July 17 - Protesters take to the streets of India's Bihar Province over the deaths of at least 20 children after eating a free meal provided by the government. Jessica Gray reports.
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Angry protesters gather in India's eastern Bihar state on Tuesday after at least 20 children died of apparent food poisoning.
Another 21 children are being treated in hospital.
Police say free meals at a local school are to blame, prompting demonstrators to storm offices of the government programme responsible for the food.
(SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) A PROTESTER, DINESH YADAV, SAYING:
"We demand that the supplier who provided the poisonous food should be immediately arrested. The families of the affected children should be given immediate compensation and one member of the family should be given employment."
The province's chief minister has ordered a probe into the incident and offered victims' families over $3,000 in compensation, according to officials.
The exact cause of death is still unknown, with autopsies and food sample analysis still pending.
The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is the largest school feeding programme in the world, involving 120 million children.
Its goal is to improve class enrolment and provide needy children with nutritious diets, but critics claim the programme is rife with poor hygiene and corruption.
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