In order to promote the benefits of Fortified Rice while elucidating the concerns about the impact of its consumption among some sections of the population those are vulnerable to Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Anaemia, the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) has requested various States like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Telangana Rajasthan, Kerala to organize workshop/seminar by the respective State Governments in the sensitive areas of tribal belts and districts that have populations that are vulnerable to Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Anaemia.
This initiative has been carried out by organizing workshops by the Govt. of Gujarat at Meril Academy, in Vapi on 09.09.2022 where Hon’ble Finance Minister, Government of Gujarat, Minister, Food & Public Distribution, Govt. of Gujarat, State Minister Food and Public Distribution, Government of Gujarat and other higher officers of Govt. of Gujarat and officer from Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, technical experts and members from media attended the programme.
Ms. Neha Arora, State Programme Officer, Nutritional International, Gujarat made a presentation on fortified staples provided through social safety net programmes. Dr. Yazdi Italia former Honorary Director, Sickle Cell Anemia Control Programme, a Go-NGO Partnership Program of Govt. of Gujarat made a presentation on understanding Hemoglobinopathis-Sickle Cell Anemia, Thalassemia. Similarly, Prof. (Dr.) Sirimavo Nair, Nodal Officer, Gujarat (NFSA Concurrent Evaluation D/o Food & PD-Govt. of India) made a presentation on fortified staples and its positive impact on public health. Dr. BhaveshBariya, Asst. Professor, Department of Community Medicine, NAMO-MERI-Silvasa also made a presentation on fortified staples and its effect on Hemoglobinopathis.
The presentations were followed by a Panel discussion by technical experts and officials from FCI and D/o Food & PD. The programme was covered by several leading local newspapers in Gujarat.
At the end of the workshop, there was general consensus regarding the positive impact of rice fortification in Govt. schemes and its significant contribution to the country’s nutritional security strategy.