Mid-day meal hits 88 children, hospitalised in Canacona

BABESH BORKAR, CANACONA | 27 June 2013 18:39 IST

Girl student crying out of pain due to food poisoning

Around 88 students of Std V and VI of Mallikarjun High school in Canacona suffered from food poisoning through mid-day meal today.

Eight among these small children had to be rushed to Margao Hospicio hospital while admitting 11 of them at Canacona Primary Health Centre.

While the eight students were later discharged from Hospicio in Margao, around 40 kms from Canacona, they had to be readmitted at Canacona PHC due to stomach ache once again.

Canacona officiating Mamlatdar Ravi Shekhar Nipanikar immediately rushed to the spot and took custody of Potato Bhaji, which caused food poisoning.

The team of Food and Drugs Administration also rushed to Canacona and collected samples of the Bhaji.

The report is expected by tomorrow.

This reporter saw some rainy insects in the Bhaji (see photo) while Mamlatdar was attaching it.

Some students told goanews.com that they had alerted one of their teachers about some black objects seen in the Bhaji, but the teacher apparently neglected it.

Mallikarjun high school headmaster Melwyn Fernandes has filed a complaint at Canacona police station in this regard.

No arrest however has been made in this regard so far.

Sneha Desai, who supplies mid-day meal to several schools in Canacona through her self-help group Omkar, suspects a conspiracy behind the incident.

She told goanews.com that same Bhaji was also supplied to other schools but they had no food poisoning.

She suspects a deliberate mischief by some vested interest since a fresh tender for mid-day meal supply is due in next two months.

She also recalled a similar incident two years ago, on the eve of a fresh tender, when a frog was found in her Pulao.

South Goa Collector N D Agarwal, who also rushed to Canacona from Margao, told goanews.com that no culprit would be spared this time unlike in the past.

“Mid Day meal is a good scheme but sometimes there is negligence and such culprits have to be punished so that all the suppliers become more cautious”, he said.

Sports minister Ramesh Tawadkar, who is the local MLA, was also seen at the hospital along with hundreds of parents gathered outside the Canacona PHC and at the school premises. 

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