MYSURU: Scientists and students of CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) are working overtime to feed people in flood-ravaged Tamil Nadu.
Over 300 of them were at the job till late Thursday night. CFTRI’s first two consignments consisting of over 10 tonnes of ready-to-eat chapatis, mango thokku, poha, buns, biscuits, corn flakes and gul pavate (sweet) left for Chennai on Thursday night and Friday evening.
A truck load of water was also dispatched on Friday.
The food preparation has been intensified as the institute plans to send five tonnes of food everyday till the situation improves.
The CFTRI food will reach CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) in Chennai, the nodal hub for distribution of food from CSIR-CFTRI to various districts of Tamil Nadu.
Preference for Energy Booster
CFTRI has been focusing on instant energy boosting foods. Hence, it has prepared gul pavate (halwa made of wheat) for the first time as it will help boost energy instantly. Energy powder has also been kept in packs which can be consumed by just mixing in water, CSIR-CFTRI director Ram Rajasekharan told reporters.
Around 35 volunteers and six scientists have accompanied the consignment. With the help of local people and NGOs, they will ensure that the food and water reach the needy, he said. Rajasekharan said food is being prepared separately for adults and children. Though it could last one to three months, the institute has reduced the validity on the packet label to ensure that it is distributed immediately. Manisha Thakur, an MSc food technology student who is working at the food preparation unit, said she is proud to help the flood-hit people. “Food is the basic need and I am happy that I am contributing my bit in feeding them. It is one of the greatest experiences I ever had,” she said.
CFTRI had delivered food during the Uttarakhand floods, the 2004 tsunami and the Kargil war.
Private Players Pitch In
Many private players, including MTR and Cycle Pure Agarbathies, have come forward to sponsor food, and a few logistic companies have offered help in their transportation, Rajasekhar added.