- Distribution of fruits takes place every Saturday across 350 centres
- Tripura has earmarked Rs. 1 crore for this project
- Till now, the project has covered over 2 lakh people across the state
New Delhi: In an effort to boost the immunity of people in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Tripura government has been distributing Vitamin C-rich fruits and juices like lemons juice and pineapple for free among people for a month. According to Mr. Sanjoy Mishra, OSD (Officer on Special Duty) to the Chief Minister of Tripura, this initiative is part of the state government’s ‘Mukhya Mantri Corona Pratirodhak Abhiyan (Chief Minister’s Public Immunity Campaign against Corona) through which the fruits will be distributed to people in rural and urban areas.
Also Read: Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana To Provide Free Rations During Coronavirus Lockdown Extended, What Does It Mean For People On The Ground?
Inaugurated "Mukhyamantri Corona Pratirodh Abhiyan" at Agartala. Under this scheme every Saturday we will be distributing Vitamin C enriched Fruits & juice among people throughout the State.
The aim of the scheme is to boost the immunity power of all to combat against COVID19. pic.twitter.com/vmF7lPu8lO
— Biplab Kumar Deb (@BjpBiplab) July 4, 2020
Mr. Mishra further said that the campaign was launched on July 4 and the distribution takes place every Saturday from 12 pm to 4 pm at 350 locations across the state. He said that over 300 people visit each distribution spot every Saturday and till now, more than 2 lakh people have consumed the Vitamin C-rich fruits under the campaign. He said,
The basic idea behind the campaign is to thwart the infection of Covid-19 by boosting people’s immunity. Pineapples and lemon grow in the state in abundance. This year, the farmers had a better and larger produce of the two fruits as compared to last year. Along with strengthening the immunity among people in the COVID times, the government also aims to provide support to the farmers through this programme. Farmers will be able to sell pineapples and lemons at reasonable prices as the pandemic has created a poor impact on the export business. We have employed various women Self Help Groups (SHGs) in the distribution of the lemon juice and pineapples with an aim to help them in income generation. We buy pineapples at Rs. 20 per unit out of which Rs. 15 is the share of the farmer and Rs. 5 is given to SHGs.
The state of Tripura is famous for its queen pineapples, which have made a market in various cities in the country like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and countries like Bangladesh, Dubai and Kuwait, Mr. Mishra said.
He further said that the campaign which is being implemented by National Urban Livelihood Mission at the grassroots level will entail expenditures of Rs 1 crore. Mr. Mishra added,
People are responding wonderfully to the initiative. Distributions done on July 4 and 11 were quite successful. This campaign also generates awareness about the important role played by food and nutrition in the defense mechanism of our body against any kinds of infections. Hygiene and social distancing is followed at every distribution spot.
Also Read: Fighting COVID-19: Plant-Based Diet Can Boost Resistance Against Invading Pathogens, Say Experts
According to Dr. Jagmeet Madan, National President Of Indian Dietetic Association, there is a lack of concrete evidence regarding specific dietary factors that can reduce risk of COVID-19, but it is a known fact that Vitamin C helps in building a healthy immune system which plays a vital role in defending our body against diseases. She said,
Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of the immune system and healing wounds. The deficiency of Vitamin C can lead to a higher susceptibility to infections. Apart from pineapples and lemon juice, one can consume amla, orange, guava, capsicum, cabbage and drumsticks to get Vitamin C.
The state has been battling with coronavirus since the first case was recorded in the month of April. With 2,080 cases so far, Tripura recorded the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in Northeast after Assam, on July 13. The state has been adding over 20 new cases on a daily basis and currently has 603 active cases and has reported two deaths till now due to COVID-19. The state government has been taking various steps to contain the outbreak like organising various awareness-building campaigns focusing on measures to protect oneself from the infection and nutrition and improving testing from none in March to over 14,000 per million as of now. The national average for tests currently is 8,717per million.
Also Read: Opinion: Nourishing The Undernourished In Quarantine During COVID-19 Times
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.