The sense of fear and anguish among parents was still there. All 12 cans of food sent to the Government Urdu School at DJ Halli by Iskcon’s Akshaya Patra Foundation were sent back, with the children refusing to consume it, on Saturday.
Children at the Government Urdu School refused to eat the mid-day meal. As instructed by their parents, it was a unanimous “no” by them to the meals. Just about 200 students out of the 2,000 attended classes on Saturday.
Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Kimmane Ratnakar, who visited the school in the morning, said that at least Rs one crore had to be sanctioned for additional infrastructure in the school.
“The school has over 2,000 students in its primary, higher school and college sections. It needs at least 50 additional toilets, a few of which have to be for girls,” he said.
On complaints from parents and school authorities regarding dumping of garbage inside the premises, Ratnakar said that the compound wall needs to be raised to prevent this.
Zaheera Khanum, head mistress, said that seven cans of food are provided to the girls’ schools and five to the boys’ school every day. “We follow the protocol, wherein teachers and helping staff taste the food before it is provided to the children,” she said. As destiny would have it, the food in just one of the cans (number 7) affected the children. On Friday, four teachers, the support staff and the watch man had consumed the same food. However, it was from a different can.
Over 25 children who were discharged from Ambedkar Medical College Hospital on Friday, after being treated for food poisoning, were re-admitted on Saturday, following recurrence of symptoms. Dr Krishna Rao, medical superintendent of the hospital, said that these children were rushed to the hospital at 12 noon.
“These children complained of stomachache and uneasiness. All the children are stable and have been discharged,” Rao said. The parent of a class five student who was affected has lodged a complaint with the DJ Halli police.
Vinay, Managing Director, Operations, Iskcon, told Deccan Herald that they would reassure the students about the quality of the food.
“Even today, our staff consumed the same food that was served to the children. From Monday, we will also have discussions with children and parents. Only the cans sent to primary school children came back today, high school students did not refuse food,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, on Saturday, said that the government will order a probe into the incident.