Pawan Kotwal, Adviser to the Lt Governor of Ladakh, launched the scheme to provide fortified wheat flour through Public Distribution System (PDS) of UT, during a programme organised by the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department at Kangri Mill, Chuchot Gongma, Leh, on Monday.
Pawan Kotwal, accompanied by Secretary of Health and Food Safety, Vasantha Kumar, and other officials visited the mill to inspect the process of wheat flour fortification. The technical team apprised him in detail about the functioning of the machinery installed there.
While addressing the gathering, Kotwal said the Union government is providing fortified rice to the entire country, including Ladakh, through PDS this year onwards. Additionally, in Ladakh, fortified wheat flour will be available to the whole populace, he said.
Kotwal added that the main objective of the fortification of wheat flour is to eradicate the deficiency of Iron, folic acid, and Vitamin B12, which is alarmingly high in Ladakh as compared to the whole country. Quoting the National Family Health Survey data, he said that more than 95% of the population have been found anaemic in Ladakh.
Further, he stated that to supplement the micronutrient needs, especially of pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children, the administration is distributing Iron and folic acid supplements free of cost in the form of tablets. However, the compliance level of taking these medicines is low. With the launching of fortified wheat flour in Ladakh, he expressed hope that the problem of anaemia would be solved in Ladakh.
The Adviser added that in harsh weathered places like Ladakh people do not get sufficient levels of Vitamin A and D. Therefore, to supplement micronutrients, he advised the shopkeepers to make available fortified oil and milk, so that consumers can benefits from these items.
This article has been republished from The Tribune.