Aligned to the countrywide mission “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” for ensuring commitment to Cleanliness and Jago Grahak Jago, a Consumer Welfare movement, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in National partnership with Consumer Body VOICE, National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), Cargill India and other stakeholders organised a Safe Food Walkathon on 4th October, 2015, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, as a part of the food safety advocacy programs of Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan. The initiative is a Pan India Food Safety Awareness & Capacity Building Campaign to strengthen nationwide action on Safe Food for All.
The Safe Food Walkathon was flagged off by Hon’ble Minister of Health, Industry and Power, Government of NCT of Delhi, Satyendra Jain soon after completing the Pledge Ceremony of committing sensitisation of all stakeholders and strengthening capacity towards safe food for all.
With heightened consumer demand for safe and unadulterated food, food safety and hygienic practices is the need of the hour. There is also an increasing need to focus on safety of Street Food which is enjoyed by all sections of the society said Hon’ble Minister of Health, Industry and Power, Government of NCT of Delhi, Satyendra Jain .
Access to safe food is a basic human right, mentioned Dr Alka Kaul, Chairperson, CII Delhi State Council and Director, Horizon Industrial Products Private Limited .Our goal should be to provide high-quality, safe food every time, everywhere. We believe that in today’s complex and interdependent food supply chain, food safety is a shared responsibility of the farmers, the food industry, regulators as well as consumers.
Siraj Chaudhry, Chairman, Cargill India Pvt. Ltd said, “Cargill is dedicated to nourishing people and our goal is to provide high-quality, safe food every time, everywhere. We are glad to join hands with CII as National Industry Partner and be a catalyst to improve food safety awareness in the country as well as drive the agenda of ‘safe food as everyone’s right’ through the Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan. The response towards today’s walkathon drive has been very encouraging. He further added that through this Walkathon, we have a vision towards sensitizing consumers, street food operators and industry on their roles, rights, importance of hygienic practices and systems for food safety risk mitigation.
The Walkathon had several parallel activities comprising Nukkad Natak & experience sharing by street food vendors, a skit by Jago Grahak Jago team, painting competition, I pledge wall and thematic performance on Food Safety by Funkaar Artists. There were more than 2300 participants including the Senior citizens and people from all walks of life.
CII has formed the Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan Steering committee with members from NASVI, VOICE, Cargill and other industry representatives. It is led by S Dave, Chairman, Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan . The Committee meets to set directions and review progress on the deliverables at stipulated intervals. It is supported by working groups one of which is actively working out modalities of involving schools, colleges and academic institutes and involving them in Food Street Adoption programs for upgrading food safety in street food and raising awareness among consumers.
The Delhi Walkathon will be followed by 7 more Safe Food Walkathons & more than 20 consumer advocacy programs across the country in the coming six months.