Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda launched Project 'Clean Street Food' in the presence of Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge).
The project of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) aims at to raise the safety standards of foods sold on streets across the capital city of New Delhi by training 20,000 roadside vendors on aspects of health and hygiene, in the first phase.
As part of Project Clean Street Food, FSSAI will partner with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to train street food vendors at more than 40 centres across Delhi under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) category of the Government's flagship skills training scheme- Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
Speaking at the launch of the Project, the Health Minister stated that this is a pragmatic, practical, constructive and positive approach to skilling one of the largest unorganised sectors of the country.
With nearly 20 lakh street vendors in the country, the training of 20,000 vendors on a pilot basis in the NCR of Delhi is a welcome steep, he noted. As street food forms an integral part of our society, the project which shall upgrade the skills of the street food vendors will also contribute to preventive and promotive health, Mr. Nadda added.
Mr. Nadda complimenting this unique move, stated this was indeed a true partnership between Ministries which earlier were working in silos. This also reflects partnership between a regulating body of the government, corporate and NGOs who have all come together to upgrade the skills of the street food vendors which shall help them enhance their livelihood options also. The Health Minister highlighted the need to maintain the momentum and to institutionalise this effort, such that it is sustained in the long run.
Rajiv Pratap Rudy pointed out that "Project - Clean Street Food will change the lives of millions of Indians at the bottom of the pyramid, boost the country's economic development and lead to the rediscovery of India's rich tradition of street food. Based on our learning from the Delhi project, the Skill India and FSSAI along with State Governments will replicate this initiative in other parts of India".
Under the Delhi Project, 20,000 food street vendors would be trained, assessed and certified by seven training partners over the next four weeks at 40 training centres set up for the purpose across Delhi.
Delhi Food Safety Commissioner and the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) are engaged in mobilisation of street vendors across Delhi. The Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Council (THSC), an affiliate of the National Skill Development Corporation, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship will be the training provider under the Project.
Food vendors will receive Smart Skill-cum-Registration cards on completion of the training. The FSSAI also launched a Mobile App to empower citizens to reach out to the food enforcement machinery for any concerns or suggestions that they may have on the issue of food safety.
It will be wait and watch with regards to the success of the project as there are crores of vendors who sell food on the streets across India. One can just wish that such an ambitious project doesn't end with the pilot project itself.