Address by Governor at the release of the book ‘Obesity Mantra: The Malady and the Remedy’
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the release of the book ‘Obesity Mantra: The Malady and the Remedy’ at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 1000 hrs on Thursday, 11th October 2018
Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Smt. Rashmi Shukla, IPS, Shri Abhinandan Thorat, Senior Journalist, Smt. Pallavi Darade, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Dr Jayashree Todkar, other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning and a warm welcome to all of you to Raj Bhavan. I also extend my Navaratri greetings to you.
At the outset, I thank Dr Jayashree Todkar organizing this event on the occasion of World Anti Obesity Day. I must confess, I came to know of this day only because of her.
I thank Dr Jayashree for flagging the issue of obesity, which is acquiring alarming proportions in our society.
I congratulate her and to Shri Santosh Shenai for jointly authoring a well-researched book ‘Obesity Mantra : The Malady and the Remedy’. I found the book to be simple and easy to understand.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In the olden days, we used to see an obese person once in a while. Such individuals were like an odd-man-out in the midst of healthy individuals. Many times obese people were made objects of fun.
Today however times have changed. Obesity doesn’t surprise or shock us anymore.
Obesity rates are rapidly increasing in India as in most parts of the world. I read that in some of the African countries, it has acquired epidemic proportions. There are many factors, the important being growing economy, drastic changes in lifestyle, fast food expansion and a shift towards more sedentary living.
According to one statistics, worldwide 39 per cent of adults were overweight and 13 per cent were obese in 2016.
According to the information provided by Dr Jayashree Todkar in her book, India is next only to the United States and China in the number of persons suffering from obesity.
What is worrying is that more school children are getting obese.
Obesity, particularly in urban areas, is bringing its own set of problems such as Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart ailments and a variety of cancer.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We rightly take pride of the fact that India is emerging as the youngest nation in the world. We also take pride of the fact that by 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years. We will be enjoying the demographic dividend at a time when many countries of Europe and Japan are ageing.
Obesity and its allied complications could pose an obstacle in achieving the goal of ‘Health for All’ and negate the gains of our demographic dividend.
Time has come to view obesity as a serious challenge to health and come up with a protocol to address it in the right earnest. I wish to compliment the Hon’ble Chief Minister for constituting a Task Force on the issue of Obesity. It would be appropriate to review the work of the Task Force regularly.
Creating awareness among parents, teachers and children themselves about obesity and food habits could be the first major step towards addressing the challenge.
The other day, our cricketing legend Bharat Ratna Sachin Tedulkar met me. Shri Tendulkar proposed the launching of ‘Mission Young and Fit India’ across universities in the State. He made a simple plea that every child, every student and every youth should spend at least one hour to play.
Even though the suggestion appears very simple, it can have tremendous impact on the health and well being of the nation, and therefore I support the idea wholeheartedly.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister is present here today. I would like to request the Hon’ble Chief Minister to explore the possibility of organizing a compulsory medical camp in every school at the start of the academic year. We may organize expert talks to create awareness among children about obesity and other issues. A free dental check up camp can also be organized. Creating enlightened children will create an enlightened society.
Dr Jayashree Todkar has done a lot to generate awareness on the issue of obesity. By co-authoring the book ‘Obesity Mantra’, she has done a great favour to society.
I congratulate the authors and wish the publication all success.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!