The village of Dandaman in Bihar, home to some of the families of children who died after consuming contaminated food as a part of the midday meal scheme, is in a state of shock and gloom.
The "food has turned killer", cried one woman whose two sons were among the victims. "We did not know that when the children go to school then we will get to see their dead faces".
She cried bitterly as she sometimes cursed the government and sometimes stared blankly at those who trooped into her dwelling to console her.
Another villager, Ramanand Rai, lost his daughter Kajal and her grandmother said the family's dreams now lay shattered.
District Magistrate Abhijit Sinha said 10 children died after eating the mid-day meal at Dharamsati primary school in Masrakh in Saran district, about 100 km from here. Later, eleven more children died and more than 60 fell ill.
Over two dozen sick children have been brought to the Patna Medical College and Hospital after their condition deteriorated.
Twenty dead children were buried near the school.
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