Indian to review free meal for schoolchildren

Updated: 2013-07-19 15:54


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Indian to review free meal for schoolchildren

A sick boy lies on his mother's lap inside a hospital after he consumed contaminated meals given to children at a school on Tuesday, in the eastern Indian city of Patna July 18, 2013. The Indian government announced on Thursday it would set up an inquiry into the quality of food given to school pupils in a nationwide free meal scheme after at least 27 children died in one of the deadliest outbreaks of mass poisoning in years.[Photo/Agencies]

NEW DELHI - The Indian government Thursday decided to set up a committee to review the implementation of its flagship free midday meal scheme for schoolchildren, after at least 27 children died of a massive poisoning in a midday meal on Tuesday, which also downed more than 50 other children.

The government also intended to monitor better the quality of food served and ensure hygiene standards for children, said Press Trust of India.

The Human Resources Development Ministry, which is in charge of implementing the free meal program, said it had earlier alerted 12 Bihar districts about food quality, after shortcomings were found.

The tragedy in Bihar triggered angry protests in the state, one of the poorest in India.