Subhash K, Elise Bijon with Naisha Rajani’s club members.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
A 12-year-old regular customer of one of the UAE’s oldest organised retail chains, Choithrams, and campaigner along with her colleagues are pleading with the community to join the #StopTheWaste global movement in the country and save enough food for the needy.
The campaign is a social media movement for change and has been launched by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) globally. It aims to put the spotlight on the critical issue of food waste and highlight simple solutions we can all adopt to prevent it.
Besides the social media activation in a press conference, the officials from the Choithrams have announced the support of the drive ‘Stop the Waste’ campaign asking the general public to be more conscious of their food waste – one of the fundamental steps towards eradicating global hunger. The event held at Al Wasal outlet was also attended by representatives from WFP and Choithrams, members of the community and the media. During the event, Choithrams customer and 12-year old campaigner Naisha Rajani issued an impassioned plea to stop food waste.
She said, “Wastage of food angers me, makes me sad. I have seen a malnourished child and her mother begging two years ago in India and that has changed my life. Please never forget what one piece of bread or a small meal which goes to dustbin can do for the hungry or needy. When millions are dying due to hunger, we cannot close our eyes. When children are dying due to malnourishment, we cannot forget that. I keep remembering that day from two years back and it breaks my heart.”
L.T Pagarani, Chairman Choithrams said, “Our partnership with World Food Programme is an excellent example of how we have linked our work here in Choithrams with a global cause, creating a purpose in our business that goes beyond profit. So when we come together to raise awareness about something as important as food waste – we ensure our business becomes more efficient, we ensure our customers can choose and buy wisely and we ensure that our future generations live in a balanced world, where food waste does not exist.”
“Time has come for us to take drastic action against food waste. Also, wasting food increases greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to climate change,” added Pagarani.
Following the widespread success of the Meals of Hope campaign, launched last Ramadan, the Dubai Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) has announced that the second phase of the ‘Meals of Hope’ campaign will be extended to other areas of Dubai as well.
There are 80 UAE Food Bank fridges placed in different parts of Dubai for people to donate food during this Holy Month and year around.
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The Authority further said it seeks to provide extensive support to community members during this challenging period and stressed that everyone’s cooperation is critical to combat the pandemic.
Two centres would be conducting the test from the car, while the third would be for laboratory analysis, he added.
The measures will be effective from 8.00 pm on Saturday, 4 April, 2020 for a period of two weeks, subject to renewal.