In a shocking incident, 100 children at a primary school in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur district, on Thursday, were handed chapatis with only salt for their lunch as part of the mid-day meal. The mid-day meal is the flagship central government scheme to provide lunch and proper nutrition to scores of children from poor families who study in government schools across India.
The children got salt instead of vegetables or pulses along with milk and fruits, they should have been given! After being intimated about it, district authorities called it "a serious lapse" and have initiated an inquiry into the incident at Siyur primary school in Hinauta village. A teacher has also been suspended. According to NDTV, in a video from the Mirzapur school, young children can be seen sitting on the floor of the school corridor, eating rotis with just some salt in their plates.
A parent told a local journalist in an interview at the school, "Things are bad here. Sometimes, they feed the children salt and rotis. Sometimes salt and rice. When milk comes here on the rare occasion, most of it is never distributed. Bananas are never distributed. It has been like this for over a year now."
Several other children at the school claimed they had not received any milk too during the meal. The cook at the school, an elderly lady, claimed that she was provided just half a kilogram of potatoes to feed all the children in the school.
Anurag Patel, the top government officer in Mirzapur, told NDTV, "I got an inquiry conducted and the incident has been found to be true. Prima facie, it is the fault of the teacher in charge of the school and the supervisor at the gram panchayat. Both have been suspended."