Keep Deadly Insecticides out of School Lunches


Target: The Indian Government

Goal:  Prevent school children from falling ill or dying from eating free school-lunch meals

Recently, at least 22 Indian schoolchildren died and 25 others were hospitalized after eating free school meals tainted with an insecticide. Known as Organophosphorous, exposure to high doses of this insecticide can cause irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, paralysis, and seizures. How did free school lunch meals become tainted with poison?

The Indian government predicts that nearly half of India’s children suffer from malnutrition. Hence, the government started a program to provide one free hot meal a day to schoolchildren. Many people have questioned the quality of these free meals, but no one would have predicted such a deadly outcome. The Indian government must make changes to how they deliver these meals to ensure safety.

Currently, the central government each year distributes about 2.5 million metric tons of grain to about 600,000 schools and also gives grants for vegetables and oil.  The program is centrally administered by the Food Corporation of India, which distributes food to states. Then, the states implement the program. In this deadly situation, people suspect that the headmistress shopped for ingredients at her husband’s grocery store. This should not be allowed to happen. Sign the petition to demand the Indian government establish a better delivery system for the free public school-lunch program.


Dear The Indian Government,

Nearly half of your country’s children suffer from some form of malnutrition. It is laudable that you initiated a free public school-lunch program to feed hot meals to these children. However, the recent deaths of 25 students from eating poisoned food indicate that this program needs better management. Currently, the Food Corporation of India centrally administers the program by distributing food to the states. But once the foods get to the state-level, there is little to no control.

In the past, children had received medical attention after eating lizards, cockroaches and rats in their midday meals. There was always a problem with quality of these meals, but the recent event of 22 schoolchildren dying from organophosphorous poisoning is unacceptable. It is believed that the headmistress of the school used ingredients from her husband’s grocery store. Strengthen your management of these free midday meal programs to close loopholes and prevent future deaths.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Public Domain CCO via Pixabay

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