Ninety seven per cent BSF personnel have expressed “satisfaction” with the quantity and quality of meals provided to them on duty at the borders and elsewhere, a special study by a DRDO laboratory has said.
The study was conducted by the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Science (DIPAS) on a special commission by the Border Security Force, after a BSF jawan last year posted a video on a social media site claiming bad food was being served to the personnel.
The study, commissioned last year, was conducted by collecting data of “food preference and satisfaction level” from eight frontiers of the force – four each from the western and the eastern command – and focussed group discussion at 37 unit mess’ and cook houses, it said.
“The report has summarised that the data…collected from 6,526 participants under eight frontiers with different terrain and geographical area indicated that 97 per cent personnel are satisfied with respect to quantity and quality of food,” the BSF said in a statement.
“The study has recorded average energy expenditure to be 3,400-3,500 kilo calories per day, while energy intake was 3,450 ± 335 kilo calories per day (of a personnel).”
The study found that the food served by the BSF to its jawans and officers was able to provide all macro and micro-nutrients as per recommended dietary allowance of the Indian Council of Medical Research.
The experts team, the BSF said, conducted the study by following a random sampling technique including all ranks, job profile/duties from different battalions and border out posts (BOPs) of the force.
“The assessment of food and nutrient intake has been done by food analysis, body composition, hematological profile, biochemical variable analysis, clinical examination and handgrip test,” the force said, quoting the report submitted to it recently.
The BSF had commissioned the study to determine nutrient requirements of its personnel and adequacy of their diet under deployment, along with determination of their food satisfaction level.
PTI, earlier this week, had first reported that the paramilitary force has decided to get such a study done from a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) lab on the recommendation of a parliamentary panel that went into the subject of food quality and quantity issues highlighted by the jawan, constable Tej Bahadur Yadav, last year.
BSF Director General K K Sharma had told the news agency in an interview that an internal inquiry conducted by the force, in the wake of the allegations made by Yadav, had found that the quality and quantity of food being served was never an issue among its personnel.
DIPAS is mandated to provide nutritional advisory to the armed forces in terms of determining calorie nutrient requirements of soldiers deployed under different environment all over the country, and it also conducts periodical reviews of ration scales of nutritional adequacy of the troops.
The border guarding force is tasked to guard the two important and sensitive Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh. It also renders a variety of internal security duties across the country including undertaking anti-Naxal operations.