Chandigarh: Amidst growing unrest surrounding consumption of beef in the country, a magazine brought out by a society of Haryana School Education Department has included 'beef' besides 'veal' (meat of young cows) among four 'enhancers' which 'directly affect absorption of iron in human body.'
The bi-lingual magazine 'Shiksha Bharti' contains articles in Hindi and English and is published and printed by "President, Shiksha Lok Society-cum-Director, Secondary Education" from the office of Director, Secondary Education, Haryana, Panchkula.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who had recently courted controversy saying that Muslims should give up eating beef if they want to live in India, is the chief patron of the body publishing the magazine with Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma as the patron.
Beef was mentioned along with lamb, veal and pork as enhancers with other animal food in an article titled "Iron-vital for strength."
Besides animal food being termed as 'enhancers', details on food rich in Vitamin-C were also mentioned including fruits such as melons, strawberries, guava, tomatoes etc. and vegetables such as chillies, capsicum, turnip and potatoes.
Information was also provided on 'Inhibitors' including tea, coffee, cocoa etc along with 'enhancers'.
The article also details the importance of iron as "one of the important micro-nutrient which is required for human body on a daily basis and elaborates on the ill-effects of iron deficiency, its impact on health and various sources of iron.
The online edition of the 52-page magazine has been removed from the official website of the Primary Education Department, though the latest edition of October 2015 and editions till August 2015 are available on the website.
The online edition of the magazine, however, is still available on the official website of the Secondary Education Department.
The magazine in its initial pages carries a disclaimer saying the views mentioned are of the contributors and it was not necessary that the department agrees with the views.
Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma was neither contactable on phone nor did he respond to text message. Jawahar Yadav, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister declined to make any comment on the issue.
The Haryana Assembly had recently passed the Gau Sanrakshan Avm Gau Samwardhan Bill 2015' Bill which provides for a complete ban on cow slaughter in the state and rigorous imprisonment ranging from three years to ten years for killing the animal.