THE EDITOR: The Hindu Women’s Organisation congratulates Dr Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted on her award of the prestigious World Food Prize 2021, given to researchers who have improved the quality and availability of food to vulnerable communities across continents like Asia, Africa and the Pacific region.
She’s a nutrition expert who pioneered innovative ways of raising fish rich in micronutrients and fatty acids and incorporating them into shelf-safe diets.
Currently she holds the position of Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health, World Fish, an international non-profit outfit headquartered in Malaysia.
Thilsted comes from a distinguished family of researchers. Her brother, Dr Kusha Haraksingh, is a historian; his wife, Dr Indra Haraksingh, is a solar energy researcher, and their daughter, Dr Rajini Haraksingh, is a researcher in genetics and biotechnology. She also lectures at the same institution as her parents.
Much of Shakuntala’s work has been funded by UN agencies and the World Bank, thus enabling her to address Goal No. 3 (Good Health and Well Being) of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as espoused by the United Nations, that all of us must work towards in an effort to transform countries across the world.
In accepting this award she hopes that:
* Attention will be brought to the importance of diversity in food sources.
* Women will be inspired to pursue her field of study.
Her name Shakuntala – after a major figure in the Mahabharat and in Kalidaas’s 1887 play regarded as his best piece of work – reflects her Indian heritage. Her “karma phala” or fruits of her work reflect the noble karmic path on which she is embarked, which is part of her legacy to our world.
HWO, via e-mail