At least two children of a government middle school at Bada Gamharia in Seraikela-Kharsawan district, around 18km from Jamshedpur, fell ill on Monday after consuming midday meal that apparently had a lizard in it.
Preeti Kumari and Raveena Kumari, Class IV students of Buniyadi Madhya Vidyalaya in the Adityapur police station area, allegedly spotted a lizard in the mixed vegetable that they were served for lunch halfway through the meal. Around an hour later at 1pm, they started complaining of abdominal pain.
Headmaster Nawal Kishore Singh rushed them to at Seraikela Sadar Hospital, where they started vomiting around 1.30pm. They were treated and discharged at 3pm.
As the news spread, ward commissioner of Bada Gamharia Dhananjay Gupta and Adhunik Power and Natural Resource Limited arranged buses and ambulances for taking all 126 students of the school to Sadar Hospital.
The students were administered anti-vomit injection and released.
Seraikela-Kharsawan district superintendent of education (DSE) Suresh Chandra Ghosh said the students complained of seeing a small lizard in the mixed vegetable.
“The centralised kitchen of Iskcon Food Relief Foundation at Ramdas Bhatta in Jamshedpur has been supplying midday meal to government schools since 2012 following an MoU with the state government. Today (Monday), the students were given rice, dal and mixed vegetable. I have lodged a complaint with the state director of midday meal programme Kameshwar Prasad, the HRD department and the district administration,” Ghosh added.
Seraikela-Kharsawan civil surgeon Kalanand Mishra, who was present at Sadar Hospital, however, ruled out food poisoning. “Both the children, who complained of vomiting, had symptoms of seasonal fever. The remaining students were taken to hospital out of fear. They were released after being administered anti-vomit injection,” Mishra said.