The University of Delhi (DU) has imposed
a University-wide ban on the sale of
carbonated drinks in college canteens,
citing orders from the Ministry of Health
and Family Welfare as the reason.
A recent nutrition threat has come under the radar of Delhi Food Authority (DFA) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The agencies have advised the DU’s Canteen and Nutrition Association to stop the sale of carbonated drinks in the college canteen.
Taking their recommendations into account, DU has come out with Notification 11.5.B, which states that all college canteens will be soda-free from the coming October. This also prevents the sale of local drinks like Arora lemon, and energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster.
The reason for this dire step, as stated by the University, is the DFA’s report on the catastrophic repercussions of drinks with high sugar levels on growing college students’ health. It also stated these might be “the prime reason for low attendance aand backlog among students”.
Rakshit Garvi, a Health Expert at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said, “It’s so evident how so much sugar rush makes kids very hyperactive. They then use this energy on unproductive activities and run out on energy when it comes to attending classes and studying. They can’t concentrate and hence they miss out on their assignments.”
It should also be noted that along with carbonated drinks, this decision will also hit the sale of eatables like Lay’s chips, Chinese noodles, and samosas on campus. Canteens across colleges have also introduced relatively healthier drinks in alternative like lassi, fresh fruit juices, shakes, and chai. Sudama bhaiya, from the famous Sudama ki Chai stall in North Campus, told DU Beat, “This is a great thing happening. This will increases my sales manifold. Students will stop drinking Campa and drink chai more. I also believe all the junk food should be banned and only chai and momos should be permitted.”
Many students are worried about the effects of this step during the fest seasons when many depend on these drinks to quench their thirst. This has also affected cultural society members, especially dramatics and dance society members, who practice under the hot sun, and depend on the coolness of these drinks to get them through. Many also believe that despite this ban, the drinks will continue to be sold in the canteens.
On the other hand, the University and the administration seem adamant about the betterment of the health of the students and have also stated that they will start a thread of programmes with the National Service Scheme chapters in various colleges to raise awareness regarding the dietary needs of students.
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