Published: 07th November 2019
Karnataka to ban junk food within 50 metres of school campuses soon
Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Suresh Kumar will issue a circular to schools not to encourage children bringing junk food for lunch
A day after the Government of India decided to ban the sale of junk and pre-packaged foods within 50 metres of the school campuses, the Karnataka State Government announced that it is planning to implement it soon. This decision is a part of the 'Eat Right' campaign by the centre. According to the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2019 released by FSSAI recently, food with high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) content cannot be given to children in school canteens or sold within 50 metres of school campuses. Hence, the Department of Public Instruction, in association with the Police Department in Karnataka will soon crack down on junk food joints near schools.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Suresh Kumar said that this is long overdue. “We will take the help of the police to ensure that junk food is not sold near schools. Children tend to buy such foodstuff. This has to stop,’’ he asserted. He also said they are planning to issue a circular to school managements which will insist that parents do not send junk food in children’s lunch boxes. Whether the cops will check tiffin boxes, is not clear though.
Vasudeva Sharma of Child Rights Trust said, “We welcome the decision to ban the sale of junk food. But one has to clearly describe what constitutes junk food. The authorities concerned should create awareness among parents and children and also the vendors,’’ he said. Pointing out that there is a ban on the sale of tobacco products near schools, Sharma also questioned how effectively it has been implemented.
Nutrition consultant Shalini Manglani said there is no concept of ‘junk food’. “It is either junk or food, there is no in-between. If it is not available near schools, children will not consume it. The less they see of it, the less they eat. Children are tempted to eat and once they start eating, it is difficult to stop. Instead of buying junk food, one can buy fruits. The policy is a welcome one,” she added.