Government ignored report on mid-day meal safety steps
Published: 05th October 2013 09:31 AM
Last Updated: 05th October 2013 09:31 AM
The death of two children who fell into hot sambar during the preparation of the mid-day meal for school students could have been prevented, if officials had followed recommendations made in 2010.
The department recently issued a circular about safety measures to be followed while serving the mid-day meal. The same recommendations were given by the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights two years ago.
In October 2010, the then chairperson of the commission had issued a notice to the mid-day meal officials, along with recommendations. This was because a seven-year-old boy had died after falling into a sambar vessel in Bijapur.
A copy of the notice and recommendations issued in 2010 is available with Express. The notice states, “Schools should ensure that discipline is maintained and safety norms are followed during the distribution of the mid-day meal. Teachers should be assigned responsibilities to ensure safety of children. Keeping a cauldron of hot food in close proximity of small children can prove disastrous as has happened in the instant case. The school has a duty to ensure the safety of children.”
Mid-day meal officials issued a circular after the second death in September at a school in Chikballapur district. Jai Kumar, state in-charge officer of mid-day meal, said, “We issue a circular every year when schools reopen. At that time, we consider such recommendations and we are not negligent.”