'Puris' have been banned with immediate effect in mid-day meals served in schools across Uttar Pradesh.
This follows a preliminary study that revealed that the bulk of the 600-odd children who fell ill in the current academic session had consumed 'puris' during their mid-day meals in government-run primary schools in the state.
"The bulk of the cases occurred after consumption of meals on Thursdays when 'puris' are served as a matter of routine. We have reasons to suspect that the cooking medium used for making 'puris' was sub-standard. As such we have banned 'puris' with immediate effect," Uttar Pradesh principal secretary for basic education Rohit Nandan told IANS.
"We had already taken measures to disallow use of loose oil as the cooking medium," he said. "In place of 'puris' children will now get 'rotis' or 'dalia' (wheat porridge)."
Nearly 23 million children are covered under the daily mid-day meal scheme in the state.
While taking note of recurrence of illness among children after consumption of mid-day meal in the Uttar Pradesh schools, Chief Minister Mayawati shot off a letter a week ago to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggesting drastic changes in the entire mid-day meal exercise carried out by the central government.