Students eat berries, 22 take ill

Students eat berries, 22 take ill

One said to be critical; second such incident in Bagepalli taluk in six months

Students eat berries, 22 take ill

 Students undergoing treatment at Primary Health Centre in Kannampalli of Bagepalli taluk.dh photo
A tree in front of the school was felled and students, while returning home after school hours in the evening consumed the berries of the tree. Soon they complained of uneasiness and were admitted to government hospital in the town. As many as 22 students were hospitalised and according to hospital sources, the condition of one Narendra is critical.

District in-charge minister Dr Mumtaz Ali Khan met the students undergoing treatment in the hospital on Thursday. Tahasildar T A Hanumantharaya and officers of Health and Education Department briefed  the  minister on the incident.

While the minister was gathering information from the students by conversing in Kannada, the Block Education Officer ventured to question the students in Telugu and translate for the minister. However, it didn’t go well with Dr Khan. He immediately instructed the Block Education Officer to shun his affection for the language, but the latter continued. The angry minister later warned of penalising the officer if he failed to mend his ways.

Deputy Director of Public Instruction, Block Resource Centre coordinators and other officers of the Education Department visited the hospital on Wednesday night itself.

This is not the first case of students falling prey to wild berries in the taluk. A similar incident occurred in Gulur village six months ago. More than 20 children fell ill after consuming wild berry and timely hospitalisation helped in saving lives.

Non-availability of snacks or parents not purchasing them for their wards or poverty are being pointed out to be the reasons children reaching out to wild berries.

 Moreover, parents evince poor interest in the welfare of their children in rural parts. Parents strive to meet ends by sweating out as coolies in the evening and their concern for the welfare of their wards could easily be gauged, point out Education Department officials.

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