SwitchON Foundation as a part of its agro nutri-sensitive drive organised an evening talk show followed by discussion on promoting millet called “Magic Millets – Discover a Disease Free Life” with Dr. Khader Vali, India’s Millet Man.

Millets are traditionally known to be among the first grains consumed by humans. The event is an effort by SwitchON Foundation to communicate the nutritional properties of millets and popularize their use in Indian diets.

The 62 years Dr Khadar Valli, has dedicated his life to build a healthy society after resigning from a lucrative job in an MNC. Dr. Khadar has transformed himself into a healer through food-as-medicine, near Mysore in Karnataka. Through his research and practice he has shown that millets can cure almost every conceivable disease including cancer.

Speaking on the occasion during his speech, Dr. Khadar said -”Human race has to move from an economic model, which is a consuming culture, to an ecological model which is a conserving culture”. He further said “When Food is Wrong, Medicine is of no use. When Food is Right, Medicine is of no need”.

The event was supported by Alka Jalan Foundation and was attended by several key dignitaries from the state, including -Mr. Manfred Auster from the German Consulate, Dr. M.V Rao (IAS) ACS, Dept of Panchayat & Rural Development , Shri S Suresh Kumar (IAS) ACS, Dept of Power, Shri Ranjanvir Singh Kapoor (IAS) from WBTC.

During the talk show Dr. Khadar recommends several ways different millets can be used in various doses to cure most ailments humans are exposed to. Millet acts as a healing food for postpartum and digestive health. Millets are highly nutritious and beneficial in treating physical weakness and stomach ailments like ulcers and indigestion. Millets support digestion, improve appetite, and improve blood deficiencies; millets also increase lactation, harmonize the stomach, and calm the sleep. Millets are particularly suitable for children, elderly, pregnant and postpartum women, as well as those who are sick.

Dr. Khadar prescribes different types of millets in a fermented porridge form – to be taken along with specific decoctions for treatment of a variety of chronic diseases and health issues. To reduce excess body heat, he recommends a drink of Fenugreek, Bermuda grass and Pongamia decoctions each one for a week for about 3 months.

Beside several health benefits, millet is good for the future of Indian Agriculture. As per the ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), millets are drought tolerant and resistant to climate change.

Vinay Jaju, Managing Director of SwitchON Foundation said “Millets are excellent for heath and i have benefitted immensely from switching to an entire millet diet. But also as an environmentalist it is the most promising solution for climate change, as it requires less water than rice and wheat, which makes them suitable for small farmers. With an increasing population and limited water resources, promotion of millets should be seen as the last resort to avoid food shortages and an agrarian disaster due the climate crisis. While ensuring our farmers’ livelihoods are also protected.”

The UN General Assembly has declared 2023 as the international year of millets, after a proposal from the Government of India. Earlier this year, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman proposed a policy push for branding of Indian millets in the union budget 2022-23. This event is seen as an effort to support the noble cause in the runup to next year.

Experts at the event said “The policy push is an important step in the right direction as procurement of millets has to be undertaken with the same vigor as rice or wheat.” They further said that while millets are grown in some parts of the state and part of the culture and diet of many communities and with production increasing every year, there is a lot more that needs to be done.”

Attendees at the event said, “Millets are truly the silver bullet that can help contribute to global challenges of SDG all together in unison – nutrition and health needs, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, poverty of smallholder and marginalized farmers in the dry region of any agrarian economy.”

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