Lori Zimmer

25 Indian Children Dead and Dozens Poisoned After Eating Insecticide-Tainted Lunches at School

by , 07/18/13
filed under: News
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25 students were killed, and dozens poisoned, after eating a free lunch provided by a school in eastern India. Doctors who are treating the children believe that a lethal mix of insecticides in the rice and lentil meal are to blame. Investigators have still not concluded whether the devastating poisoning was deliberate, but the source of the tragedy was found to be cooking oil stored in a container once used for insecticides.


green design, eco design, sustainable design, tainted rice India, insecticide poisoning India children, poisoned free lunch india, pesticides© New Indian Express

On Tuesday, the tainted meal was prepared on site, in the kitchen school’s cafeteria. Children immediately began getting sick as lunch was served, prompting the school officials to cease serving when they began vomiting uncontrollably. The affected children were then rushed to medical care, sadly with at least twenty five of them losing their lives. Many still remain in the hospital with their fate unknown, but are being treated for pesticide poisoning.

The lentils and rice were part of India’s free lunch program,  which helps to provide nutrition to 120 million students across the country, sometimes accounting for the only meal they eat each day, and driving up school attendance. But although the free lunch program does a world of good, rumors consistently fly about corruption within it. In this case, according to Reuters, the school’s cook had complained of the look and smell of the cooking oil used to make the tainted meal, but was pushed by the headmistress to continue cooking anyway. The cook herself tried the tainted food and became ill, while the headmistress fled the scene after the tragedy.

While the motive of the poisoning is still under investigation as an accident or purposeful attack,  the area also frequently uses dangerous pesticides to treat both rice and wheat crops, which could cause serious harm if eaten.

Via Take Part

Images ©JasonParis and ©Earth100

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3 Comments

  1. Farah Doudette July 19, 2013 at 4:44 am

    My heart goes out to the parents, a sad day.

  2. Anna Kenny July 19, 2013 at 3:31 am

    they have no choice but to use dangerous pesticides to treat wheat and crops and it is the USA/ Indian corporations forcing them to do this . In India they have had the single largest wave of suicides among farmers . They are forced to grow crops using seeds from companies like monsanto – seeds that die after first harvest so you cant grow again , you must buy more. they are forced to use herbicides pesticides and fertilizers under new international deals , and their harvests have not yielded the results they have been told they would . their way of life is being too cruelly and rapidly replaced by the big experiment that destroyed so many small farmers in the USA and pushed them off their land and into ghettos. that and land grabs by speculators , hedge funds etc – they dont know what has hit them. headmistress will need a good lawyer…

  3. Brandon Boone July 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    This is just sad we are killing our selves over money! So many ways we can live with nature and not spend a ton of money doing it. We would actually save in the long run, lives, the earth and still make money!

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