Jammu,September 12,2015-CNS:- Department of Botany, University of Jammu, in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Food and Agriculture Centre of Excellence (FACE), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Consumer Voice from New Delhi jointly organized one day STAKEHOLDER’s Workshop on Food Fortification here in the seminar hall of the Department. Dr. Ghanshyam Dev, Principal, Govt Medical College and associated Hospitals, Jammu was the Chief Guest, Prof. Geeta Sumbali was the Guest of Honour while Dr. Ashin Sanyal, the Chief Operating Officer of the Consumer Voice and Dr. Rekha Harish, Head, Department of Pediatrics, SMGS Hospital, Jammu, were the lead speakers in the workshop.
In this workshop speakers highlighted the need for Food Fortification and its importance for attacking malnutrition as well as life style related health issues. Speaking on the topic ”Fortification addresses the satisfaction of Hidden Hunger for micronutrients” Dr. Sanyal explained why food fortification for micro nutrient deficiencies is the need of the hour, how it is done and which staple foods are targeted. He explained at length the issue of ‘Hidden Hunger in the form of malnutrition which is one of the major health problems confronting the mankind. While the Food fortification has been adopted at the level of individuals in the developed nations, we still are in the process of creating awareness at the regional and national level, Dr. Sanyal added. He cited the examples of Food Fortification which began silently in 1953 in India with the Vitamin A fortified VANASPATI GHEE and the introduction of IODISED SALT in 1990’s to curb the menace of malnutrition. All these deficiencies are the root cause of many foetal problems in the pregnant females and childhood period, he further added. He desired and exhorted upon the State Government to implement the concept of Food fortification mid-day meal, public distribution System and cooperatives stores. All staples need to be fortified in PDS system. Since our body does not show any symptoms of minerals and vitamins deficiency, therefore it becomes imperative to ensure health at all the stages of life, he opined.
Speaking on the occasion the expert speaker, Dr. Rekha Harish, Head explained in detail the importance of Food fortification and its adoption in our daily diets. Sharing her vast experience of the modern day life style diseases, Dr. Rekha said, it’s time to reverse the trend from Hypoactive foot and Hyperactive Fork to Hyperactive foot and Hypoactive fork. She encouraged the audience to go back to the traditional food dishes and recipes which would help compensate for almost all mineral and vitamin deficiencies. She also compared the symptoms and outcome of the sedentary and active life style in the present generation especially the children.
The Chief Guest, Dr. Ghanshyam Dev, showed his deep concern about the rise in Vitamin D deficiency cases in India and In Jammu and Kashmir’ and talked about the health scenario of the state and showed his commitment to eradicate mineral and vitamin deficiencies . He apprised that our Govt Medical College has got the facility for various Vitamin and mineral deficiency tests and very soon with our health mission programmes would be primarily focused on these issues. He congratulated the amalgam and the Department of Botany, University of Jammu for having taken this initiative of food fortification awareness campaign here in Jammu and extended his full support in future endeavors also.
Earlier, Prof. Yash Pal Sharma, Head, Department of Botany, University of Jammu formally welcomed the officials from the Consumer Voice and thanked them for holding the prestigious workshop here in the University of Jammu.
Food fortification is increasingly recognized as an effective complementary strategy to combat malnutrition. Staple food fortification, i.e. through the fortification of commonly consumed staples such as wheat flour, edible oil, milk and salt, offers an ideal mechanism to deliver critical vitamins and minerals, such as iron, folic acid, vitamins A, D, B12 and similar to large populations thereby slowly but surely building resilience resulting in positive health and nutritional outcomes. In India, there are several examples of staple food fortification with Iodized Salt being the most recognized public nutrition initiative of the Government of India.
There was a very active participation by audience from faculty members of University of Jammu and SMVDU, Katra, various colleges of Jammu, J&K Health Department, Women & Child Development; Students from Food and Nutrition Institutes, Academicians, Industry and Consumers who provided their whole hearted support to this initiative and pledged and promised to spread this message to all the stakeholders in the state. Media Representatives also attended this workshop in the large number. Prof. Namrata Sharma presented a formal vote of thanks while the proceedings of the workshop were conducted by Dr. Geeta