Mysore: Even as despair sets in with relief camps and villages in Uttarakhand fast running out of rations, once again, it's another wing of the armed forces offering a ray of hope in faraway Mysore. The Defence Food Research Lab is sending ready-to-eat food packets to the state. Its high-tech packaging ensures that the food will last for up to six months.
As onions, dals and the masalas simmer, food scientists at the Defence Food Research Lab come together with renewed enthusiasm. They usually make ready-to-eat foods to send to the Army, but this time is different. This time, they hope their food will make a difference to the lives of thousands of villagers and stranded people stuck in Uttarakhand's relief camps.
"DFRL supplied three tonnes of processed food which consists of upma, pulao and suji halwa in bulk quantities and these products have a shelf life of more than one year and when you reconstitute, these products of three tonnes will amount to almost eight tonnes of product, which can feed more than 20,000 to 25,000 people," said Defence Food Research Lab Additional Director Dr K Radhakrishna.
It's in the packaging that DFRL's expertise comes in. Its technology ensures the food doesn't spoil. Scientists from the lab have also travelled to Uttarakhand to demonstrate how the food should be used judiciously.
Questions have already been raised on how long it will take to rebuild Uttarakhand. Considering that many roads, bridges and villages have been washed away, it could well take more than a month to bring back a semblance of normalcy and until then, the DFRL's food packets will fill empty stomachs.