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Criticising the food served in Sewri's Tuberculosis (TB) hospital as unappetizing and lacking nutrition, Shiv Sena(Poltical Party) has demanded that patients there be served with chicken and mutton.

Sena corporators, who pressed forth with the demand at the weekly Standing Committee meeting, will also be writing to municipal commissioner, seeking a change in the meal plans of patients undergoing treatment at the civic hospital.

According to the party, meals for 1200 patients at the hospital, provided by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), lack necessary nutrition,  animal protein, garlic and ginger.

"The food provided by ISKCON lacks high protein. Almost everyday, they serve potato bhaji, devoid of any garlic or ginger. Boiled eggs are supplied by the hospital, but that is not enough for speedy recovery of these patients," leader of the House Trushna Vishwasrao told dna.

While raising a Point of Order during the meeting, Vishwasrao urged the Standing Committee to decide to provide chicken and mutton to patients. The Sena corporator also wanted ginger and garlic to be added to the meals, claiming that they had medicinal value.

She also suggested introduction of goat milk instead of the regular milk. Citing goat milk's health benefits, including its ability to reduce inflammation, optimise digestion, improve bio-availability of nutrients, strengthen bones, boost heart health, increase immunity, increase metabolism and others, Vishwasrao proposed that patients must be given raw milk for consumption.

"The pro-biotics remain in high number if the milk is not boiled. Thus, direct consumption can result in greater health benefits," she said.

Meanwhile, Sena also attacked the ISKCON for preparing food for TB patients at their kitchen in the suburban Cooper hospital. "They cook the meals at Cooper and deliver it here (Sewri). They were instructed to start a kitchen at the hospital, but they have been transporting the meals till date.

Apart from demanding non-vegetarian meals, Sena has also proposed to start a Research and Development (R&D) unit at the hospital. Pitching for explorations into the medicinal benefits of turmeric for TB patients, Sena corporator Dr Anuradha Pednekar wants the BMC to start a unit at the earliest.

"The rise of drug-resistant TB has created a great need for drugs that can help prevent the disease. Turmeric is used to treat a variety of health conditions and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The research would help in finding new possible solutions for TB as well," Pednekar said.

Meanwhile, even after several attempts, BMC executive health officer Dr Padmaja Keskar remained unavailable for comments.

In 2014, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) gave the meal contract for TB patients to ISKCON. Keeping in mind that patients needed wholesome meals, BMC had directed ISKCON to set up a kitchen at the 1000-bed hospital, that had come under fire for bad food and poor hygiene.

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