12 students fall ill after midday meal

Twelve students were hospitalised in Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital in east Delhi after they complained of stomach ache following their midday meal in school on Thursday.  

The girls, between the age group of 7-14, are students of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in Partpargunj. All the students were discharged by evening.

“The patients were in stable condition when discharged. While 10 girls were admitted to the paediatric ward, two were admitted in the adult ward as they were above 12 years.
The children suffered from food poisoning after their midday meals,” said the head of the paediatric unit at Lal Bahadur Shastri (LBS), requesting anonymity.  
The midday meals were provided to the school by Dr. Bheem Rao Ambedkar Dalit Utthan Evom Shiksha Samit. The same trust had supplied food to two other schools.

However, no complaints were received from the other schools.

The children were served rajma and puri for lunch. “Children complained that they saw insects in the rajma,” said the doctor.  

According to Dr Harish Mansukhania, deputy medical superintendent, “At 1.50 pm, we received 12 children at our hospital who complained of stomach ache. They were diagnosed with food poisoning.” 

The matter was immediately brought to the notice of Deputy Director of Education (East) Dr Saroj Bala Sain.

Two principals of near-by schools rushed to the spot and admitted the children to LBS.

A team of officials from the mid-day meal (MDM) branch headquarters reached the school to lift food samples for examination.

Meanwhile, the city Congress unit president Arvinder Singh has appealed to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to hold a high-level probe into the incident.

Singh said it was not the first time that children had fallen sick after eating their midday meals.

“The role of the BJP leaders in the midday meal scheme should be probed,” he said.

Congress Legislature Party leader Haroon Yusuf demanded that the guilty be arrested. Party leaders requested the LG that contractors supplying midday meals to municipal corporation schools be re-evaluated and the guilty black-listed. 

AAP leader Manish Sisodia visited the sick children at the hospital.

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