Over 900 children fell ill after consuming mid-day meals across the country in the last three years, according to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry.
During the same period, 35 complaints from 15 states and Union Territories regarding substandard food quality were received by the ministry.
“A total number of 930 children were reported ill and none of them died after eating such food in the country during the last three years and current year. The overall responsibility for providing cooked and nutritious mid-day meal to eligible children lies with state governments,” The Indian Express quoted a senior HRD Ministry official, as saying.
“As per the reports received, action such as issuing warning against the official responsible, terminating the contract of concerned NGOs and organisations, initiating criminal proceedings and imposing penalties against the defaulting persons,” the official said.
“The guidelines also provide instructions to schools to procure AGMARK quality and branded items for preparation of mid-day meals, tasting of meals by 2-3 adult members of school management committees, including at least one teacher before serving to children,” the official added.