Madhya Pradesh has suspended officials in Chhatarpur after children of a government-run school were served inferior quality mid-day meal. The students were also found studying in the open, with no proper water facilities forcing them to drink canal water from a trench.
Archana Chitnis, the state's Minister of Women and Child Development, told ANI, "I spoke to Chhatarpur collector. People responsible for this irregularity have been removed. A team has been formed to keep vigilance in all districts."
Complaints to authorities about the poor infrastructure at the school in Chhatarpur's Surajpura allegedly went unnoticed.
On reaching the site and asking the students and school administration, ANI found young children drinking dirty water from a nearby trench, and eating out in the open.
The children in the impoverished region were recently allegedly served salt and chapatti as their mid-day meal. Some students informed that they are usually given dal-chapatti and seldom get to eat vegetables.
One of the students said, "We have been drinking water from the trench for four years, there is no provision of a toilet as well."
However, District Magistrate Ramesh Bhandari, while ensuring action for bad quality mid-day meal, had denied that the school lacked drinking water facility.
"I sent an inquiry team there. They found irregularities in mid-day meal. We will take actions. There is no problem of water. Children drink water from a tube well sanctioned in the school premises," Bhandari told ANI.