Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged the people to join the efforts in eradicating malnutrition, adding that social awareness will play an important role in tackling the issue.
"I am telling you about so many innovative experiments related to malnutrition, because all of us also have to join this campaign in the coming month. The month of September is dedicated to festivals as well as a big campaign related to nutrition. We celebrate the 'Poshan Maah' every year from September 1 to 30. Many creative and diverse efforts are being made all over the country against malnutrition," he said while addressing the nation through his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat'.
Noting that better use of technology and also public participation has become an important part of the nutrition campaign, the PM said from providing mobile devices to millions of Anganwadi workers in the country, a Poshan Tracker has also been launched to monitor the accessibility of Anganwadi services.
"In all the 'Aspirational Districts' and the states of the North East, 14 to 18 year-old girls have also been brought under the purview of the 'Poshan Abhiyaan'. The solution to the malady of malnutrition is not limited just to these steps - in this fight, many other initiatives also play an important role. Efforts for social awareness play an important role in tackling the challenges of malnutrition. I would urge all of you in the coming nutrition month, to take part in the efforts to eradicate malnutrition," he said.
He further mentioned that the United Nations has passed a resolution declaring the year 2023 as the 'International Year of Millets' and this proposal of India had been accepted by more than 70 countries.
"Today, around the world, the craze for these very coarse grains, millets, is rising. Millets, coarse grains, have been a part of our agriculture, culture and civilisation since ancient times. Millets are mentioned in our Vedas, and similarly, they are also mentioned in Purananuru and Tolkappiyam. If you go to any part of the country, you will definitely find different types of millets in the food of the people there. In millets too, just like our culture, a lot of diversity is found," he said.
India is the largest producer of millets in the world and hence the responsibility of making this initiative a success also rests on the shoulders of Indians.
He said: "Together, we all have to make it a mass movement, and also increase the awareness of Millets among the people of the country. And friends, you know very well, millets are also beneficial for the farmers and especially the small farmers. In fact, the crop gets ready in a very short time, and does not require much water either."
"For our small farmers, millets are especially beneficial. Millet hay is also considered the best fodder. Nowadays, the young generation is much more focused on Healthy Living and Eating. Even if you look at it this way, millets contain plenty of protein, fiber, and minerals. Many people even call it a 'Superfood'. Millets have many benefits, not just one."
The Prime Minister highlighted that along with reducing obesity, millets also reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension and heart related diseases and are also helpful in preventing stomach and liver ailments.
"We referred to malnutrition, just a while ago. Millets are also very beneficial in fighting malnutrition, since they are packed with energy as well as protein. Today a lot is being done to promote millets in the country. Along with focusing on research and innovation related to this, FPOs are being encouraged, so that production can be increased," he added.