Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Maneka Gandhi has written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav seeking improvement in the quality of mid-day meals served to school children in the state.
In a letter received by the state secretariat on Wednesday, a copy of which was received by IANS, the member of parliament from Aonla in Uttar Pradesh said the meals served to children under the mid-day meal scheme were sorry affairs, with worms, lizards and insects being discovered in them.
Citing a union ministry of human resource development (HRD) report, Ms. Gandhi wrote that the health of children was at risk. The letter comes in the wake of the Bihar tragedy of July 16, in which 23 children of Saran district died after eating a poisonous meal.
Maneka Gandhi urged the chief minister to ensure that food was cooked in hygienic conditions and served to children under proper supervision.
In the last one month, the quality of the mid-day meals served in different parts of the state had come under a shroud after a lizard, insects and a tadpole were recovered at different schools.
The state government has asked principals to keep a vigil on meals served to children. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, during a surprise visit to Rain village in Rae Bareli district on Wednesday was confronted by students at a primary school who complained of the poor quality of food.
Mr. Yadav tasted the food and transferred a basic education official.
Basic Education Minister Ram Govind Chaudhary has issued an advisory to all school principals and district education officials to ensure that food served to school children was nutritious and hygienically cooked.