In a shocking incident, Uttar Pradesh's Salai Banwa Primary School in Sonabhadra district has come under investigation on Friday, after it was found out that a bucket of water was allegedly mixed into 1 litre of milk to serve 85 students in mid-day meal. Visuals from the school show a school cook boiling a large amount of water before adding a litre of milk to it. The cook claims that she had been told by a sir to adulterate the milk.
She said, "I added one bucket with one packet of milk because a sir told so." When asked who is the sir, she said, "Jitender. He teaches here. The sir said there is one packet, no need to buy milk." On being asked how many children were there, she said, "There were 85 children."
Talking to the media, the Assistant Basic Shiksha officer claimed that the school authorities had gone to get more milk when the adulteration happened. He said that an investigation will be done into the case. He claimed that it was only this one instance where adulterated milk had been fed to the children.
"I have investigated and talked to the cook. Some are children of the staff and they are locals only. They are saying that usually, milk is available. But in this school, due to unavailability of milk packets, here milk was mixed with water to distribute among kids. I will talk to authorities and investigate into the matter. As the school teacher had gone away to get more milk, there was this only one packet which was mixed with water and fed to children in the meantime," he said.
Previously on August 23, a school in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur had caught the media's attention when it was found that students were being fed a paltry meal of rotis and salt as a part of mid-day meals. The particular school comes under the government’s Midday Meal Scheme. Over a hundred school students from class 1 to 8 in Uttar Pradesh lacked a proper meal and ultimately had to eat just Rotis and salt, as revealed by a local reporter.
After the case was exposed by the journalist who covered ‘Midday Meal Apathy’ in the municipal school, an FIR had been filed against him which led to huge uproar. The government assured that strict action will be taken against those responsible for providing poor quality food to students under the mid-day meal scheme, starting an inquiry into the school. It also constituted a permanent flying squad and formulated a system for social audits to ensure quality food is provided under the mid-day meal scheme in schools.