Sweeten the deal for sugar
This refers to the report, “Raw sugar output falls 92% on elusive export subsidy” (February 19). Due to lack of awareness, raw sugar is not consumed by more people, even though it is rich in natural iron, calcium, and other nutrients (potassium,magnesium,and phosphorous). The sugar industry and the government—both should create awareness on health benefits of raw sugar. The industry should not link production of raw sugar with export orders. An untapped domestic market for raw sugar exists. The Ayush department of the ministry of health should launch an awareness campaign on the health benefits of raw sugar, as it has recently launched a media campaign on benefits of eating amla (gooseberry). Some sugar mills sell branded raw sugar and it is commonly known as golden sugar and it is available only in a few big supermarkets and not in mom-and-pop stores. If raw sugar is consumed instead of white sugar all the ills afflicting the sugar industry can be vanquished and the government can also save crores of rupees it doles out every year to cooperative sugar factories which are mostly run by politicians of various political parties. The subsidy culture affects the tax-payers. It is common knowledge that white sugar is harmful for health and excessive consumption of it causes diabetes, tooth decay, obesity and an impaired immune system. Cold beverages, chocolates, pastries, ice creams, breakfast cereals, canned fruit juices, etc, contain sugar. The terrorist Osama Bin Laden was suffering from diabetes, as he used to drink only soft drinks instead of plain water. It is high time that cold drinks should carry a warning that containing sugar, they are harmful for health. It is said that a bottle of cold drink contains eight teaspoons of sugar. When cigarette packets carry a warning that smoking is injurious to health, then why not cold drinks bottles? Not many people know this even if they drink fresh fruit juice from a roadside stall or a restaurant; the customer should know that the juice should not have white sugar as there already are natural sugar in the fruits.
Deendayal M Lulla
JD(U)’s Bihar challenge
The intra-party friction in JD(U) in BIhar threatened to tear apart the party. But with Jitan Ram Manjhi stepping down as Bihar CM and making way for his benefactor, Nitish Kumar, the problem has been stalled. But that is just for a short while. The party is generally on a decline. The JD(U)-RJD embrace has also not gone down well with many JD(U) leaders. The party could still see high profile exits before the state polls.
Prahlad Bhasin, Mumbai
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