Students admitted in the hospital
after having mid-day meal are being treated in Malegaon
Over 100 students hospitalised for food
poisoning; Panic in Malegaon
Panic runs deep in Malegaon after more than hundred school
students September 15 complained of nausea and began vomiting
after having mid-day meal in a local school located in slum area.
They were rushed to the hospital immediately.
Malegaon: Two days after the mid-day
meal scandal which created havoc in Malegaon, most of the students
are discharged from the hospital. Rest others will follow them in
a day or two. However, poor handling across the city schools of
the government’s mid-day meal scheme introduced to improve student
attendance still poses a threat. And, there is every possibility
that the incident might repeat itself in some other school if
corrective measures are not taken immediately.
“Certainly there are schools where the management is taking utmost
care to maintain the quality of the served food. But they are just
very few. At remaining others the situation is really dangerous”,
convener of Citizens for Development & Peace (CDP) Abu Zohair said
while speaking to ummid.com.
Malegaon, besides having more than two dozens private schools, has
over 100 Urdu and Marathi medium schools. As part of the mid-day meal
scheme, every school is liable to serve food in the schools for
which the government is spending a huge amount. But allegations of
irregularities and charges of corruption are being leveled ever
since the scheme was introduced few years back.
“These are not mere allegations. In fact criminal charges of theft
and corruption were filed with the police against some schools on
more than one occasion in the past”, Abu Zohair said.
It is learnt that complaints against these schools were filed when
it was found that they sold the government supplied rice in the
market and served the food to the students prepared using poor
“Also, to prepare the food, which in most of the cases is khichdi,
contracts are given at much lower rates than what the schools are
getting from the government. Moreover, no food inspector ever
visited any school nor is there any in-house mechanism to
benchmark the quality of the food served”, Sabir Jalaluddin, a
It is also alleged that a very strong lobby from top to bottom is
involved in ‘managing to their advantages’ the huge funds released
by the government as part of Serva Shiksha Abhyan (SSA) and
mid-day meal. Few months back, a criminal case was also filed
against the local in-charge of the department responsible for
release of the funds for the mid-day meal and rice distribution.
But he has been let off reportedly because of the backing he
enjoyed from this strong lobby.
Against this backdrop it would be interesting to see what action
the district administration led by collector Mr P Velrasu takes in
the present circumstances. For, following the civil rights
movement against corruption, it is being said that a new
atmosphere of corruption-free and effective administration is
taking shape in the entire country. Only a quick and firm action
against the culprits will determine what impact this widely
speculated atmosphere has on Nashik district.