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NHRC Issues Notice To Bihar Govt Over Report On Schoolchildren Falling Ill After Consuming Mid-Day Meal

According to the media report dated June 2, the students complained of vomiting and stomach ache after consuming the mid-day meal and were taken to the hospital, where they were diagnosed with food poisoning. The parents of the students reportedly protested against the school authorities, the NHRC said.

Eggs for Mid-Day Meal in Hubballi
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The NHRC on Thursday said it has issued a notice to the Bihar government over reports that about 150 students of a school in West Champaran district fell ill after consuming the mid-day meal.

Apparently, there was a supervisory lapse on the part of the school authorities due to which food prepared in an unhygienic way was served to the students, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said in a statement.

"The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report that about 150 children fell ill after consuming the mid-day meal at a government middle school in the Narval-Barval area of district West Champaran, Bihar on 1st June, 2023," it said.

"The Commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, amount to the violation of the human rights of the children," it added. According to the media report dated June 2, the students complained of vomiting and stomach ache after consuming the mid-day meal and were taken to the hospital, where they were diagnosed with food poisoning. The parents of the students reportedly protested against the school authorities, the NHRC said.

"Apparently, there was a supervisory lapse on the part of the school authorities due to which food was prepared unhygienically and served to the students. Accordingly... a notice... (has been issued) to the chief secretary, Government of Bihar calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks," it said.

The report, the NHRC said, should include the steps taken or to be taken to ensure that such an incident does not recur in future. The NHRC said it would also like to know whether government guidelines were being followed by the school concerned and if not, then what action has been taken against those responsible for the "negligence".

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