The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has suspended mid-day meal (MDM) contract given to women self-help group (SHG) Shagun Mahila Bachat Gat, Ramdaspeth, for 43 schools under it after 32 students of Marotrao Mude High School, Hudkeshwar, fell ill with food poisoning symptoms.

The NMC had given the contract of MDM for the government-aided private school. The civic body is likely to take further action against the SHG after receiving the report from the Foods and Drug Administration (FDA).

NMC education officer Priti Mishrikotkar issued a letter to the women SHG suspending its contract on Saturday. The same day she also issued a letter to The Akshaya Patra Foundation for supplying mid-day meals to all schools served by the SHG.

“The women SHG supplied MDM — 40kg rice and 20kg Barbati curry — to Marotrao Mude High School at 12.30 noon on Friday. Students were served MDM at 2.30 pm. Twenty-eight students between 3 pm and 3.30 pm, and four between 6 pm and 7 pm complained about loose motion, headache, stomach ache, etc. Thirty-two students including 21 boys and 11 girls were immediately examined at a private clinic and then admitted at Government Medical College and Hospital. They are undergoing treatment. All students are stable and likely to be discharged on Monday morning,” Mishrikotkar said in a press release.

Mishrikotkar added FDA took samples of food and water at around 5 pm on Friday and yet to submit the report.

NMC official told TOI that out of 233 students, only 32 faced problems. “There were no complaints from other schools from where the SHG had supplied the same meal. We have not taken any permanent action against the SHG now and will wait for FDA’s report,” the official said.

Despite directives of home minister Anil Deshmukh on Friday and complaint lodged by RTE activist Shahid Sharif on Saturday, Hudkeshwar police have neither sent the food samples for testing nor took any action.

Senior PI RN Waghmare said, “We have preserved the food samples and will send it for chemical analysis on Monday as the FDA office was closed for the weekend. Further decision will be taken after receiving reports from the FDA,” he said.

Sharif said, “According to the Juvenile Justice Act, it is mandatory on the authorities concerned to take action in such cases within 24 hours. It is a serious lapse on the part of the authorities.”

(With inputs from timesofindia)