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PII-UNICEF seminar at The New Indian Express

The Press Institute of India and UNICEF organised a ‘media engagement’ programme at The New Indian Express in Chennai on June 11. The subject that was the focus was Anaemia – its causes, the condition and the fall-out.

Addressing the reporters and subeditors present, Job Zachariah, chief of UNICEF Field Office (Tamil Nadu and Kerala), used data, samples (of fortified salt packets, etc.), as well as anecdotes from his varied experiences on the field (his previous field posting was in Jharkhand) to highlight how anaemia cripples the biological growth of an individual as well as productivity, casting a long-term shadow on the state of the nation as a whole. Often, while considering the aspect of malnutrition, anaemia as an important factor was overlooked or ignored; many were not even aware of its existence, Zachariah said, urging the journalists to dwell on the subject and create awareness in the minds of readers.

Journalists at the Express had many questions for Zachariah and Sugata Roy, UNICEF communications specialist – ranging from the sensitivity needed to report on child sexual abuse, for example, to whether children below 14 years could really be put to work after school.

Also present were Sashi Nair, director, PII-RIND, and Babu Jayakumar and D. Suresh Kumar, both at that time deputy resident editors of TNIE.