Importance of health awareness
By: Dua Absar
In a third world country like Pakistan, health awareness and hygiene is something that most of us do not really pay attention to. Due to this, health awareness and cleanliness, in general, is a major problem all over Pakistan.
One such case is that of universities in Pakistan that do not necessarily look after the quality of food being served and the conditions in which it is being cooked it is safe or not. People here take this very casually as they know there is no higher authority that will keep a check on them. We students also do not pay attention to the kind of food we are eating since we are so busy with other activities and our studies. However, if we take a deeper look into the matter, the food being served at our universities is highly unhygienic and unsanitary. Here is why.
I am a student at Bahria University, Islamabad and like all university students, I too am fond of the food I get at my educational institution and rather, I do not really have much of a choice. Day in and day out, in between classes or breaks, all we do is get whatever we can to eat. And all those in Bahria know that the menu is pretty much the same in all the multiple cafes but they range in flavour and quality.
The “anda shaami” at the XC Café seems to taste better than that of Capital Café but Capital has a better roll paratha than any of the other cafes. The same way that Juice Zone’s tea is unmatchable. As I have heard since I’m not a tea person but for tea lovers, it is a real treat. Likewise, we have coffee, milkshakes and seasonal juices along with biryani, shawarma and samosas etc. All these items are available in all the cafes of the Islamabad campus and they also fulfil our requirements as we get food at (mostly) reasonable prices. But is it really clean?
I think we all know the answer to that question. It goes without that the food that is being served in the university is no way hygienic; this is not just about where it is cooked. It is also about where it is served. Just consider the XC café for a minute. The food may not be so terrible, the kitchen where it is made may not be so bad either but the location of the café is enough for one to lose all appetite. This is because the café is very close to a gutter and the sewage line leaks all over where most of the food is prepared. Same is the case with Capital Café where the garbage cans are right next to the food stations. Nothing here I have pointed out is something that is not already visible to the students, faculty members and the concerned authorities. Some of the cafes serve coffee and tea in Styrofoam cups which is considered to be a highly cancerous substance if it comes into contact with the human body.
If such is the situation then why do the concerned authorities do not pay attention? Why don’t they have proper health inspections and site visits to see how the food is being prepared? Needless to say, the university is more worried about other things but I think it goes without saying that there are matters much more prominent than if we girls are wearing dupattas or if we have our ID cards or not rather than if we are consuming carcinogenic substances on a regular basis. To give it some perspective, we as a nation need to set our priorities straight.