|“Seeing the public’s right to eat healthy food being ensured by my efforts motivates me to work even harder every single day.”|
Ishwar Subedi is a popular name in the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control. This is because he is always ready to provide prompt and professional service, and because he is passionate about the quality of food and brings a high level of expertise to his work.
Regular inspection to ensure food quality
Ishwar is highly committed to his responsibility of conducting quality inspections and ensuring the public’s right to enjoy healthy and clean food. There have been many complaints regarding the low quality and high price of food from highway travelers, especially those travelling in the Dhading-Chitwan highway. In order to address this issue, Ishwar led a team to inspect hotels on the Kathmandu to Chitwan highway to find out if they are operating according to established codes of conduct. They found that most of the hotels were operating against the guidelines and penalized them as per the National Food Act 2023 and Food Rules 2027.
A group involving locals formed for regular inspection
Ishwar knew that conducting an inspection and punishing wrongdoers once would not stop the problem for good. Moreover, the available resources were not enough to continue the inspection process. So, he created ‘Khadya Swachha Samuha’, a group for clean food comprised of concerned citizens, local police officers and members of the hotel association. He established the group in Muglin. As the hotels’ representatives were involved, major improvements were made to the food quality and trust between the hoteliers and the public increased.
Initiative to rank the hotel business
The initiative that started in Muglin soon inspired similar efforts in nearby districts. A ranking system was also created in which hotels and restaurants are provided with stickers that represent one of four different categories. 574 hotels, in the highways of Dhanusha, Mahotari, Rautahat, Bara, Banke, Kailali and Kanchanpur were ranked through these stickers. The proposed action created healthy competition among the different hotels while also making it easier for customers to select a quality hotel.
Valuable contribution to the creation of the action plans
Ishwar has 17 years of experience working in the food and quality control department. It is a great opportunity for an officer to stay in the same department and work for so long. He is one of the most capable people to provide contextual amendments to the policies and directions. Therefore, he has provided valuable contributions as a team member to the establishment of various policies ensuring food quality.
Being happy at work
Ishwar’s main responsibility is to lead the branch that registers the businesses that are serving food. However, it is a tough responsibility as it is purely connected to the health of the consumers. He has to check the goods, ingredients used and whether they are restricted in the international market or if any harmful chemicals have been used. This is all done to ensure food quality for the public.
He has a PhD in the same field, which makes him exceptionally qualified for his position. Ishwar is always ready to do whatever it takes to ensure people enjoy clean food. For instance, he gives extra time to the lab work when there are staff shortages, continuously goes for inspection duties, and travels with mobile lab to places where people have complained about food quality.
Care for those he serves
Most people who turn to public service departments for help become confused about different processes and are afraid to ask the officers on duty. Most are troubled by the slow and bureaucratic process they have to go through. However, Ishwar Subedi has created a different identity for his department. Although he is a busy man, he finds time to explain the processes to the confused people who visit his department, helps write applications for those who cannot, and does not trouble anyone who seeks help with solvable bureaucratic processes. When in the field, he works late into the night to complete all that he needs to for the person he is serving.
Ishwar believes that performing good work in the present will lead to a good future. He has never worked for awards and appreciation, but in recognition of his efforts, he received an award from the Ministry of Agriculture.