The Punjab government has banned ‘junk food’ in and around schools. Instructions were issued by Director General of School Education cum state Project Director under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan programme a couple of days ago.
As per instructions, there should be no such shop or eating joint inside or even outside (in nearby area) schools, which sells junk food. The students must be directed to bring healthy and nutritious food from home.
There should be regular checking of the school canteen and nearby shops by health department officials, to stop the “menace of junk food” and students must be made aware of the benefits of healthy food. Authorities have asked the education officials to conduct discussions in schools regarding good eating habits.
District education officers have been told that these orders must be implemented strictly, so that junk food is not be available to the students inside or outside the school.
Sources said the orders have been issued following health issues — particularly stomach problems — reported by students in surveys conducted by the health department in schools. Due to easy availability of such food inside and nearby school areas, students develop the habit of eating junk food only.
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Though the government has not specified the cut-off distance for such joints from schools, it mentioned the term nearby schools, said health officials. Punjab Education Minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said that this decision was taken keeping in mind health of the students.