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Mid-day meal: 230 students fall ill in Odisha

Altogether 230 students, including 150 girls, were taken ill allegedly after having food in different schools in Odisha’s Malkangiri and Kalahandi districts, officials said on Friday.

Around 150 girls of a government-run residential school fell ill with symptoms of food poisoning at Badapada in remote Chitrakonda area of Malkangiri allegedly after eating breakfast on Friday, said Ramkrishna Gond, Project Administrator of Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA).

The affected girls of the residential school for tribals were immediately taken to a local hospital after they complained of vomiting, loose motion, nausea and stomach pain, he said.

They were later shifted to the hospital at Chitrakonda for better medical treatment, Gond said adding a probe was on to ascertain the cause of the incident.

Besides Gond, Malkangiri district Collector K Sudarshan Chakravarthy visited the hospital to enquire about the condition of the girls, who were being provided with proper medical treatment, officials said.

Similar incidents were reported from Kalahandi district where 80 students of five schools fell ill allegedly after eating mid-day meal on Thursday, officials said.

The students of schools at Luma, Kubri, Bandhpari, Ranjendrapur and Dangri villages under Lanjigarh block complained of vomiting, nausea and stomach pain after eating the meal Thursday, they said.

The affected students were taken to government hospital at Biswanathpur and two of them were referred to the Bhawanipatna government Hospital.

The mid-day meal for 176 schools of Lanjigarh block is prepared and supplied by a trust, they said adding the cooked food was sent to different schools by vehicles.

The district education officer (DEO), sub-collector and tahasildar visited Biswanathpur to monitor the situation.

DEO Pradip Kumar Naik said more than 80 students of five schools had been affected and provided with treatment. Many of them have already been discharged from hospital.

He said the situation was under control and the affected students were recovering fast.

Kalahandi Collector Anjan kumar Manik said the cause of the illness would be ascertained after enquiry which was in progress.

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