Maharashtra: Dead snake found in mid-day meal packet


Maharashtra News: A small dead snake was reportedly found in a food packet distributed under the mid-day meal scheme at an Anganwadi in Sangli district of western Maharashtra, after which officials have launched an investigation. Under the mid-day meal scheme, food is provided to children aged six months to three years in nursery schools or Anganwadi centers.


Demand for action against the culprits

Anandi Bhosale, vice-president of the state Anganwadi Employees Union, said the incident was reported by the parents of a child in Palus on Monday. Congress leader and Palus-Kedagaon MLA Vishwajit Kadam termed the incident as 'serious' and raised the issue in the ongoing monsoon session of the state assembly. He demanded a thorough investigation into the matter and action against the culprits.

The sample was sent for testing.

District officials said the child's family took a photo of the snake and sent it to a local Anganwadi worker. They said food samples were collected from the food packets and sent to a laboratory for testing. Bhosale said on Wednesday, "Food packets are distributed in Anganwadis under the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, which contains pre-prepared dal-khichdi. After reaching the Anganwadi, these packets are distributed to families. Food packets were also distributed by Anganwadi workers in Palus on Monday. The parents of a child claimed that the packet they received contained a small dead snake."

He took a photo of the snake and sent it to the Anganwadi worker.

He said that the parent took a photo of the snake and sent it to the Anganwadi worker. He said, 'By the time the worker sent the photo to our district worker group, the parent had already destroyed the snake.' Bhosale said that this matter was also raised in the meeting held on July 2 and Sandeep Yadav, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Sangli Zila Parishad and Head of Women and Child Welfare and Anganwadi Division, was informed about this.

The sealed warehouse

He said that the godown where the food packets are kept has been reportedly sealed. Bhosale also claimed that complaints have been received about the contractor who supplies the readymade food packets. Yadav said that during the investigation, the officials found out that the relatives threw away the alleged dead body found in the packet.

FDA sent the sample for testing

He said, 'These packets are sent directly to Anganwadis by the contractor, and from there they are distributed to the beneficiaries within two to three days... In this case, neither the Anganwadi worker nor any other officer of the district administration saw that thing; only the parent has claimed about it.' He said that based on the photo taken by the parent, samples of the food in the packet have been collected and an investigation has been started. Yadav confirmed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has collected food samples from the packet and sent them to the laboratory for testing.

The matter echoed in the assembly.

MLA Kadam said on the social media platform 'X', 'Finding a dead snake in the food provided under the mid-day meal scheme is a serious matter. The government should know how dangerous this can be for the lives of pregnant women and children. The culprits should be given strict punishment.'