Hyderabad: A total of 236 students in state-run schools across Telangana have suffered food poisioning over the past 26 days.
A recent study conducted by the Hakku initiative revealed that incidents of food poisoning occurred in 10 schools in nine districts of the state.
Apart from this, the study also found that 936 students from residential schools in 17 districts fell sick due to contaminated food. These statistics were collected over a period of eight months.
Speaking to Siasat.com, Director of Institute of Perceptio Studies, Kota Neelima said, “We took up the exercise after food poisoning cases were reported from IIIT Basara where a number of students from the institute complained of nausea, agonizing over headaches in July this year. We attempted to understand the same at a school level.”
The organization’s research wing called the Hakku initiative has conducted the survey in Telangana.
The researcher further said that the data is based on the cases reported on the initiative’s helpline, and those which have been reported in the media. The survey also found that across Telangana 27,00,000 students are enrolled in government schools, tribal wefare schools and colleges.
Addressing the query on the high number of poisoning cases in recent times, Neelima said, ” The lack of transparency in the institutions and the communication gap between the administration and parents could be major reasons.”
Speaking of the 236 food poisoning cases from schools, the researcher said, these numbers depict the cases that have been reported in the month of August alone. The nine districts which reported food poisoning cases are Adilabad, Asifabad, Mancherial, Karimnagar, Rajanna Sircilla, Sangarreddy, Vikarabad, Kamareddy, and Nalgonda.
Asked whether there is a solution to the issue, Neelima said, “There is a need for a committee comprising of government officials, school representatives, parents, and students which could ensure better facilities are provided to the students.”
The researcher further stressed on publication of a weekly report in order to highlight the challenges faced by the schools. Speaking of the challenges faced in terms of collecting and verifying the data she said that a case of food poisoning was reported from Siddipet where 140 students fell sick.
The researcher went on to say that the data will be presented to Telangana education minister Sabitha Indra Reddy.