New Delhi: Around 8,000 school kids were forced to watch second day's play between India and South Africa in Delhi on empty stomach.
According to a report in DNA, police denied permission to students from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of society and other government schools to carry meal boxes, provided by Delhi government, inside the stadium due to ‘security reasons’.
“Yes, we did not allow them carry any food item inside the stadium because we follow certain security procedures, but we had kept the refreshment boxes at the corridor outside the seating area and informed the kids that they can come outside and eat in case they feel hungry,” Central Delhi DCP Param Aditya clarified.
As per the report, school children watched the action on Day 1 from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm with minimum food. They were provided a sandwich and water by DDCA.
The government's meal box contained an apple, a mango drink, a burger and chips.
“These kids get the meal boxes given by the Delhi government in the buses itself which ferry them to and fro from their respective schools. Some school children get the boxes from Bal Bhawan area, where they board buses. When we reasoned it out with the police personnel, our efforts went in vain,” a senior DDCA official said.
Justice Mukul Mudgal, the man in charge of making sure the fourth Test was conducted seamlessly by DDCA, stated that he felt bad for the kids.
“We have ensured that they at least get RO purified water in disposable glasses regularly. I had requested the Delhi police personnel about it, but they cited their own helplessness. DDCA also can’t do much about it. This has to be sorted out by the Delhi government and Delhi police. I feel bad for these school kids,” Justice Mudgal said.
“We have come here as we have never watched a live Test match. We are even willing to stay hungry for that. But yes, we do feel hungry,” said Kamlesh, a class 7 student from the Government Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya.