NHRC notices UP govt, Lucknow authorities over children falling sick after consuming mid-day meal

The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh Secretary, Primary Education Department, District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police, Lucknow calling for reports within two weeks over reports of children falling ill after consuming mid-day meal.

According to an NHRC statement here today, they had taken suo motu cognisance of a media report that in Primary Schools at Juggaur-1, Juggaur-2 and Pre-Middle School, Juggaur, Chinhat, Lucknow, 82 children fell ill after consuming kadi-chawal served to them as mid-day meal on September 2.

Reportedly, after consuming the meal, the children complained of stomach ache and vomiting. They were initially taken to local health centre and, thereafter, admitted in Lohia Hospital. The Commission has observed that the contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights.

According to the media report, when the children complained about some foul smell in the food to the teacher they were asked to keep mum and finish their meal, which was supplied by an organisation - ‘Akshay Patra’. Earlier on the July 29, at least 80 students had fallen sick after consuming milk in another school in Lucknow.

The Commission has also asked the authorities to report the aspect of the guidelines issued and the mechanism in place for checking the quality of mid-day meal before it is served to the children in Government schools in the state. Action taken for negligence against the erring officials as well as the teacher who forced the children to consume the meal ignoring their complaints has also been sought from them.

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