Karnataka, February 10, 2012: Nearly 50 students of a Catholic school were admitted to hospital after the midday meal. A church official has suspected foul play in the food poisoning of some 50 students of a Catholic school in Mangalore.
The students of the St Joseph’s Higher Primary school developed nauseating symptoms after they consumed government-sponsored midday meal served to them.
Father William Menezes, public relations officer of the Mangalore diocese, said that within no time thousands of people gathered to blame the school for the incident.
“There could be some foul play to divert the attention of the public from recent government scandals,” he said.
Sister Sharal Santhumayor, principal of the school, said that out of 240 students of the school, nearly 50 students were rushed to the nearby Father Muller Hospital for food poisoning after they consumed the government-sponsored lunch yesterday.
She said that 15 students are admitted in the hospital for observation, while the rest have returned home healthy.
“They were admitted for observation as they had shown nauseating symptoms. Condition of all the children is stable and they are able to take food now,” said Poppy Chadda, a doctor in the hospital who is administering the children.
Chadda said that the food sample has been sent for testing.
According to the school sources, Vithaliya Monteiro, a Catholic, cooks food for children of 27 schools, including this one, but nothing happened to the students of other schools.
Sister Shuba Moras, the correspondent of the school, said, “as the news of stomach pain of one or two students came out, more than thousand people gathered near the school with ambulances and almost forcibly carried children into the hospitals.”
“Mostly poor students are taught in this school. I could not understand how so many people could gather within no time,” she added.
P. Appi, whose child was admitted in the hospital, said she was frightened when she got the news but “now my child is fine and has taken food.”
The incident has happened at a time when the Mangalore diocese is all set to celebrate the post centenary jubilee of its establishment on February 11-12 after a whole year of celebrations.
“This is shocking news to us when all is set to celebrate the grand post centenary jubilee of the establishment of the diocese,” said Father Menezes.
He said that the school authorities have informed the police.
- francis rodrigues