Bihar Government to introduce Toll Free Number for Mid Day Meal
Bihar Government will issue a Toll free number for all complaints related to Mid Day Meal. The number has not yet been announced, but sources say that it would be operative from September 15.
The Toll free numbers would enable students, and their parents to make any complaint regarding the quality, quantity or the items provided in the mid day meal.
The Government also plans to print the numbers on the walls of all schools, where mid day meal scheme is operative.
Several other steps have been taken to ensure that no tragedy occurs in future. The Raw grain samples would be kept for three months at Godowns from where items for Mid Day Meal is supplied. The Sealed Samples shall be lept at three different locations.
On 16 July 2013, at least 23 students died and dozens more fell ill at a primary school in the village of Dharmashati Gandaman at Mashrakh in Saran district after eating a Midday Meal contaminated with pesticide.
According to Mashrakh residents, students have suffered from food poisoning after eating school lunches on multiple occasions.
Initial indications were that the food was contaminated by an organophosphate, a class of chemicals commonly found in insecticides.
A local government administrator commented “It appears to be a case of poisoning but we will have to wait for forensic reports … Had it been a case of natural food poisoning, so many children would not have died.”
Dr. Amar Kant Jha, superintendent of Patna Medical College and Hospital in Patna, said that the survivors were emitting toxic vapours, which led his team to suspect almost immediately that they had been poisoned by an organophosphate