A Scrumptious Presentation: World Food Day
World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945.
“It is celebrated with events held across 150 countries to promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. It is also a day for us to celebrate the progress we have already made towards reaching Zero Hunger “- FAO
Each year, NIT Rourkela also celebrates World Food Day. We talked to Prof. Sabyasachi Mishra, HOD, Food Process Engineering before the event. Here’s what he had to say:
The reason we celebrate World Food Day every year is to create awareness amongst people about the importance of food. It is essential to preserve and maintain a commodity as important as food. Earth’s population is increasing but the amount of cultivable land is decreasing. Need for food is increasing but the supply is going down. It comes down to a Food Engineer to come up with solutions for reducing food wastage, processing and preserving. The United Nations has hence declared 16th October as World Food Day. This year’s theme is ‘Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development’. Our main aim is to create awareness among the students and the community, as it comes down to the Food Engineers of the country to do so.
On the day of the event, the proceedings began at 10:00 am. The Chief Guest for the event was Er. Sanjay Kumar Swain, IFS, DFO of Rourkela and other guests included Prof. R.K Singh, H.O.D Chemical Engineering Department of NIT Rourkela and Prof. Animesh Biswas, Director, NIT Rourkela. A lamp was lighted, as a mark to start the celebrations. Prof. Sabyasachi Mishra felicitated each of the guests with bouquets. He then proceeded to give a speech addressing the Director, the Chief Guest and the participants enumerating the achievements of students of the department in spite of the fact, that it was just the first batch which passed out last year. He also expressed about the lack of rooms and faculties in the department. But despite all hurdles, they managed to secure funds worth 3 crores for external projects. He then expressed gratitude to Prof. R.K Singh, HOD of Chemical Department for supporting the department since its inception and catering to all their needs as much as possible. Prof. S.Mishra also tried to clear the misconception that almost everyone has, regarding Food Process Engineering. It is an engineering discipline just like any other course which has hardly anything to do with the cooking of food. People have a general notion of food processing engineers that they cook, which is absolutely incorrect. Food Process Engineers design equipment, products, develop processing steps, improve quality and storage facilities.
Prof R.K Singh, Chemical Department then spoke to the audience. In his speech, he assured that the Chemical Engineering Department will give full support to all future aspirations of the department, like the way they have been doing in the past. The Chief Guest for the event, Er. S.K. Swain also described the importance and urgent need of Food Process Engineers in the current era, with the enormous increase in the population. He spoke about how there has been degradation of agricultural land with the exponential increase in the population, which will result in the scarcity of resources that the world will be facing in coming years.
The Director seemed immensely impressed by the achievements of the students and hoped to see the department at greater heights. He reassured that all possible aids will be given to the department as and when required. Then, the Chief Guests went to see the posters prepared by students and the Ph.D. scholars on various burning issues which need urgent attention on the theme of Zero Hunger. After this, entries for the Video making competition were displayed. 5 teams participated, comprising of students from all years of B.Tech and Ph.D. students, after which results for Model making competition by 1st-year students were declared.
After the tea break, a quiz was conducted by Abhishek Patra, a 3rd-year student of Food Process Engineering and President of Inquizzitive. It had two rounds; the first being prelims in which 6 teams qualified for the Finals.
At 4 p.m prize distribution ceremony was held in which runner-ups and winners of each of the event including logo making were commended by the faculties namely Prof. P.P. Sutar, Prof. P. Sarkar, Prof. R.C. Pradhan, and Prof. Sabyasachi Mishra. Then, Prof. Mishra extended thanks to the students for making the event a success by due to the active involvement of everyone. The event was hassle free and on schedule. It was a very successful event, thanks to Prof. Preetam Sarkar who coordinated the whole event, assisted by Ph.D. scholars, faculty members and students of the department. Team MM congratulates the Department of Food Process Engineering for hosting a very successful ‘World Food Day’ event.