Officials from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and members from the Bangalore Urban ZP Standing Committee on Education and Health met representatives of all 18 NGOs involved in supplying mid-day meals in schools across the Bangalore Urban district on Saturday.
The meeting was held in the wake of Friday’s incident, in which over 350 students of a government school took ill after eating mid-day meals. The need for NGOs to follow safety guidelines given was reiterated.
Earlier in the day, the ZP members visited the premises of a few NGOs to take stock of the procedures followed while preparing food, cleanliness and sanitation in the kitchen.
Following the mid-day meal tragedy in Bihar last year, the State government had issued a number of safety measures to be followed by school staff and NGOs while preparing food.
The measures include transporting the cooked food in closed vehicles, keeping the food in tight containers under the watch of the headmaster and the need for vehicles to carry the logo of the mid-day meal scheme. While the guidelines are not new, they have once again been highlighted following Friday’s incident.
T N Lingegowda, Assistant Director, Mid-day Meals, DPI, said, “The NGOs have assured us that they will take all measures to ensure safety and cleanliness and follow all instructions while preparing food.”
A few facilities of Adamya Chetana, one of the NGOs, were inspected in the morning, said Vedavyas Bhat, a trustee.
“It was a healthy interaction between officials and NGOs. Officials like DDPIs, BEOs and members of the ZP will visit the premises of NGOs more frequently,” Bhat said.