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Mid-day meal made 3000 children sick in 3 years
Published on 14 Jul. 2009 12:55 AM IST
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Over 3,200 children fell sick in the last three years after eating midday meals, a scheme to curb the dropout rate in government schools across the country, parliament was told Monday. "The number of children falling ill during the last three years - 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 - is reported to be 3,273 in the whole country," Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari told the Lok Sabha. Of the total students who fell ill, 121 were from Maharashtra and 207 were from Jharkhand. However, the minister said that "no confirmed case of death" was reported. The minister said that the central government has been urging states to cook these meals in a hygienic environment, keep the dry materials in safe places and train the cooks. "Besides, states have also been urged to involve the parents and community members to supervise the cooking and serving of mid-day meals. It is provided in the guidelines that the food prepared is tasted by 2 to 3 adults including a a teacher before it is served to children," the minister explained. She said whenever a case of negligence crops up, her ministry directs the state government to investigate and take appropriate action.

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