Govt examining fortification of oil with vitamins: Supriya

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Nagpur, Oct 12 (UNI) The Central government is examining the possibility of fortification of edible oil with vitamins as a measure to tackle malnutrition in the country, according to NCP leader and MP Supriya Sule.

Speaking at a 'meet the press' programme, hosted by Nagpur Union of Working Journalists (NUWJ) here yesterday, Ms Sule said the programme was being implemented for the past year in Gujarat. ''From the information that I was given by officials there, the results have been fabulous,'' she said.

A group of young Members of Parliament (MPs) from all the parties, working together on issues of common interest like development, health, education and malnutrition, had apprised the Planning Commission of the scheme, Ms Sule, a Rajya Sabha member said. The MPs had also met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Minister for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) Renuka Chaudhari and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Lal Krishna Advani, and discussed the issue with them, she disclosed.

The government wanted to examine whether fortifying edible oil in this manner would have any harmful side effects, and was consulting diet experts on the issue, Ms Sule said, adding that the issue would also be discussed at the next meeting of the chief ministers.

The group of young MPs, which works under the banner of ''Citizens' Alliance,'' had also taken up an initiative to monitor the implementation of the government's schemes to tackle malnutrition in various states in the country, Ms Sule said. ''We have formed a study group, which includes some MPs and experts, and are visiting various states in turn, trying to sensitise everybody concerned with the eradication of malnutrition. Besides, we also monitor the schemes, but it is not a confrontation,'' she said.

Ms Sule said the Yeshwantro Chavan Foundation (YCF) would launch a programme to mobilise women's self-help groups (SHGs) in Maharashtra on December 15 next. Under the programme, a database of all SHG's and their activities would be created and shared. ''The groups themselves will be told to think beyond pickles and papads, and manufacture other quality products that have demand,'' the MP said.

The launch would be preceded by a meeting of representatives of SHG's from across the state, at Solapur on November 15, and divisional level workshops to train the women in marketing, branding and quality control, she added.

UNI

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