Published: 29th November 2019
Mid-day meal fiasco: 1 litre milk diluted in water served to over 80 students at UP school
The employees reportedly said there was unavailability of adequate quantity of milk so they resorted to diluting it with water to cater to the requirement
The adage 'as mild as milk' seems to have been stretched for a government primary school in Uttar Pradesh, which has been accused of serving its students diluted milk under the mid-day meal scheme. Children in a government primary school in UP are being given milk — one litre of milk to over 81 children — after it was diluted with water.
Gram Panchayat ward member Dev Patia alleged that a bucket of water was added to one litre of milk and distributed among children in the primary school in Sonebhadra district's Salaibanwa area on Wednesday.
She said that as per the midday meal menu (MDM), "Tehri" (a rice dish) and milk was to be served to the children. One litre of milk was made available to the cook by the school authorities.
Then a bucket of water was added to the milk and it was distributed among the children, she added. She said that the locals have informed her that such incidents have happened in the past too in the school.
School head Shailesh Kanaujia said: "There are 171 children enrolled in the school. Eighty-one children were present on that day. I have the responsibility to look after two schools. Milk had to be arranged for both schools and I could not monitor the quantity of milk that reached government primary school in Salaibanwa. The cook was provided the milk, which was distributed among the children and they drank it."
Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) Gorakhnath Patel said: "As soon as the matter came to my knowledge, I inspected the school and sought information from the school headmaster. Such laxity will not be tolerated. A probe has been ordered into the matter. A team of Education Department officials will conduct a probe and submit a report within two days. Strict action will be taken against whosoever is found guilty in the probe."
"We were given milk in which water was mixed," said Pooja, a Class 4 student.
Block Education Officer Mukesh Rai said that he received information from locals that water was added to the milk and served to the children. He said a probe had been ordered into the incident and strict action will be taken so that such instances are never repeated in future.
Senior Congress leader, Ajay Rai, said: "Even children are not getting a midday meal properly. The government has failed even in providing a proper meal for the children. This is an irony that diluted milk was served to the children in a government school."
Under the mid-day meal scheme, the students are to be served pulses, rice, chapatis, and vegetables along with fruit and milk on certain days to ensure necessary nutrition.
In August, a government school in Mirzapur was found to be serving flat bread with salt to school children as part of the midday meal. As a video of this got viral, a few education officials were transferred while the journalist who had broken the news was sent to jail.