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    Nutrient contamination on the climb in Andhra govt educational institution hostels, no checks in rank

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    Hundreds of children have got fallen ill in the final indefinite but relatively small number months, and the government has been unable to set a sustained piece of machinery in rank to forestall HO and nutrient contamination in government schools.
    parents assist their wards in a government hospital
    On March 1 of this year, 25 students of a government educational institution in Andhra Pradesh fell ill after they ate mid-day meals. Students of Zilla Parishad High School in Savalyapuram of Palnadu territory allegedly fell ill after consuming sambar and bathroom midday meal provided as component part of mid-day meals. The District Collector suspended an policeman held accountable for mid-day meals and issued public exhibition or entertainment causal agent notices to the educational institution Headmaster, District Educational Officer and Mandal Education Officer.
    In the final indefinite but relatively small number months, several instances of nutrient or HO contamination in government solar day and schools have got been reported in Andhra Pradesh. There are mainly four types of schools called Gurukula Schools. They are Andhra Pradesh Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas Society, Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society Society and Andhra Pradesh Tribal Welfare Residential Institutions Society for children from marginalised communities. Special officers in concerned departments coordinate with the schools in their districts. 
    In January this year, more than 200 students from Dr BR Ambedkar Gurukul School (Girls) in Palnadu territory were hospitalised owed to nutrient poisoning. Soon after, the government formed a commission to investigate the event. TNM accessed the lab reports submitted to the District Medical Officer on February 4, 2023, which analysed HO samples from five resources in the educational institution. The written report stated, “All the samples collected above are microbiologically unsatisfactory and indicate external contamination.” The pH grade of HO from the RO (reversal osmosis) factory for HO filtration was reportedly found to be an acidic grade of 5.92, and causes health issues be fond of vomiting, diarrhoea, bean-shaped excretory organ , organ , tum cramps, and nausea. 
    “After we got the report, we had the RO plant repaired at a cost of Rs 1 lakh,” District Collector Siva Sankar Lotheti told The Hindu. The presidency suspended the hostel director, involving the body knowledge acquired by learning instructor, and educational institution principal for neglect. 
    Speaking to TNM, Bathul Padmavathi, part of a social group of the Andhra Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (APSCPCR), said, “The children complained of the symptoms two days before it was reported in the media. The principal had enough time to ascertain the reason for sickness when a few children complained but failed to do so.” She added that schools are provided with all basic and fundamental resources be fond of RO HO plants, a fit nutrient dishes planned for a meal, , etc. “It becomes the responsibility of the concerned principals, wardens, and teachers to use them to the best possible efficiency for the children,” she added. In the failure to be present of a sustained monitoring system, officials are belonging to the political or intellectual left to respond only after the event. 
    Padmavathi oversees the four districts of Palandu, Baptla, Prakasam and Guntur, and she has visited more than 40 schools in these districts. What she found was a want of an monitoring system to insure best hygiene practices. A problem, she thinks, testament be solved if district-level officials of concerned departments conduct unexpected event visits to the educational institution.
    The nutrient contamination cases are not to not equitable schools. In November, 225 students of Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT), Srikakulam IIIT campus in Etcherla, were taken ill and admitted after complaining of tum emotional distress, vomiting, and dizziness. More than 100 students were hospitalised. Following the event, the Commission ordered an inquiry. TNM accessed the reports which said that contamination could have got occurred owed to nutrient or HO.
    Kesali Apparao, Chairman of the Commission, told TNM, “The cause was not exactly known. But the school staff are being instructed to maintain hygiene to prevent food and water contamination.” Even after so many incidents, there is no data being collected on the phone number of incidents or long-term measures taken to forestall such incidents. Apparao also stated that the Commission does not maintain a document serving as legal evidence of a transaction of all incidents and said, “When we receive a complaint or find a report in the media regarding any food contamination, we visit the place. If the effect is significant, then we order an inquiry into the incident and direct necessary measures.”
    Health Commissioner J Nivas said their only normal or customary activity of a person was to render medical living when an outbreak is reported. But some measures are being introduced by them to downplay the occurrence of such incidents. “The responsibility of maintaining the hygiene and serving the food lies with departments managing the schools. The ANMs (auxiliary and nurse midwives) who visit the schools will check the sanitation maintained in the school in addition to the regular checkups. This will be in operation soon. The medical officer will conduct a complete medical screening of the students once in six months,” he said. Incidents widely reported in the media
    Apparao also relates that more than 500 children have got fallen ill in instances of nutrient and HO contamination in Palnadu, Anantapuram, Etcherla and Kothavalasa towns. In Etcherla, 225 students fell ill at RGUKT on November 4, 2022, while in Palnadu, nearly 200 students were taken ill on January 31, 2023. According to media reports, at least 80 children fell ill in Singanamala Kasturbha Vidyalaya at Anantapur on December 3, 2022, and 24 children fell ill in Backward Class Girls’ Hostel in Vizianagaram territory.
    In answer to incidents, he added that he visited nine government schools, where most female students complained of being ill. “Incidents are being reported in girls’ hostels more than the boys’ hostels. Girls are falling sick in larger numbers. It may have something to do with sanitation and hygiene,” Apparao said. 
    Former chairman of the Child Welfare Committee, BVS Kumar told TNM that alimony of the hostels and the kitchens were sub-par in several places. “The wardens of the hostels at some places do not stay at the hostels every day due to long distance from home or sometimes simply due to negligence. It is the responsibility of the principal to solve such issues.” 
    Padmavathi pointed out the understaffing facet and said, “When there are only two or three employees, cleaning the dining room, kitchen, and dormitories becomes a burden for them. At the very least, a separate cleaning staff for the kitchen is required.” She added that the Commission planned to broadcast a marriage proposal to the government to inaugurate packed nutrient meals to the hostels from an mate NGO to maintain degree or grade of excellence and hygienic nutrient birth. 
    Concerned over the increasing phone number of incidents, Commissioner of the School Education Department S Suresh Kumar has instructed schools to strictly implement the conforming to a standard of measurement operating procedures (SOPs) connected logically or causally to maintaining hygiene. Speaking to TNM, he said, “The SOPs are already in place to serve proper food to the students. All the food materials sent to the school for the preparation of meals have to be tested by the headmaster or teacher. They are also responsible for testing the meals before serving it to the students. We will not tolerate any food poisoning incidents, and we have made it clear that stringent action will be taken in such cases,” the Commissioner said.
    Also read:  Chandrababu to visit Tirumala with family, will assume responsibility, approve mega DSC, and review four key files on Thursday
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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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