We don’t need junk food, say school kids
On Wednesday, a group of school students joined the growing lobby demanding ban on the sale of junk food in schools and college canteens across the country. Harish V Nair reports.delhi Updated: Dec 21, 2011 23:59 IST
On Wednesday, a group of school students joined the growing lobby demanding ban on the sale of junk food in schools and college canteens across the country.
“Uncontrolled consumption of junk food and beverages is leading to obesity... Does the fundamental right of an individual or a group to engage in an economic activity allow him to harm the lives of others?” asked the petition filed by 10 students of Father Agnel School. They also submitted postcards to the bench headed by Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri. The court has sought the Centre’s reply by January 4.
Earlier, the court had slammed the Centre for delaying its action-taken report on steps taken to ban the sale of junk food. The Centre was asked to immediately enforce the ban.
“We do not need lip service. We want the government to take effective steps to ensure that the sale and supply of junk food is banned near educational institutions and file an action-taken report by November 2,” the Centre was told on October 5.
The court, at that time, had been reacting to the affidavit filed by the Centre, which merely said that the health ministry “has written” to all state health ministers to “consider” the withdrawal of carbonated beverages and junk food from school and college canteens.
The court is hearing a PIL seeking a ban on the sale of junk food within 1,500 feet radius of schools. Petitioners Rahul Verma and lawyer Rakesh Prabhakar of NGO Uday Foundation told the court: “On one hand, children are taught about good nutrition... On the other hand, we continue to make junk food available to them.”
The petitioners said their nationwide November 2010 survey had revealed that most schools allow easy access to junk food to children in their canteens and shops nearby.