Concerned over large quantities of food being wasted at marriages, parties and social gatherings, the Food Ministry has written to the Ministry of Human Resources Development as well as State governments to include food wastage as a subject in school curriculum to create awareness among students.

In a letter to HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and State Education Ministers, Minister of State (Independent) for Food and Consumer Affairs K.V. Thomas has appealed for the subject to be included in the syllabus for secondary and higher secondary students.

“A large number of dishes served in lavish parties exhibit vulgar display of wealth. Expenditure on such occasions put pressure on prevailing prices of foodgrains leading to inflation and scarcities,” he said.

“Inclusion of a chapter on this topic in social sciences syllabus, on the lines of environmental awareness or disaster management, will go a long way in making children conscious of this important issue from a young age.”

Mr. Thomas urged Mr. Sibal to ensure that the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) makes the necessary revision to the National Curriculum Framework(NCF) for including food wastage as a subject, while ensuring similar action by the individual State boards.

Confronted with complaints of food wastage when million go hungry in the country, the Minister said he recently held a meeting of eminent citizens, legislators, activists and experts to discuss the problem and come up with remedial measures.

The meeting “unanimously resolved” to launch a special media campaign to sensitise citizens against extravagant expenditure and wastage of food. The need to sensitise students and youth about avoidable food wastage was also stressed by the stakeholders.

It was also decided to engage the IIPA (Indian Institute of Public Administration) to conduct a survey to assess the magnitude of the problem.