Dead earthworm found in Odisha mid-day meal

    By IANS,

    Bhubaneswar: The distribution of the mid-day meal was cancelled for a day in a Odisha school after a dead earthworm was allegedly found in a curry, an official said Saturday.

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    The worm was detected in the soya curry Friday during a routine inspection by school staff at the government primary school at Regedi in Ganjam district, about 180 km from here, before it was served to the children.

    The meal was immediately cancelled and students were given biscuits instead of the cooked meal, local administrative official Subhransu Mishra told IANS.

    Nandi Foundation, a Chennai-based NGO which supplies mid-day meals in large number of schools in the district, has been asked to submit an explanation, he added.

    “We have also submitted a report to the authorities about the incident and appropriate steps would be taken after we get a response from Nandi Foundation,” Mishra said.

    Odisha provides mid-day meals to over five million school children between the age group of six to twelve and supplementary nutrition to about two million pre-school children of ages up to six years and below.

    While mid-day meals are provided in the schools, cooked food is being provided to pre-school children in anganwadi centres (the state-run daycare centre).

    The government also provides one cooked meal a day to more than two million old, the infirm and indigent people at the anganwadi centres under emergency feeding programmes.

    The state government claimed it has made the schemes fool-proof by taking several measures in recent years while activists alleged irregularities are rampant in the implementation and more need to be done.