Recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award, Dr Indira Chakravarty, former chief advisor of the public health engineering department, West Bengal has played a phenomenal role in promoting food safety and hygiene in India. Food safety is a significant factor for public health in any country. It influences the survival, sustenance, well-being as well as quality of life of all citizens.
Across the globe, foodborne illnesses pose a major challenge to public health and quality of life. Dr Chakravarty has engaged in 30 research projects including two projects of the World Health Organisation(WHO)- The hunger project and the World Summit for Children. Her renowned studies including the one conducted on Kolkata’s street vendors enabled a significant understanding of core hygiene issues. This resulted in the government of West Bengal making policy changes and rolling out initiatives.
The former director and dean of All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, Dr Chakravarty has also been instrumental in spreading awareness regarding the overall health of infants. She opined that the initial 1000 days in a child’s life is a distinctive period. According to her, this timespan serves as the base period for the rest of their lives. If adequate care is given to children during this period, their entire life will be better. Dr Chakravarty also believes that India requires concentrating more on precautionary healthcare to address health issues before people require treatment. According to her, the situation in India is far more critical as compared to other underdeveloped nations when it comes to nutrition.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has bestowed her with the first Edourdo Souma award because of her excellent track record on public health and nutrition. She has also received the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award of the All India National Unity Council (AINUC) as well as the Global Leadership award of the University of South Florida, United States, the highest international honour of the institution.
An accomplished expert on public health issues she works on inter sectoral linkages for a better impact of the programmes on health, nutrition, food safety, water security, sanitation and hygiene. She is dedicated to the betterment of the society, specifically the marginalised sections through these policy interventions.
She works towards a comprehensive planning of programmes and policies on water safety, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene to overcome the challenges surrounding public health. Dr Indira Chakravarty will be part of Mission Paani’s World Toilet Day event to deliberate on the issues of nutrition, food safety, clean water, safe sanitation and hygiene. She will join an esteemed panel of guests to share her vision on policy interventions for a healthier India.
Mission Paani, an initiative by News18 and Harpic India, advocates access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for all. The campaign’s objective is to create awareness about all efforts made by individuals, organisations and government bodies towards safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene.
Be a part of the movement, log on to: Mission Paani