Patna, August 2: The tragedy of the Bihar mid-day meal scheme where 23 children died after consuming food is still making the headlines. And now there is another shocker to shake children out of their fairy tale stories.
About 50 children were taken ill on Friday after drinking water from a hand-pump at a school in Bihar's Sitamarhi district, officials said. This incident took place at the government middle school in Runnisaidpur of Sitamarhi, a district police officer said.
The affected children were first admitted to a primary health centre (PHC) in Runnisaidpur. But later, over a dozen became critically ill and were shifted to the district hospital for treatment.
The children complained of stomachache and started vomiting after drinking the water.
"It appears to be the handiwork of some anti-social elements as the hand-pump might have been poisoned," education department officials said.
After the news spread, hundreds of villagers thronged the PHC where the children had been admitted.
Expressing concern over the incidents, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, "I am really worried as after the contaminated mid-day meal tragedy, now reports of poison in hand-pumps at schools are coming in from various places."
The chief minister added that state Director General of Police Abhayanand had been directed to initiate a probe into the incidents.
As many as 23 children lost their lives July 16 after consuming contaminated mid-day meal at the government primary school in Dahrmasati Gandawan village at Mashrakh block of Saran district, 60 km from Patna.
The mid-day meal scheme is running in 72,000 schools across the state with 1.60 crore students availing hot, freshly cooked meals.
But as far as the children are concerned, they are living with nightmares of falling sick after having food and water now!
With inputs from IANS.