The children — students of classes 1 to 6 of Chilga upgraded middle school in Giridih’s Jamua block — were taken to the community health centre (CHC) for treatment. “The students are safe now,” said school headmaster Mahaveer Paswan.
The students had consumed khichdi at school and soon started complaining of vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain. “Some of the children were discharged after initial treatment,” said Dr BM Rai, incharge of the CHC.
With the children claiming that the meal was infected by a lizard, the state school education and literacy secretary, Aradhana Patnaik, ordered the district superintendent of education (DSE) to probe the matter.
Giridih DSE Mahboob Alam said a committee has been set up to find out if it was a case of negligence or a conspiracy.
Chilga panchayat head Habib Ansari accused the school management of preparing food in filthy environment. “The kitchen is in shambles,” he said.
This is not the first time a lizard falling in the mid-day meal has resulted in hospitalisation of children.
Over 60 children fell ill after consuming the meal at a school in Chatra district on May 23 this year. In December 2015, around 50 children from Rajendra Ashram Madhya Vidyalaya, Bundu, fell ill after a dead lizard got mixed with their food. In July 2014, around 80 children at a school in Saraikela Kharsawan fell ill due to the same reason.