Lucknow, Nov 2 (UNI) Concerned over the incidents of contaminated food being served to children under 'Mid-Day Meal' scheme, Uttar Pradesh government today ordered ban on 'Pooris' in the mid-day meal served in over one lakh government schools across the state.
The order came after a preliminary inquiry, which revealed that in most of the cases the children fell ill after consuming 'pooris' during their mid-day meals in government-run primary schools in the state.
Over 23 million children in 1.33 lakh government primary schools are covered under the daily mid-day meal scheme in the state.
UP Government had to act promptly following fresh cases, in which over two hundred children were taken ill after consumption of food yesterday in Sitapur and Pratapgarh districts. Earlier , similar cases had occurred in various places in the recent past.
We have reasons to suspect the cooking medium used for making 'pooris' was sub-standard hence the ban, Uttar Pradesh principal secretary for basic education, Rohit Nandan told UNI here.
The government had already banned use of loose oil as the cooking medium and now onwards, the children would be served 'rotis' or 'dalia' (wheat porridge).' It was a week ago, when the Chief Minister Mayawati had shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggesting changes in the entire mid-day meal exercise carried out by the central government.
UP government, in its supplementary budgetary demands in the state assembly yesterday, had earmarked Rs 436 crore as expenditure for quality food during 'Mid-Day' Scheme.