Mumbai: At least 16 students and one teacher of Bhandup’s Sahyadri Vidyamandir located were admitted to Mulund’s MT Agarwal Hospital on Thursday afternoon due to suspected food poisoning. The students — 12 girls and four boys — along with one teacher were hospitalised after they complained of stomach pain and started vomitting after eating a midday meal provided by the school authorities as daily exercise.
All students who have fallen ill belong to class VIIth C-division and according to the parents present at the hospital had eaten the mid-day meal. Nilam Utekar, mother of a 12-year-old student Atharva, while speaking to the Free Press Journal, stated that her son was fine when she had sent him to school on Thursday morning. “I along with the other parents were only told of the incident when we went to school to bring our children back. they informed us that a few students had been taken to Agarwal hospital. They should have called us and informed us about the emergency,” Utekar added.
Another mother, Aditi Naik stated that her elder son, Bhushan, who is Class Xth student in the same school informed her about his brother Kirsh’s poor health, who is studying in Class VIIth. “I was shocked with the school’s approach. The parents were not told about their children’s sickness,” said Aditi, who could not stop her tears.
The school’s vice principal Mohan Khobrekar confirmed that the morning batch school — from standard 5th to 8th were given mid-day meal. Kobharekar believes that out of 10 containers of rice and daal, only one container had poor quality product and therefore, luckily, only a few students who fell ill. But the exact cause is same is yet to be ascertained he added.
The morning batch of the school has around 679 students and they are given midday meals every day. On Thursday, 629 students attended school and they were given the mid-day meal. Khobrekar added that at around 10 am in the morning the meal is provided to students. “The meal is provided by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) appointed contractor Lingeshwar Mahila Mandal. Earlier, no such case of food poisoning was reported due to mid-day meal consumption. Furthermore, school teachers first eat the food and only then is it given to the children. That’s why the school teacher also has been admitted due to same complaint,” said Khobrekar.
MT Agarwal Hospital’s Dr Usha Mohprekar in her statement given to media has said that the condition of all those admitted is stable.
On August 10, a girl student of a civic-run school in Govandi died while over 400 other students were hospitalised due to suspected poisoning after they took iron-boosting medicines given by the school.