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Millets Program Kicks start off with delicious millets recipes.

YS RANA | February 06, 2023 07:36 PM

CHANDIGARH: The government schools in Chandigarh initiated the venture with all enthusiasm here on Friday. Introduction of millets in Mid Day Meal Scheme inaugurated by the Education Secretary Ms. Purvam Garg at Government Model Sr. Sec. School Sector-10-A. Along with the Director School Education, Mr. HPS Brar, DEO Ms. Bindu and Deputy DEO Ms. Poonam.

Officials were welcomed by the School principal Mrs. Jasmine Josh, the school band, thereafter the team visited the Mid Day Meal kitchen and had a detailed interaction with the workers in the MDM kitchen. They appreciated the MDM kitchen for the level of hygiene and cleanliness maintained while preparing the meals. The officials visited the classrooms and ate mid day meal with kids, there by interacting and educating the kids about the importance of including millets in their diet. Children and officials were served nutritious millets khichdi which was relished by all.

The day witnessed the serving of healthy millets khichri in all Cluster kitchens today, some schools made novel recipes including millets kheer, millets churma, served with butter and jaggery. Introduction of millets in Mid Day Meal aims at enhancing the nutrition in children. This scheme would promote consuming of millets in schools across the city.

The Department of School Education, UT Chandigarh has played an exemplar role by leading the healthy initiative, starting with the formation of Eat Right Schools by partnereing with Chandigarh Food Safety Administration to launch an initiative called “Eat Right Schools”on 12.1.2023. The objective of the program involves replacing the unhealthy food like fried, processed, and high in sugar that is served in schools with nutritious and healthy alternatives.

India got the support of 72 other countries, on 5th March 2021, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. These millets also known as "coarse cereals" or "cereals of the poor" are actually a storehouse of nutritional gems. The initiative of the Indian government is of celebrating IYOM 2023, it is done by making the population aware of the millet benefits and increasing the acceptability of the value added of millet across the country and world.

Under this campaign, various activities such as live kitchen sessions for demonstration of millets recipes i.e. Jowar, Ragi, Kodo millet, chena millet, are being organized in all the schools (government and private) of Chandigarh. Training in hygiene, quality standards of food, and maintenance of kitchens is also being given to workers preparing midday meals. After this entire process, there will be third-party auditors, approved by the GOI and monitored by quality control of India.The plan is also to assess the quality of food served in canteens, in terms of fried, processed, high-sugar food, which is low in nutrition and high in fat, and replace these with a healthy and nutritious diet.

The schools in UT Chandigarh have been providing, PM POSHAN (Mid-Day Meals in schools) i.e one hot cooked meal in Government and Government-aided schools. In UT Chandigarh, Schools covered under the PM Poshan (working days 238) in 2022-23 are as follows:

Taking forward the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister on Millets, the Union Territory Chandigarh is all set for enhancing the nutrition for children by introducingthe PM Poshan-Khichri/Dalia of millets (one meal/week)in the form of Hot Cooked Meal to the school children of all above mentioned Schools.This nutritious diet will benefit all eligible students who are served PM Poshan in schools.The raw material in millets for the PM Poshanis being sourced from Punjab Agro, a Government of Punjab undertaking.The Department of Schools will also conduct cooking competitions among Cook-cum-Helpers to popularize millet based recipes in the times to come.The Department is also working in convergence with PGIMER, Home Science College, Dietician GMSH-16, GMCH-32 Chandigarh for sensitizing the beneficiaries to use millets in their daily diet.

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