In yet another indictment of the poor facilities provided to schools asked to serve mid-day meals, fifty-five school children have fallen ill after a dead snake turned up in their food.
The incident occurred in West Bengal's Birbhum district at the Integrated Child Development Scheme centre at Rampurhat. Rampurhat SDO A Sengupta assessed the situation and said, "The snake came into notice when served on a plate along with a portion of rice and gruel."
The cook named Maya says he left after preparing the food and added that she had complained often about the presence of snakes, insects and worms in the kitchen to Integrated Child Development Scheme officials. She said they paid no heed to her requests. But officials say Maya never complained and have promised to look into the matter.
Doctors who examined the sick children revealed that they did not suffer from food poisoning and only revulsion had made them nauseous.