The mid-day meal scheme, a flagship plan introduced by the government to improve nutritional status of school-age children across the country has seen many unfortunate incidents in the past. In the latest such case, Khursheed, a 12-year-old girl studying in Class 5 at Rajkiya Prathmik Vidyalaya in Araria Gokhlapur, was allegedly hit for asking for an extra helping of 'khichdi'.
According to The Media Agency report, Khursheed was ill-treated by the teachers and the cook in her school. The girl came back home crying and complained to her father, Mohammad Shagir. He rushed to the school to lodge protest and was allegedly beaten up. They kicked Shagir between his legs that left him unconscious. Later in the day, he died.
A complaint has been filed with the police against three teachers and the cook of the school who were allegedly responsible for the incident. According to reports, the perpetrators have been absconding. The school has been closed since the mishap took place.
According to the girl's family, this was not the first time they faced such behaviour. A similarly violent incident had occurred six months ago when the girl's brother had put forth a similar demand for some more food. The Class 2 student was allegedly pushed off the school's terrace, leaving him with a fractured leg. Since then, he dreads going to school.
The mid-day meal has been under much public criticism since the tragic Chapra event in 2013 in which more 23 children died after eating poisonous food served under the mid-day meal programme. The issue is sure to resonate till Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's office.