Right eating campaign brings Nagaland a message to chew on
Kohima, Nov. 5 (EMN):The eat-right and food standards campaign ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra,’ a pan India cycle rally, has reached Nagaland propagating the message of consumer awareness on—among other likened concepts—food safety and food processing, transportation storage handling, packaging, and distribution.
Nagaland state received Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) officials and 29 cyclists from Manipur. The team was accorded a warm welcome by members of the Khiamniugan Naga. The ‘cyclathon’ is organised by the FSSAI of the ministry of Health & Family Welfare in association with the state’s Health & Family Welfare unit.
The three basic principles of the campaign is ‘eat safe, eat Healthy, and eat fortified.’ The platform, it informed, will also lead the nation to ‘freedom from diseases’ by sending the message of right food habits to ‘every corner of the country.’
During a programme that themed on the campaign, which was held Monday morning, Nov. 5 in Kohima, the Kohima Municipal Council’s (KMC) administrator Kovi Meyase said that although people are well informed, there are times when reminders are needed for the citizens to live a healthy lifestyle.
In the context of Nagaland, he was of the view that it was easy for the people to practice healthy food habits as they have easy access to organic foods. He expressed hope the campaign would be the beginning of a culture of healthy lifestyle.
The participants also took a pledge to eat right, which was followed by a simple food testing demonstration; and a discourse about food safety by a team of food safety members. The pledge to ‘eat healthy, eat safe’ was administered by Master of Ceremony, Chandrika Das. The officials explained that a simple food test to check adulterated food products of salt, chili powder, honey, tea leaves etc can be done at home.
Swasth Bharat Yatra, a pan India cycle rally, is said to be inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March and Salt Satyagraha of 1930. The campaign was flagged off on World Food Day, Oct. 16, with the objective slogan ‘Eat Right India,’ on six tracks from six different locations. The rally covers almost all states and union territories and shall be culminating at New Delhi on Jan. 27, 2019.
According to a handout from the department of Health and Family Welfare, the Eat Right India movement is a collective effort to engage key stakeholders and citizens. This aligns with the government’s recent focus on public health through three key programmes namely the Swachh Bharat Mission, Ayushman Bharat and Poshan Abhiyaan. It also aligns with many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The campaigners comprise 150 volunteer cyclists while the publicity convoy includes a mobile unit and a mobile food testing unit. The convoy, it informed will be having stopovers in cities and towns and have transit stops and activities in over 2000 locations spread over 100 days.
During the 100 days event, the cyclists will cover 50-60 kilometres, halting at 2-3 towns and cities on the way. The cyclists will hand over a symbolic baton to the next batch as part of the relay.
The last batch of cyclists will converge in New Delhi on Jan. 27, 2019 concluding the Swasth Bharat Yatra in the first phase of the Eat Right India movement. Cyclists will cycle every alternate days and activations will be organised in-transit and on the interim days when the baton is relayed to the next batch of cyclists at a flag off event.
In Nagaland, the advisor for Law & Justice, flagged off the Swasth Bharat Yatras, on Nov. 4 at the Police Headquarters. The flag-off of the teams to Dimapur will be held on Nov. 6 at the War Cemetery in Kohima at 8am by Pangnyu Phom, minister of Health.
The team will be received on Nov. 6 at the community health centre at Medizphema in at around 1 pm. On the morning of Nov. 7, an assembly of the participants and cyclists will be held at 5 am at the Super Market in Dimapur, which will be followed by the Swasth Bharat Yatra fair.
The deputy commissioner of Dimapur will be flagging off the campaigners and hand over the baton to the Assam team from Nagaland on Nov. 7 at 2 pm, at the Super Market in the city.
Flagging in the Yatra, Dr. Longriniken said that the mission, with its aim to ensure trans-fat free India by 2022 was interesting. Everyone needs to be informed about how to keep a healthy life, he said. The mission for the Northeast chapter started from Tripura. It has crossed Mizoram, Manipur and entered Nagaland spreading the message of healthy eating and eating safely for healthy living and to achieve a ‘healthy nation.’ He said that the mission was more ambitious then the World Health Organization’s call for trans-fat free nation’s by 2023.
“There are various types of diseases, some are hereditary, some communicable and some self created, like Diabetes, obesities and heart disease etc, which is associated with our living habit and diet with high levels of fat, sugar and salts,” Dr. Longriniken said. He called upon the citizens of Nagaland to reduce their salt and sugar intake, and control their diet. He urged them to participate actively in the mission to achieve the goals of good health.
Expressing his excitement at welcoming the cyclists from Manipur, Dr. Longriniken called upon them to maintain friendship among the states in order to make the entire Northeast a ‘healthy’ region. He requested the FSSAI officials from Delhi to carry forward the message that the people of Nagaland had resolved to actively participate in the mission. He wished the mission a success towards achieving its target goal by 2022.
In his welcome speech, Sr. Superintendent of Kohima police, Vekhosa Chakhesang, said that the Swasth Bharat Yatra, was flagged off on October 16. 2018 by the prime minister with the goal to promote health.
Pointing out that most of the consumable food items were adulterated, which alarms and causes hazardous to health, Chakhesang said that eating right and healthy was an important issue and everyone’s concern.
He expressed appreciation for the initiative taken by the ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the FSSAI, to create nationwide awareness and give a strong message of consumer awareness on food safety from raw materials, processing to finished products. He hoped that the team’s journey and activities in Nagaland would be a positive one. He expressed optimism that the time, energy and sacrifices put in for the social cause shall be rewarded by the Almighty.
Welcoming the cyclists and FSSAI officials on behalf of Food Safety establishment of Nagaland Nagaland, the joint director of the Health & Family Welfare department, Dr. Akuo Sorhie said that the team had done well by being an ambassador of the mission. She expressed belief that the Eat Right India Movement will bring significant changes in ensuring safe and nutritious food for the people of Nagaland too.
She conveyed that the Food Safety establishment of the Nagaland was committed to taking the mission ‘Eat Right India, Eat Right Nagaland’ forward even in the future.
The cycle rally will culminate in the national capital on January 27.
Prabhat Pheris: Walking to healthy food, healthy life
There was also another associated event. The minister for Health and Family Welfare S Pangnyu Phom flagged off what is called the “Prabhat Pheris” or Hindi for morning walk. The Prabhat Pheris is said to be part of the Swasth Bharat Yatra. The event was conducted at the police headquarters in Kohima on Monday morning. The walk aims to spread the same message of ‘Eat Right India.’
The campaign is to create consumer awareness about eating safe and nutritious food for citizens to ‘become healthy.’
In his short speech during the flag off function, the minister welcomed the FSSSA officials and participants of the Swasth Bharat Yatra on behalf of the state.
Phom opined that the campaign should be a worldwide campaign to spread the message of healthy food habits, and ensuring safe and nutritious food, across the world.
After they were flagged off, the participants proceeded to the office of the Kohima Municipal Council where the Swasth Bharat Mela was.
(Additional inputs from Kohima DPRO)