LUCKNOW – After a video showing rice mixed with salt given as meal to students at a government school in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya district gone viral, the principal has been suspended. The District Magistrate said action is based on apparent evidence and a detailed inquiry will follow.
The two-minute video shot by a student’s parent at the primary school shows children seated on the floor and eating the rice-and-salt served under the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, reported NDTV.
“The teacher refuses to take responsibility, and the pradhan (village head) also refuses. Who is responsible then?” says the person filming, his face not visible on camera. “You can see all these children are eating rice and salt. Who will want to send their children to such a school? Yogi baba (Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath) should watch this video.”
The camera then pans to show a wall painted with the Mid Day Meal menu – milk, rotis, dal , vegetables and rice are listed. “Where does this menu say ‘rice-salt’?” the man adds.
District Magistrate Nitish Kumar said, “I have ordered that food has to be served as per the scheme menu. No laxity will be tolerated.”
“I have ordered the official concerned to carry out an inquiry. Based on what I saw in the video, I have ordered the suspension of the principal,” Kumar added.
The last time such a video went viral in Uttar Pradesh, the whistleblower faced action instead.
In 2019, Pawan Jaiswal, a journalist with a Hindi newspaper in Mirzapur district, filmed schoolchildren being served roti and salt at a government school. A case was filed on him for alleged conspiracy against the government. He was later cleared by the UP police.