Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Death of innocent children
The tragic death of 21 children after taking mid-day meal at a government primary school in Saran district of Bihar due to food poisoning is not the first incident of its kind in the country. Mid-day meal is a centrally sponsored programme to ensure the attendance of poor students in primary government schools all over the nation. It is carried out by state government. Administrative responsibility to ensure that the programme is smoothly and successfully run rests with the state governments. It is not only in the Bihar primary government school that this tragic incident of the death of innocent students has taken place due to food poisoning after taking mid-day meal for the first time. Before this tragic incident, several other government schools in different states have experienced the same incident of this tragic nature. Frogs, lizards and several other poisonous insects and pesticides have been found in the mid-day meals meant for primary school children. The use of sub-standard food grains and callous and criminal negligence of the officials and teachers involved with the distribution of mid-day meals in schools are also responsible for this type of tragic incident. The tragic Saran incident of Bihar must serve as an eye-opener for the government to ensure the distribution of pure, eatable and tasteful mid-day meals are served to the students in schools. And there must not be recurrence of tragic incident of this nature due to the criminal negligence of the officials and teachers entrusted to run this programme.The school teachers must be made responsible to ensure the healthy, vitaminus and free of all impurities mid-day meals are served to the students in schools. Teachers are the first guardians of the students during school hours. So, they must be held responsible for this tragic incident. Did they taste the food before being served to the students under mid-day meal programme in their school? If they had done so, the 21 bright futures of the nation would not have perished. Though the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has made announcement about compensation of Rs. two lakh rupees to the families of the deceased, there must be thorough and speedy probe to find out whose criminal negligence has caused the death of 21 school children and deterrent punishment must be awarded to them. It is the tradition among every political party all over the nation that every incident is seen through political angles and tries its best to score political points over the rivals, caring little for the loss of lives even in the tragic incidents. Blame game starts by the opposition against the ruling parties the moment any incident takes place. There is no doubt that there have been lapses by the Nitish Kumar government due to which 21 primary government school students died after taking mid-day meal. But this is not the time to blame but do all possible help to minimize the loss of lives and pain inflicted on the family of the deceased.