Rayagada: While the government has sanctioned only eggs to be served on some days in midday meals at state-run schools, ministers and officials seem to be an exception.
Culture and Tourism Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, who visited Eklavya Model Residential School at Siriguda in Rayagada district on Wednesday, was served chicken curry for lunch.
The minister was visiting the school to inspect the quality of food being served during midday meals. The visit followed Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s directive to ministers and senior officers to visit districts and have lunch in schools, orphanages, hospitals and Aahaar centres for direct feedback on their functioning.
Interestingly, some of the students having lunch with Panigrahi were served chicken curry while the rest had a vegetarian meal, apparently in keeping with the ritual of not having non-vegetarian fare during the month of Kartika.
The incident came to light after a picture of the minister having lunch with the schoolchildren went viral on social media and drew flak from several quarters.
Earlier on October 11, block education officer (BEO) Binay Prakash Soy was suspended by the Sundargarh Collector after a video of the former having chicken with schoolchildren, who were served only rice and dal, went viral on social media.