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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2013-07-17 16:51:21
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20 children die poisoned by "free school lunches" in Bihar



(17, July, 2013) At least 20 children have died after eating poisoned food in a state run elementary school in eastern India’s Bihar State. 27 classmates are being treated in hospitals in Chhapra and Patna, the capital city. Some are in a serious condition. The incident occurred on Tuesday in the village of Marakh and has sparked strong protests throughout the area. The children were all under 10 years of age. The school was part of the national Mid-Day Meal program that provides for the distribution of free food in state institutions to encourage school attendance. The doctors treating surviving children speak of food poisoning. According to Abhijit Sinha, an official of the local administration, chemicals were traced in meals distributed for the Mid-Day Meal, perhaps insecticides in the vegetables or rice. Nitish Kumar, Bihar chief minister, has sent a team of experts to the school for a thorough investigation.
Bihar is one of the poorest and most populous states in India. Introduced for the first time in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in 1925, the Mid-Day Meal is a program which annually helps 120 million children in over a (1.2 )million schools across the country.
Source: Asianews




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