In a shocking incident in Bihar, one of the poorest states of India, 22 children died and 35 are still in hospital after eating school dinners which are thought to have been contaminated with insecticides. The children had to be taken to a hospital 50 miles away from the remote rural area where they lived, too far for them to be saved. The woman who cooked the food and her two children also died.

This is an extreme example of the kinds of conditions faced by children and their teachers in low income public schools in India, which are being steadily run down and denigrated to be replaced by low fee private schools. As well as all their other duties, teachers in many areas are responsible for the disbursement of food, which can cause huge problems as well as being an administrative nightmare, which can be exacerbated by local corruption. The food is often supplied by small NGOs. It is significant that in this case the headteacher is being sought for criminal negligence according to reports. Teachers are expected to be responsible for almost every aspect of a child's life including their health - as well as being expected to teach in appalling conditions and for very little money - often with no toilets or proper sanitary arrangements.

Teachersolidarity can only express its solidarity with the bereaved parents of the children.