CHANDIGARH,21.11.20-A month-long Trans-fat free Diwali campaign initiated by the Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER Chandigarh was successfully concluded with a valedictory function. The first-of-its-kind campaign launched by Principal Secretary Health, Mr. Hussan Lal and Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Mr. Kumar Rahul achieved new milestones in the country's battle against elimination of trans-fats. The ceremony was organised in order to honour the celebrities and officials who extended their indispensable support to make the campaign a success.

During the ceremony, campaign ambassadors from Punjabi Music industry, film industry, and International sports persons were honoured by various experts from across the country. Sh Milkha Singh, Mr Jasbir Jassi, Mr Babbal Rai, Mr Lehmber Hussainpuri, Mr Dinesh Mohan, Mr Sahil Anand, Mr Gurinder Makhna, Ms Preet Kamal, Ms Asees Chadha, Mr Beant Singh Bhinder, and Mr Tajinder Pal Singh Toor were among the key ambassadors who were felicitated during the event.

Various subject experts including Dr Amarjeet Singh, Professor and Head, Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER Chandigarh; Dr. Umesh Kapil, Professor, Dept. of Public Health Nutrition, AIIMS; Dr. Ravi Mehrotra, CEO, ICMR-India Cancer Research Consortium; Dr. Rana J. Singh, Deputy Regional Director (Tobacco & NCD Control) The Union, New Delhi; Dr. Sanjay Zodpey, President, IASPM; Dr. Sanjay Rai, National President, Indian Public Health Association; Dr. R. Hemlatha, President,ICMR- Nutrition Society of India; Dr. Rubeena Shahin, Director, FSSAI; Sh. Sarpreet Singh Gill, IAS, Education Secretary Department of Education, UT Chandigarh; Dr. Om Prakash, Country Coordinator, GHAI, USA; and Ms. Parul, Correspondent, Indian Express, Chandigarh also joined the ceremony.

“The Trans fat free Diwali campaign received an overwhelming response from everyone across the globe. Being one of the most celebrated festivals across India, Diwali also provides people reason to consume unhealthy foods having high levels of trans fats. Keeping the fact in mind, we used the opportunity to launch this awareness campaign that could benefit the population at large,” said Dr Sonu Goel, Professor, Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGI Chandigarh.

Extending his gratitude to media organisations who supported the campaign, Dr Goel said that the organisations including Indian Express, Hindustan Times, The Daily Pioneer, Chandigarh Savera, Dainik Bhaskar, Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala, Ajit, and others helped us in taking the campaign to new heights. He further thanked Mirchi RJ Mehak (Radio Mirchi Chandigarh, 98.3 FM) for collaborating with providing desired hype to the campaign in the tri-city. The campaign was also technically supported by Strategic Institute for Public Health Education and Research (SIPHER); an advocacy focused civil society, and Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI); the funding management.

"On behalf of FSSAI, I would like to congratulate PGI Chandigarh, SIPHER, and GHAI for this unique and informative campaign. It gives us immense sense of relief that premium institutes like PGI Chandigarh are working for elimination of trans fats, said Dr Rubeena Shahin.

“SIPHER is extremely privileged to be a part of the Trans fat free Diwali campaign. The campaign not only informed the general public about the ill-effects of trans-fats but also alerted bureaucrats regarding the reinforcement of policies against trans fats,” said Dr Rakesh Gupta, President, SIPHER.

“This was a dream project and first of its kind in the country and globe where such type of campaign targeting audience across sectors was planned and successfully executed. The team of SMHSP left no stone unturned to make it successful. I urge you all once again to Avoid Trans fats and keep yours and your family healthy and safe,” said Dr Om Prakash Bera, Country Coordinator, GHAI.