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Farmers carry milk in a container to be processed at a farm in Narowal, located in Punjab province, August 13, 2012. The dismal state of the dairy industry is a striking example of Pakistan's habit of missing opportunities throughout a 65-year history tainted by military coups, political infighting and a form of crony capitalism that has stifled entrepreneurship. With 63 million cows and buffaloes, Pakistan has one of the world's biggest herds, but it cannot export milk because the animals' yields are so low. Picture taken August 13, 2012. To match Feature PAKISTAN-MILK/ REUTERS/Mian Khursheed (PAKISTAN - Tags: ANIMALS AGRICULTURE BUSINESS) - GM1E88R0AXY01
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Uttar Pradesh: In yet another shocker from Uttar Pradesh, children at a government primary school were found be served highly diluted milk. One litre of milk was diluted with a bucket of water and served to 81 children.

Gram Panchayat ward member Dev Patia made the allegations of poor nourishment being given to children at the primary school in Sonebhadra district’s Salaibanwa area on Wednesday. She said that as per the midday meal menu (MDM), “Tehri” (a rice dish) and milk was to be served to the children. The cook was given one litre of milk by the school authorities for the students. Then a bucket of water was added to the milk and it was distributed among the children, she added.

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She said that the locals have informed her that such incidents have happened in the past too in that school.

This incident comes months after a school in UP’s Mirzapur was found serving salt and roti to children in the name of mid-day meals. The locals had alleged that the school had only been serving the children a paltry meal of salt and roti, and rice at times. They also said although milk would be distributed to the school, it was never served to the children.

School head Shailesh Kanaujia said: “There are 171 children enrolled in the school. Eighty-one children were present on that day. I have the responsibility to look after two schools. Milk had to be arranged for both schools and I could not monitor the quantity of milk that reached government primary school in Salaibanwa. The cook was provided the milk, which was distributed among the children and they drank it.”

Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) Gorakhnath Patel said: “As soon as the matter came to my knowledge, I inspected the school and sought information from the school headmaster.

“Such laxity will not be tolerated. A probe has been ordered into the matter. A team of Education Department officials will conduct a probe and submit a report within two days. Strict action will be taken against whosoever is found guilty in the probe.”

Block Education Officer Mukesh Rai said that he received information from locals that water was added to the milk and served to the children. He said a probe had been ordered into the incident and strict action will be taken so that such instances are never repeated in future.