There's need to monitor mid-day meals, says rights panel

Last Updated: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 10:10 hrs

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Wednesday called for closer monitoring of the mid-day meal scheme while expressing shock over the death of 21 children after consuming poisoned meal at a school in Bihar.

"It is deeply shocking that the mid-day meal scheme is taking children's life. The government needs to closely monitor the scheme through regular inspections in schools," NCPCR chairperson Kushal Singh told IANS.

At least 21 children died while 10 more are battling for their lives after eating mid-day meal at the Dharamsati primary school in Masrakh in Bihar's Saran district Tuesday.

In the past, dead lizards, frogs and insects were found in food served at various schools, angering students and parents.

"We have been taking up the issue with various state governments as there have been incidents where children have fallen ill after eating their meals in schools," Kushal Singh said.

She added that not only the people who cook the meals but also the agency supervising the entire process needs to be held accountable for such incidents.

"The school management committee which needs to monitor and supervise the meal is not present in most of the schools. Proper inspection is required. In many places the inspections are done occasionally but it should be done on daily basis," she added.

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