Paswan demands Nitish scalp; NGO for 'organic' meals

Paswan demands Nitish scalp; NGO for 'organic' meals

The furore over deaths of children who fell victims to mid-day meal in Bihar continued on Thursday, with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar facing criticism for the incident from his adversaries and non-government organisations.

Holding the chief minister responsible for the deaths, senior Bihar leader Ramvilas Paswan demanded his resignation, while international NGO Greenpeace wanted organically grown food to be part of the mid-day meal scheme. Paswan, who is member of the Parliamentary committee on HRD, said it was the chief minister’s responsibility to oversee implementation of the scheme.

The Lok JanshaktiParty (LJP) leader also asked the Centre to ensure proper implementation of the scheme, while also demanding the compensation to the victim’s family be raised to Rs 20 lakh and job offered to one of the members.

Condoling the deaths, the Greenpeace has said midday meals should be completely organic.

“State governments should straight away ban the use of these poisonous chemicals and invest in ecological (organic) agriculture models which does not rely on chemical pesticides and can produce enough healthy food for all today and tomorrow,” said Ishteyaque Ahmad, Greenpeace India’s Sustainable Agriculture campaigner, who is based in Bihar. 

“The Mid-Day Meal scheme, which is the world's largest school feeding programme, has the potential to fight malnutrition in the country if properly managed.”

“Greenpeace demands that the Government should ensure mid-day meals to be not only hygienic but also organically grown and safe,” added Shah.

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