While 341 fall ill after midday meal, BMC calls for dieticians to keep corporators healthy
After smartphones, laptops and various study tours to different places, the taxpayers’ money will be used to feed the BMC officials health food. The civic body’s health department is busy preparing a list of healthy recipes for the corporators after consulting various dieticians and nutritionists.
Meanwhile, the midday meal that is served in several city schools gets no such attention from health experts. On Monday, 341 children ended up in hospital after substandard cakes were served at a BMC-aided school in Sakinaka caused vomiting. Parents have voiced their concern about the quality of food their wards get at school, but not much has been done to improve it.
But when the elected representatives expressed their displeasure over the food served to them at various BMC meetings, immediate action was taken. First, standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale took permission from the authorities and got a private caterer by paying out of his own pocket as a temporary measure. “We were getting substandard food and we informed the health department to do something for us,” Shewale said. To find a permanent solution, several meetings were conducted with dieticians and health experts to chalk out a diet plan with a list of healthy recipes.
Dr Suhasini Nagda, health director for medical institutes, BMC, said, “We have conducted several meetings with dieticians and nutritionists, and after hearing suggestions from the standing committee chairman, a proper health plan has been prepared. The elected representatives are integral to the working of the civic body. We will also be guiding the cooks who prepare the meals.” Special care will be taken to ensure that the cooks do not use excess oil, and the recipes will be personally handed over to the canteen, Nagda added. BMC spends about Rs 40-50 lakh to feeds its 227 corporators. With the new diet plan, the amount is sure to rise.
341 children were rushed to hospitals on Monday, after they experienced nausuea, stomach pains and vomiting on being fed cupcakes as the midday meal at the BMC-aided Anjuman Noorul Islam Trust School at Sakinaka. While the BMC is not directly responsible for maintaining the school, the civic body is the one that gives out contracts for the programme to various self-help groups. According to the state government’s instructions, it is mandatory for the health department of every civic body to conduct various drives to check the quality of food served to children. If found unsatisfactory, the contractor is liable to be fined or have his contract cancelled.
The BMC claims they have carried out drives but do not have the data as to which contractor is not up to the mark and how many have been penalised. Additional Municipal Commissioner Mohan Adtani said, “Our health department goes for regular checks to see what is being served. We have also imposed fines on contractors for giving substandard food. But we do not have compiled data about these drives. The midday meal is served according to the government’s specifications, and no dieticians or nutritionists are consulted from the BMC’s end.” Shewale added, “I will inform the administration to check on the quality of food that is served to the school students after Monday’s incident, so that they can also get healthy food.” Several parents had called for the authorities to stop giving midday meals to students, as it results in children falling sick.
This is a very bizarre move by the corporation to give corporators healthy food and not consider children, the future of our country. BMC’s first priority should be the midday meal for children. After this, it should take care of the elected representatives, who hardly work anyway. They only enjoy the benefits of sitting in their chairs of power. - Shruti Vishwanathan a corporate professional
We have been reading a lot about how there are problems with the midday meal served to the children. Yet there is no improvement. The BMC was supposed to be responsible for the children studying in their schools. Instead, they have these plans to feed corporators by using the taxpayers’ money. This is not done. - Harish Gujaran, a business development manager
We expect the civic body to work for the betterment of citizens, as we are the ones who pay taxes. Here are students diagnosed with food poisoning and the BMC is preparing a healthy diet chart for their corporators. They should be spending the money to treat the children |and improve their diet and not on enjoying the benefits themselves. - Akshay Rane, a management student
Healthy menu for corporators
>> Oats uttapam
>> Corn salad
>> Brown bread sandwich
>> Stuffed daal paratha (with minimum oil)
>> Broccoli and cabbage paratha
>> Sprouts chaat
>> Soya and oats cutlet
>> Spinach and oats cutlet