The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in association with the Smart Cities Mission under the aegis of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) announced the winners of EatSmart Cities Challenge in an online event. The 11winning cities include Chandigarh, Indore, Jabalpur, Jammu, Panaji, Rajkot, Rourkela, Surat, Sagar, Tumkuru and Ujjain. These cities will now enter into the scale up stage of the Challenge wherein the projects undertaken at the pilot stage will now be scaled up in a sustainable manner.
Launched in April 2021, the EatSmart Cities Challenge aims to motivate Smart Cities to develop and execute a plan that supports a healthy, safe, and sustainable food environment by adopting various Eat Right India initiatives. A total of 108 cities had registered in the challenge out of which 20 cities were shortlisted for evaluation by an external jury panel comprising of national and international experts. 11 cities have been selected as winners for the next phase of scale up and will be awarded Rs 50 Lacs each by MoHUA. For more information, please visit https://eatrightindia.gov.in/eatsmartcity/home
In the scale up stage, cities will adopt an aggressive approach through food systems approach in implementing various Eat Right India programs at a larger scale. To support the cities, FSSAI along with Food Foundation, UK will organize a series of activities and deliberation sessions to provide technical assistance and showcase their efforts at international forums.
Through this challenge, there has been significant improvement in the overall food ecosystem across the cities. On this occasion, Shri Arun Singhal, chief executive officer of FSSAI, said, "EatSmart Cities Challenge will positively impact the lives of urban population by motivating them to eat right. This Challenge will support a large-scale effort to transform our Country's food ecosystem into safer, healthier and climate-friendly. The world is seeking inspiration and innovation from the 11 chosen cities that are the challenge's front-runners. I appreciate the efforts of participating cities and hope that this will be a game-changer in creating massive social and behavioral change towards right eating practices in the years to come."
Manoj Joshi, secretary, MoHUA said, "As India continues to urbanize at an exponential rate, where every two seconds, one of our fellow citizens is moving to a city in search of a better life, ensuring safe and healthy food for everyone in cities is of utmost importance. Today, it is a matter of pride that we see the Eat Right India approach getting scaled up to the Smart Cities level with this Challenge. With the efforts of these 11 cities, we hope to start a movement that inspires all cities to transform their food systems and strengthen the food safety and regulatory environment, building awareness among the consumers and urge them to make better food choices in India's cities."
Filippo Gavazzeni, head of the MUFPP Secretariat, City of Milan, said 'MUFPP is honoured to be invited to participate as judges in India's EatSmart Cities Challenge. The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact is a network of 200+ cities across the world committed to transforming urban food systems. Cities participating in this challenge have demonstrated greater efforts and increasing willingness to ensure their citizens have access to safe and healthy food. We are impressed by the rapid implementation of EatSmart solutions."