Bloodthirsty mid-day meal tragedy, reversed, in Odisha

Well, it seems that the mid-day meal has finally clambered under the keen eye of the public scanner. The Government scheme of mid-day meals is actually proving dicey. This time it was the afternoon food of the children studying at the Regedi Primary School at Hinjili that had a lizard in it!!

The lizard in mid day meal

Nobody knew the fate, that could have befallen, the 120 students who studied at the Regedi Primary School at Hinjili in Odisha, in case they had consumed the “lizard laden mid day meal”, on Saturday! Timely intervention played a heavenly role this time.A dead lizard was spotted in the afternoon snack of these children studying at a a school in Berhampur district in Odisha, and the meal was immediately removed. As a food supplement, the 120 students of the primary school were distributed biscuits to tame their hunger.

Block Development Officer (BDO) Subhransu Mishra was quoted by the reports as saying “the meal was not served after the lizard was detected at the Regedi Primary School at Hinjili and over 120 students were given biscuits instead”.

A district official, Bijay Kumar Das gave the details of the agency in charge of the mid-day meal preparation and he said: “A lizard was found in the food that was to be served in the mid day meal. A body called Nandi foundation prepares the mid-day meal in this region and it is distributed in Chatarpur, Hinjili and Berhampur town.

Tragedy reversed

It’s a sheer surprise that the mid-day meal of these young children got infested by the lizard as Bijay Kumar insisted “We send two officers there every day to check the preparation of the meal and its transportation. I have received a report that the check was conducted too and there was no problem. After transportation we don’t know how the lizard was found in the food.”

Now that is a surprise shock! If so much care is being exercised while handling and preparing the food then how did this incident take place? Wasn’t it providence that stepped in to protect these young kids? Absolutely, it was a sheer stroke of luck that the dead lizard was recovered!

Remember earlier this month, on the July 16, nearly 23 children succumbed to a pre-mature death in Chhapra district, Bihar, when they ate food that was infested with pesticide. There are many others who are at the present under medical supervision at the Patna Medical College and Hospital.

There has to be some question raised regarding the mismanagement of the food and the hygiene issues while handling the food stuffs, else why would the mid-day meal programme face such severe criticism?