Hunger is no longer an issue of charity but an issue of justice: Parmod Kumar Merkap (IFS. Retd), Chairperson, Odisha State Food Commission

NEW DELHI : Mr Parmod Kumar Merkap (IFS Retd), Chairperson, Odisha State Food Commission yesterday said that hunger is no longer an issue of charity but an issue of justice.

Addressing IDEATE 2021 Nutrition Reimagined – Going the Local Way organized by FICCI Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence in partnership with Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation, Mr Parmod Kumar Merkap further said, “Vocal for local concept can be adopted to address malnutrition by promoting nutrition gardening and local innovative practices”.

A panel discussion also took place which constituted of Dr Supreet Kaur, Senior Policy Advisor, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN); Ms Swarnima Shukla, Joint Director, Dept of Women and Child Development, MP; Dr Devika Gali, Chief Manager, Public Health Nutrition, Piramal Foundation and Ms Shaifalika Panda, CEO, Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation.

Ms Swarnima Shukla, Joint Director, Women and Child Development, MP talked about the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition programme of the state government and how the programme aims at helping Severely Acute Malnourished (SAM) & Medium Acute Malnourished (MAM) children.

“Malnutrition needs a multi-pronged and a multi sectoral approach; all stakeholders should be involved”, say Ms Swarnima Shukla, and added lack of awareness on part of the community is a concern, and developing community ownership is an area where private partners could step-in.

During the discussion Dr Supreet Kaur, Senior Policy Advisor, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) said Public private partnerships should have an equity provision, which ensures that the quality of services to be provided are equally distributed across all the society

Dr Devika Gali, Chief Manager, Public Health Nutrition, Piramal Foundation said CSR could play a very extensive role in nutrition sensitive interventions. She added, “Community inclusive nutrition programming should be a primordial wherein community essentially becomes part of planning & prioritising”.

Ms Shaifalika Panda, CEO, Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation said Private players could do some research and investment to develop a local based food model. Private sector also has access to technology, and this is the right time to go in for a technology integrated Nutri education at the community level.