By Taazakahabar News Bureau
A new group of specially trained and certified volunteers called the ‘Food Safety Mitra (FSMs)’ – will strengthen the food safety administration and change the shape of things to come – under the ‘Eat right India’ movement.
The ‘Eat right India’ movement an innovative concept mooted by the country’s food regulator FSSAI – seeks to support small and medium scale food businesses comply with the food safety laws by facilitating licensing and registration, hygiene ratings and training.
Apart from strengthening food safety, this scheme aims to create new employment opportunities for youth, particularly with food and nutrition background. The FSM would undergo training and certification by FSSAI to do their work and get paid by food businesses for their services.
Addressing a gathering on the occasion of world food day, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan complemented FSSAI for its out-of- the-box thinking to reach out to almost all sections of society in its efforts to provide safe food to citizens. “By motivating key players in the system who can reach out to people at large, we can reach out to each and every individual. This movement has no opposition as it concerns everybody,” he observed.
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan
The theme of World Food Day this year is ‘Healthy Diets for Zero Hunger’. Achieving Zero Hunger is not only about addressing hunger but nourishing people while nurturing the planet. This means focusing on diets that are not only safe and healthy but also environmentally sustainable. FSSAI has taken a ‘Food Systems Approach’ to promote safe and healthier diets that are good for the people and the planet. The new initiatives and innovations launched on World Food Day reflect this spirit by promoting the right diet and lifestyle choices.
Dr. K. Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor, Govt. of India, citing a Sanskrit shloka that says that the behaviour of those who are looked up to is a powerful way to change behaviour of the community at large, lauded the initiative by the Health Minister to tweet about ERI on social media every day. He observed, “Many initiatives under ERI have the potential to become transformative. Nudge, can bring change at individual level. Proof of action from social influencers is a powerful nudge to change behaviour.”
Former member of Planning Commission of India & former India Chairman of Boston Consulting Group Arun Maira said, “To implement any programme successfully, it is important to see it in the context of the entire system as well as consider the interplay of systems. Eat Right India has taken this ‘systems approach’ in a commendable way.”
Speaking on the occasion, Commonwealth Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Sangram Singh had the audience doubling with laughter when he cited his own example and advised the gathering- “Khana bhook se kam, Paani double, Work-out triple and Hasana chauguna.”
FSSAI, CEO, Pawan Agarwal expressed deep gratitude to various partners and stakeholders in providing their whole hearted support in ensuring that we together are able to provide safe and healthy food to our citizens, a foundation for preventive healthcare. “FSSAI is inspired by Gandhi’s views and vision on health and aligned to global thinking and discourse on social and behavioural change in societies,” he added.
FSSAI has partnered with the Domestic Workers Sector Skill Council (DWSSC) under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to launch a training course for domestic workers and homemakers across the country. In the first phase, one lakh domestic workers and homemakers will be trained through training partners of DWSSC in association with RWAs.
FSSAI launched a smart jacket designed to hold tech devices like tablets/smart phone, a QR code and RFID tag for identification and tracking. Besides safety, the jacket is expected to bring efficiency, professionalism and transparency in the working of FSSAI field staff on duty
On this occasion, FSSAI also launched a reusable cloth bag (‘Eat Right Jhola’) to replace plastic bags for grocery shopping with retail chains such as Big Bazaar, More, 24/7 and Reliance Fresh etc. These cloth bags are being provided on rental basis through a private textile rental service company. Proper and regular washing of cloth bags is essential to ensure safety and hygiene, as on repeated use, bags are often contaminated with microorganisms and bacteria.
FSSAI has recently partnered with NASSCOM Foundation to develop an online platform to connect over 50 NGOs working to prevent food waste in the country. A short film on the same was also released. In addition, FSSAI is publishing two books, namely ‘Gandhi and Food’ and ‘Eat Right Textbook’.