Education minister Vinod Tawde announced on Monday that the education commissioner would conduct an inquiry into an incident of food poisoning from a mid-day meal at a zilla parishad school in Palghar district's Kasa Budruk (Taluka Vikrammgad) on February 25. Iskcon Food Relief Foundation had provided the mid-day meal.
He was responding to a call-attention motion moved by leader of the opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Sardar Tara Singh, Amin Patel, Varsha Gaikwad, Sharad Sonawane, Abu Azmi, Praniti Shinde, Medha Kulkarni, Tryambak Bhise, Amit Deshmukh and Rupesh Mhatre. The members had pointed out that 250-300 students suffered from food poisoning after the mid-day meal concerned. They questioned the government on the measures taken to combat repeated incidents of food poisoning in Palghar district.
The members pointed out that 25 students from the same school had suffered food poisoning earlier, on August 4, 2015.
Tawde said that there are 2,424 schools in Palghar district that are eligible for the mid-day meal scheme and Iskcon foundation had been entrusted the responsibility to provide cooked food to 1,012 such schools. He added that 1,02,390 students are availing the benefits of this scheme.
Tawde also said that on February 25, of the 318 students in the school where the food poisoning incident took place, 254 were given the meal. He said that the students suffered from vomiting and fainting, after which 108 of them were admitted to hospital and released in a day.
The education minister added that in 2014, 33 students from the same school had suffered from food poisoning and Iskcon was fined Rs10,000 for it at the time.