Friday, December 02, 2022

Chandigarh

"Chandigarh Millets Mission” Launched

YS RANA | November 14, 2022 04:14 PM

CHANDIGARH: "Chandigarh Millets Mission” has been launched by Ms. Nitika Pawar, Secretary Social Welfare, Women and Child Development, Chandigarh Administration, Ms. Pallika Arora, Director Social Welfare, Women and Child Development, and Dr Poonam Khanna, Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh here on Friday. Chandigarh has become the first in launching millets mission in north India.

An action plan of the millets mission includes capacity building of Anganwadi Workers on the benefits and usage of millets in daily life and those will act as resource persons to further sensitize the community at grassroot level. Health posts of PGI will also be covered and awareness sessions will be conducted for visiting patients specially in Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) clinics as millets are high in fibre and have been documented for better management of diabetes. Thirty live kitchen sessions, E-goshtis, online quiz on millets etc, will be conducted at cluster level Anganwadi Centers and Health posts.

The UN General Assembly has declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets with the resolution to elevate awareness of the contribution of millets to food and nutrition security. The resolution intends to increase public awareness of the health benefits of millets and their potential to be produced under difficult conditions brought on by climate change. Some of the common millets available in India are Ragi (Finger millet), Jowar (Sorghum), Samak (Little millet), Bajra (Pearl millet), and Variga (Proso millet).

Millets are nutritionally superior to wheat and rice owing to their high protein, fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium content and can act as a tool to ensure nutrition security to all, curbing nutritional deficiencies among women and children. Ragi is known to have the highest calcium content among all the food grains. High iron content of little millets can help fight high prevalence of anaemia in India women of reproductive age and infants.

Keeping in view of above the Department of Social Welfare, Women and Child Development, Chandigarh Administration in convergence with the Department of Community Medicine and School of Public health, PGIMER, Chandigarh has already taken various initiatives to spread awareness among the beneficiaries such as Amma/Baba ki rasoi, awareness session on Nutritional and Health benefits of Millets, live kitchen sessions wherein chefs from reputed institutions demonstrated the millets based recipes at Anganwadi Centres and beneficiaries were sensitized about the use of local food products. Considering theeffective roll of millets in controlling Malnutrition Jowar and Bajra are also incorporated in Supplementary Nutrition Programme from December, .2020 for the beneficiaries of all 450 Anganwadi Centres under Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0.

To extend the awareness about goodness of millets to all, an initiative to launch “Chandigarh Millet Mission” has been taken with the objectives of promoting millet consumption for dietary diversity effective role of millets in controlling malnutrition, millets have also been incorporated in Supplementary and nutrition security among communities, schools and other institutes and encouraging Food Business Operators (FBOs) to include millet recipes in their menu, to increase access to millet recipes among masses. .

Increase in Millet consumption will not only ensure improvement in nutritional status, it will also help fight climate change as they are resilient crops and grow in half the time of wheat, need 40% less energy to process, and use 70 per cent less water than rice. In the face of climate change, water shortage, and drought circumstances, they offer a one-stop solution with high nutritional value to provide sustainable food security.

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