Jitender Agarwal, a resident of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, is certainly not among them. For almost two years he has been chasing me, and accosting me with the need to do something. I would listen to him patiently, and urge him time and again to take on the responsibility of creating a wider awareness. He wasn't content with only my words of encouragement, and finally roped me to head a registered society -- Safe Food.
Safe Food was formally launched at Meerut on April 4. This is purely a citizen's initiative, and the overwhelming response that I witnessed at the launch gives me strength and hope that people are now willing to take the bull by the horn. Local leaders, from different segments of society and religion, stood up to extend support in any way -- moral, physical and financial.
Speaking at the launch ceremony of Safe Food at Meerut on April 4, 2010
After the launch ceremony was over, I had invited those who feel concerned and outraged, and feel the need to do something, to stay back and join us in a strategy session. I knew this was not something that people who attend and participate in seminars/conferences or even launch ceremonies are used to, however the response was not only encouraging but gives me tremendous hope. We were able to plan for a number of activities with attached timelines, and also people came forward to take on responsibilities voluntarily.
I will have something to share with you after April 30. By that time, various team leaders would be able to work out an activity roadmap. Meerut in many ways is the epicenter of food adulteration. It is therefore not only symbolic but significant that the movement aginst food adulteration has also begun from the same city.
While the people's initiatives are being worked out, Safe Food is simultaneously getting ready to petition the Allahabad High Court. At the same time, Safe Food is looking to network with similar organisations and civil society initiatives in different parts of the country, region and also internationally. I am sure that Safe Food will extend its reach and activities to various parts of the northern region, and gradually emerge as a rallying force throughout the country.
I have always believed in people. I know once they take control, they will end up cleansing the rotten system. Let us all join hands to remove this cancerous growth from our midst. You don't have to wait for any doctor to come and advise you, it is hightime you took on the responsibility yourself. Together we can fight food adulteration, and ensure that what we and our children eat is safe and healthy.
Safe Food can be contact at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also reach Jitender Agarwal at +91-9897619265.