Thomas for including food wastage as subject in schools

In a letter to HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and state education ministers, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister K V Thomas appealed for the subject to be included in the syllabus of secondary and higher secondary students.

"Inclusion of a chapter on this topic in social sciences syllabus on lines of environmental awareness or disaster management will go a long way in making children conscious of this important issue from the very growing age," he said. Thomas requested Sibal to ensure that the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) makes appropriate revisions to the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) to include food wastage as a subject, while at the state level, he urged similar action by the individual state boards, according to an official statement.

Upset with the large quantities of food being wasted at marriages, parties and different social gatherings while millions of people go hungry in the country, the minister said he recently held a meeting of eminent citizens, legislators, activists and experts to discuss the problem and formulate remedial measures.

He said that a large number of dishes served in such lavish parties exhibit a vulgar display of wealth, emphasising that expenditure on such occasions puts pressure on prevailing prices of foodgrains, leading to inflation and scarcities. During the meeting, it was unanimously resolved that a special media campaign should be launched to sensitise citizens against such extravagant expenditure and wastage of food.

Further, a need to sensitise students and young citizens regarding avoidable food wastage was stressed by all the stakeholders at the meeting. It was also decided at the meeting to engage the IIPA (Indian Institute of Public Administration) to conduct a survey so as to assess the magnitude of the problem.

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