Lizard found in students’ lunch in Madhya Pradesh

June 18th, 2009 - 4:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, June 18 (IANS) Another case of negligence in preparing the midday meal for students has surfaced in Madhya Pradesh, with a lizard found in the lunch served to students in an Indore city school, officials said.
The lizard was found Wednesday in the meal prepared for the students of the Government Hindi Primary School-27 in Indore.

“This is not the first case where poor quality food has been supplied. In the past, cockroaches have been found in the meal served by the Nandi Foundation, but complaints against it have failed to yield any results,” principal Badrilal Rathore said.

Ravindra Jatav, a former student of the school and vice-president of the Shikshak Palak Sangh, cited the Nandi Foundation officials as maintaining that since the food is prepared at a high temperature “any creature cannot survive in it”, and even if it is present, “it becomes harmless”.

The school has a total of 60 students studying from standard I to V, but only around 15 children come during the summer break for partaking midday meal served by the Hyderabad-based NGO Nandi Foundation in all urban areas of the state.

The school help Kamla Bai was the first to spot the lizard in the food, and immediately informed principal Badrilal Rathore, who stopped the food being served to students and informed the NGO.

The Nandi Foundation was given the task of supplying the midday meals to around 60,000 students at 348 primary schools and 184 middle schools of the state. But ever since its implementation, the scheme has been in the limelight more for the poor quality meals being provided to the students and instances of lizards, cockroaches and frogs being found in the served food.

A few weeks ago, a piece of angle-iron was found in the meal being served at the Government Obaidia High School. On May 28, a frog was found in the meal being served to students of the Sarojini Naidu Higher Secondary School in the state capital. The lizard in food is the third such incidence in recent days.

“I am on leave but have received information about a lizard being found in the food. During inspections too, it has several times come to light that the menu prescribed for food by the state government is not being followed,” said S.B. Singh, the joint director for school education (Indore-Ujjain division).

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