Bolangir, Aug 30
Barely five days after a school girl died of burn injuries after falling into hot ‘dal’ pot at a Sevasram school in Sambalpur district, a class II student in Sihini near Titlagarh sustained severe burn injuries on Thursday after he fell into a pot of piping hot rice before it could be served to the school children.
Reports said six year old Rahul Chhatar, a student of the upgraded upper primary school in Sihini had queued up along with other students in front of the school kitchen for his midday meal. The accident took place when some students behind him got unruly and wanted to jump the queue.
Rahul was rushed to Titilagarh sub-divisional hospital with 40 percent burns below his waist but had to be shifted to Bolangir district hospital after his condition worsened.
“His condition is now stable and his response to the treatment is good”, said the attending physician.
The villagers held school teacher in-charge of mid-day meal responsible for the unfortunate incident and demanded action against the erring staff. When contacted, school headmaster, who was absent on that day, pleaded ignorance about the incident.
The school does not have a proper kitchen and mid-day meal is prepared in a make-shift shed. Recently, school and mass education minister Rabi Narayan Nanda had told the State Assembly during the monsoon session that over 10,930 schools did not have kitchen sheds to cook mid-day meals.
Earlier on August 24, Class III student Banita Kanhar of a tribal residential school at Girischandrapur under Kisinda police station died after she had fallen into a vessel of hot ‘dal’ cooked for the mid-day meal. A school teacher in-charge of MDM was suspended in the case for dereliction of duty.