Over 1.5 crore schoolchildren in Bihar did not get the Mid-Day Meal yesterday and today, as around 300,000 teachers in the state refused to taste the food, saying they would concentrate on teaching the pupils, not monitoring the food. The teachers termed it as a non-academic work.
The crisis was attributed to the arrest of the school Principal Meena Devi after 23 kids died at her school in Chhapra soon after they took mid-day meal. The incident triggered a national outrage and generated political wargame. After being absconding for a few days, Meena Devi was finally arrested. The government claims that insecticide was mixed in the food of the schoolchildren.
The Bihar government had made it mandatory for the teachers to monitor the kitchen and taste the food before serving to the students. The Bihar Primary School Teachers’ Association president Brajnandan Sharma said that the teachers did not want to part of the mid-day meal programme, which would put their career, future and peace at stake. They just want to teach the students to groom them for the future.
The Mid-Day Meal scheme is run across 70,200 schools in Bihar. The government is in a tight spot following the boycott by the teachers. The government is monitoring the situation and may come up with a solution soon.