India

Tens of Thousands of Teachers in India Boycotting Free School Lunches After Children's Deaths

23 children died last week after eating a school meal

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Tens of thousands of teachers in India's Bihar state have boycotted a free school lunch scheme to protest against the arrest of the head teacher of a school where 23 children died after eating a meal last week.

A teachers' spokesman said 90% of the 300,000 employed at state-run primary schools took part in the boycott.

But the authorities said only 20% of schools went without a Mid-Day meal.

In Bihar, 16 million pupils are given free lunch at 70,200 primary schools.

The Mid-Day meal scheme was introduced to combat hunger and boost school attendance, and reaches 120 million children in 1.2 million schools across the country.