600 students of the Mulagapudi Zilla Parishad School in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh wrote to the District Collector, alleging that the quality of the food provided in the school as part of the mid-day meal scheme was poor.
Following the complaint, District Collector Kartikeya Mishra visited the school, and promised that necessary action would be taken to enhance the quality of food.
According to the New Indian Express, students had complained about the dirty food and rotten eggs that was being provided as on several occasions to the Education Department. Students alleged that the department paid no heed.
In the letter, students said that they were regularly served horrible food â€” sometimes undercooked, sometimes with dirt and stones â€” due to which many students were skipping their meals. They also complained that at least 25-30 students go hungry every day due to a shortage of food.
The issue came to light after the alumni visited the school to set up a water tank on the school premises. The students also allegedly drink water from a nearby borewell.
NIE quoted a student as saying â€śOfficials say a healthy diet is necessary for students to be able to do well in school, but they donâ€™t care enough to ensure that we are given good food. We are fed up. Itâ€™s high time authorities did something about this.â€ť
The report also added that there was no water in the toilets.
Speaking to TNM, District Education Officer S Abraham dismissed these allegations. He said that the school has all the necessary amenities, including running water in the toilets and water facility in school.
â€śThe mandal-level officers periodically visit the schools for inspection and they never complained of these issues,â€ť he said.
Complaining about a group of youngsters who are trying to bring disrepute to the school and the headmaster, he said, â€śThere is a personal grudge between the headmaster and a group of youth. In a bid to defame him, they are provoking the students to do these acts. These are false allegations. There are miscreants behind this motivated attack.â€ť
Responding to the allegations of poor food, Abraham said, â€śThe food that we provide may be bad sometimes, but not always.â€ť
He further said that the students had earlier never complained to the authorities about the school lacking water facilities or about the poor quality of midday meals.