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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 July, 2004, 17:46 GMT 18:46 UK
Teachers 'spiced up' school meals
Two teachers have been suspended from a primary school in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh for adding alcohol and drugs to meals, officials say.

So outrageous were the extras to school lunch, they would have been enough to make a rock star blush.

Officials say that one of the accused is the school's alcoholic headmaster, who wanted to liven up mealtimes.

The case is being investigated and a police report is to be lodged against the accused shortly.

Cannabis and liquor

A state-run primary school in the sleepy district of Mahasamund, 100 km (60 miles) from the state capital Raipur, is not the place most people would associate with a drink and drugs scandal.

But that is exactly what is alleged to have happened in the village of Chandimona.

Two of the school's three teachers have been suspended after 91 pupils aged between five to 11 years old were introduced to the perils of cannabis and liquor.

According to the investigating officials, both the accused teachers were addicted to alcohol, and decided to mix liquor in the food to make it more tasty.

The cannabis, officials say, was used to expedite the cooking of pulses. They say that the drug no doubt raised a few pulses too.

Officials say the extras were being added to food for "some time," but the incident only came to light when the villagers complained on Saturday to the district magistrate, who was on an official tour of the village.

It was found that liquor was added to (the water) to prepare rice and 'bhang' to dal (a spicy lentil dish) to make it tasty
Manish Kumar Tyagi, District Collector of Mahasamund

The magistrate ordered an immediate inquiry.

In an interview with BBC Hindi Online after the investigation, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Ashok Srivastava said the headmaster and another teacher were the principal culprits.

"During investigations, we found out that they mixed bhang capsules (cannabis) in front of the children, telling them that this is being used to cook the pulses quickly.

"Both the teachers were alcohol addicts, and it was found on 19 July that they had also mixed liquor in large quantities into the rice to make it more tasty.

"Some small children ate that food, which was later thrown away because of the smell of alcohol," he said.

None of the accused teachers was available for comment.


SEE ALSO:
India's claustrophobic classrooms
17 Jul 04  |  South Asia
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15 Apr 04  |  South Asia
Asia tops school drop-out league
10 Feb 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Five students, five systems
26 Jan 04  |  Education
Girls miss out on going to school
06 Nov 03  |  Education


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