Target: President Shri Pranab Mukherjee
Goal: Prevent deaths by inspecting food served to children through a government-sponsored meal program
A tragedy has occurred in India. At least 23 children have died with dozens more in the hospital due to pesticides leaking into their food. A cook at their school has also died from ingesting the same lunch. Improved security measures are necessary if such a tragedy can be prevented in the future. Please add your voice to the protests that are already underway.
The Mid-Day Meal Scheme feeds over 120 million children in India. Because 120 million children are being fed it is difficult for the government to enact an effective food monitoring system. As a result, the oil used to cook the children’s rice and potato curry may have been stored inside of an insecticide container. Doctors say they could smell organophosphorous, a chemical used in pesticides, when the children were rushed into the hospital with stomach pains, vomiting, and convulsions. Some of the children were so sick they died in their parents arms while they were being rushed to the hospital.
Police have yet to find the headmistress of the school as it seems she has absconded, but they are doing their best to find whoever can be held responsible for the deaths of the children, who were between ages 8-11. Of particular importance in the police’s investigation are reports that the cook complained of the food’s smell, yet the headmistress still insisted upon her using it. Also, many of the children complained of the food’s taste.
While finding the people responsible is important, it should also be urged upon the government to branch out with other organizations who would be willing to aid with the food monitoring. If the government can’t do it alone, then it should ask for help.
Dear President Shri Pranab Mukherjee,
The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is the largest food program in the world. It feeds over a million kids and it is for that reason that it should by no means be cancelled. However, further security measures are needed for the food and for its transportation, especially if it is being served to children. There are other organizations the government can combine with as well as local authorities and volunteers who may be willing to check that the food has not been tainted or tampered with in anyway.
Lastly, there should be someone who can identify contaminants smelling and tasting the food before the children.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Colin Grey via Wiki Commons