Create Public Awareness on Food Safety

School campaign workshop for creating awareness of safe food was organized by UBINIG in Upazila Parishod Auditorium of Shahjadpur upazila under Sirajganj district on 24 June, 2014.

The objective of the workshop was to create public awareness on food safety issues and increase awareness on food safety matters among different stakeholders. There were 43 participants attending in the event including school teachers, Unazila administration, Department of Upazila Education and Journalists. Mr. Shamim Ahmed, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Shahjadpur inaugurated the school program creating awareness for safe food as the chief guest. Jahangir Alam Jony, member, central management committee, UBINIG moderated the orientation workshop. The Upazila Assistant Education Officers Md Akhteruzzaman, M Sayed, M Zahirul Hoque; veteran freedom fighter and journalist, Abul Bashar, were special guests. Dr. M. A. Sohban, Consultant, UBINIG chaired the workshop.

Mr. Shamim Ahmed said, food adulteration and food contamination are now burning issues in Bangladesh. We are seriously concerned with the food we take. Food is contaminated with pesticides at production level and also adulterated in course of processing, packaging, transporting and storage. The school program creating awareness for safe food appears significant and appropriate for point of time. The students are very much responsive and respectful to any lesson they get from their teachers. I hope the students will attentively read the instructions provided to them for creating awareness for safe food, practice the principles in their real life situations and share with others. He said, I have visited many times in UBINIG Ishwardi center which is renowned as a Nayakrishi (ecological) center for producing safe food. I hope and believe under the leadership of UBINIG the school campaign program creating awareness for safe food will be a unique model in Shahjadpur. There are all kind of cooperation from Shahajadpur Upazila Administration for enriching the school campaign program for safe food. I wish success of the program and inaugurate the same with pleasure.

Mr. Moinul Islam Sarker, Headmaster of Ibrahim Model Government Priimary School said, we shall distribute the leaflets containing information and instructions on food safety among the students in different classes. We shall organize discussions on health related issues among the students in different interactive sessions.

Mr. Abul Bashar said, we earned independence through the war of liberation. Many of our patriotic freedom fighters gave life for independence. We fought not only for political freedom but also ensuring a better life of people. Now, we are facing the problem of food contamination and adulteration. We have to have a social movement for ensuring safe food for the people. The school program for safe food is appropriate approach for creating a solid perception in the grass root level.

Dr. M. A. Sobhan said, the question of safe food has been an important issue in our society for long. Legal instruments have been in place for ensuring safe food for the people. The sections 272 and 273 of the PC 1860 endorsed food adulteration as on offence. The Pure Food Ordinance (PFO) 1959 also tried the same offence in section 6 (1) (a) and prohibited the food adulteration in manufacturing. Section 16 of the PFO 1959 proscribed keeping adulterations in places where food is manufactured. Later in 1974, the GoB dealt food adulterants under Special Power Act (SPA) 1974 by inserting section 25 c, section 41 in Pure Food Act 2009 and the enactment of Pure Food Ordinance 2013. Lately it was realized that enactment of law was not enough for ensuring safe food for the people. Rather food safety education and motivation at the grass root level was equally important. Under these circumstances the school program creating awareness for safe food was taken up. In this context I like to draw your attention to Nutrition. Nutrition is the supply of materials- food- required by living organisms to stay alive. Human body requires seven types of nutrients. A nutrient is a source of nourishment, an ingredient of food, e.g. protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin, mineral, fiber and water. So the school campaign can create public awareness on food among students and community level.

In the end of the workshop the Upazila Nirbahi Office, Mr Shamim Ahmed distributed the school campaign learning materials and posters among the respective teachers of 11 schools.

After the workshop the Ibrahim Model Government Primary School organized student gathering for safe food campaign. Five hundred eighty students along with the workshop participants attended in the school campaign gathering on safe food campaign. It was a formal initiative of school based safe food campaign for 11 schools of Shahjadpur upazila in Sirajgonj district.

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