a 5-year-old boy in Uttarakhand’s US Nagar district in 2019
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Every breach of promise to marry doesn’t mean rape: SC

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:10 PM IST
New Delhi A charge of rape is not applicable in every case where a man does not marry his girlfriend after a promise, the Supreme Court has held
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Rights and wrongs of the LAC conflict clear: China

By Sutirtho Patranobis
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:09 PM IST
Beijing China said on Sunday that New Delhi and Beijing should not undercut or be suspicious of each other, but added that the rights and wrongs of what happened at the Line of Actual Control last year were clear, appearing to again put the blame on India for the worst military standoff between the two countries in decades
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Women are not pleading, they’re leading: Smriti Irani

By Vinod Sharma
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:57 PM IST
New Delhi: On the eve of the International Women’s Day, union minister for women and child development Smriti Irani spoke to HT on the challenges and opportunities the women have in the country, her role as a minister and the BJP’s battle axe against the Congress
Close
"The state government is taking a series of measures to take women on the path of development and progress," K Chandrasekhar Rao said. (HT File photo)
"The state government is taking a series of measures to take women on the path of development and progress," K Chandrasekhar Rao said. (HT File photo)

Telangana government declares holiday for women employees on Women's Day

ANI, Hyderabad, Telangana
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:55 PM IST
"Women are competing with men in all the fields and are excelling. Women, who constitute 50 per cent of the population, would do wonders if they were given a chance," Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said.
Close
Mohammed Muthu Meeran Maraickayar died on Sunday(ANI Photo )
Mohammed Muthu Meeran Maraickayar died on Sunday(ANI Photo )

APJ Abdul Kalam's brother Mohammed Muthu Meeran passes way at 104

PTI, Rameswaram
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:48 PM IST
Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam conveyed condolences over Mohammed Muthu Meeran's demise.
Close
Indian Air Force (IAF) wing commander Shaliza Dhami(ANI Photo )
Indian Air Force (IAF) wing commander Shaliza Dhami(ANI Photo )

Aircraft doesn't know if man or woman officer is flying it: IAF’s Shaliza Dhami

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:35 PM IST
During the Budget Session in Parliament last month, the government informed that the headcount of women in the military has increased almost three-fold over the last six years.
Close
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait addresses during the ongoing farmer protest against the new farm laws, in New Delhi on Sunday.(ANI Photo)
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait addresses during the ongoing farmer protest against the new farm laws, in New Delhi on Sunday.(ANI Photo)

Will hold meeting with Kolkata farmers on March 13: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:22 PM IST
When asked about the stalemate between farmers and the Centre even after more than 100 days, Tikait said that the government, sooner or later, will have to pay heed to farmers' issues.
Close
"They are not at all a challenge (to the party leadership. They have said their leaders are Sonia and Rahul Gandhi," Singh said referring to the G-23.(HT file photo)
"They are not at all a challenge (to the party leadership. They have said their leaders are Sonia and Rahul Gandhi," Singh said referring to the G-23.(HT file photo)

No leadership challenge from G-32 leaders, says Digvijaya Singh

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:52 PM IST
These leaders, also being called G-23, had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi seeking dissolution of power to state units, revamp of the CWC etc, and had recently held a meet in Jammu.
Close
Harsh Vardhan said people should trust the science behind vaccines.(PTI)
Harsh Vardhan said people should trust the science behind vaccines.(PTI)

News updates from HT: Harsh Vardhan says India is in 'pandemic endgame'

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:06 PM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Girish Chodankar further claimed that after the new notification, children of OCIs will not be able to study in India at par with other Indian citizens.(Image via Twitter)
Girish Chodankar further claimed that after the new notification, children of OCIs will not be able to study in India at par with other Indian citizens.(Image via Twitter)

Goa Cong says Centre's new OCI notification will 'finish Goans working abroad'

ANI, Panjim
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:03 PM IST
Girish Chodankar further claimed that non-resident Goans abroad will now not be able to send money to their families in India without having to go through the hardships of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regulations.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP