To eradicate malnutrition from the country which persists even in the 21st century, a group of nearly a dozen key private as well as government institutes and Ministries have come up with “AahaarKranti”, a mission dedicated to spreading awareness about nutrition and accessibility to all locally available nutritious food, fruits, and vegetables in India.
The aim of the ‘AahaarKranti’ development program is to spread the message of a good diet to every citizen of the country. It is essential that every section of society is involved to ensure that the message reaches all corners of the country. Studies estimate that India produces as much as two times the amount of calories it consumes. However, many in the country are still malnourished. The root cause of this strange phenomenon is a lack of nutritional awareness.
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Taking note of the situation, Vijnana Bharati (Vibha), its autonomous platform Global Indian Scientists and Technocrats Forum (GIST), Vigyan Prasar, and Pravasi Bharatiya Academic and Scientific Sampark (PRABHASS) came together to launch the mission ‘AahaarKranti’ with the motto of ‘Good Diet – Good Cognition’.
The ‘AahaarKranti’ movement is designed to address the problem being faced by India and the world — ‘hunger and disease in abundance’. The movement proposes to address the problem by working to sensitize the people to the values and richness of India’s traditional diet, to the healing powers of local fruits and vegetables, and to the miracles of a balanced diet, a Ministry of Health statement said.
“It will renew the focus on nutritionally balanced diets replete in locally sourced fruits and vegetables.” While Vijnana Bharati and ‘Global Indian Scientists and Technocrats Forum initiated the program, several other agencies have also joined hands and have agreed to pool in their expertise and resources.
Besides, various central and state government ministries and agencies, the Department of Science and Technology’s autonomous body Vigyan Prasar, and Pravasi Bharatiya Academic and Scientific Sampark are a part of this collaborative effort. More organizations are in the pipeline to join the Mission as it proceeds.
Launching the initiative in virtual mode, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan expressed happiness, saying a social welfare program like ‘AahaarKranti’ is being run at a time “when the country is reeling under the onslaught of a pandemic like Covid-19 when a balanced diet serves as a special tool to reduce the impact of the pandemic”.
“At such a time, the need to create awareness about the importance of a balanced diet has become more vital than ever before”, the Minister said. He appreciated that overseas Indian scientists are at the forefront of the campaign. “It is a noble effort to take the message of a balanced diet to every Indian. The Logo you have created for the program is commendable and a slogan like Good Diet – Good Thought brings all the countrymen together”, said Vardhan.
The Minister particularly mentioned the contributions of Dr. Yelloji Rao Mirajkar, Dr. Srinivasa Rao, and Praful Krishna of GIST who came together and initiated a discussion to give shape to the program as a public campaign. “We know that you all have undertaken a gigantic task in your able hands. It has to be run for several years to reach the common man like the Green and White Revolutions,” the Minister added.
Underscoring that only healthy individuals can lead to a prosperous society, Vardhan noted that Indian Ayurveda has been a guide to the entire world. “It is time that we used the knowledge to meet the various health and social challenges of today.”
Director, Vigyan Prasar, Nakul Prashar, said: “The mission will work on multiple dimensions simultaneously. In terms of objectives, it will seek to promote better awareness, better nutrition, and better agriculture. The messages will be imparted through the curriculum in the form of ‘what’s and why’s of nutrition, or through the form of games or as instructions such as ‘how to’; and the content will be provided both online and offline in all vernacular languages besides English and Hindi.”
“The program will focus on training teachers, who, in turn, will pass on the message to the multitudes of students, and through them to their families and finally the society at large.” Vijnana Bharati or VIBHA, previously known as Swadeshi Science Movement, is a non-profit organization in India that works for the popularization of sciences in a nationalist manner. (IANS/SP)