New Delhi: The Indian Army is reintroducing millets flour in the rations of soldiers in a bid to promote consumption of coarse grains, almost half a century after these were discontinued in favour of the wheat flour. The Army said in a statement on Wednesday (March 22) that the decision has been taken to ensure that troops are supplied with native and traditional grains. The Army said,
With a view to promote consumption of millets in light of the UN declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets, the Indian Army has steered introduction of millets flour in the rations of soldiers. This landmark decision will ensure troops are supplied with native and traditional grains after over half a century, when these were discontinued in favour of wheat atta.
Also Read: Give PDS Beneficiaries Option To Bundle Millets With Wheat, Rice: Parliamentary Panel
“Traditional millet foods with proven health benefits and suited to our geographical and climatic conditions would be a vital step in mitigating lifestyle diseases and enhancing satisfaction and morale of the troops. Millets would now form an integral part of the daily meal for all ranks,” it said.
A government sanction has been sought to procure millets flour not exceeding 25 per cent of the authorised entitlement of cereals (rice and wheat atta) in rations for troops commencing from the year 2023-24.
The procurement and issue will be based on option exercised and quantity demanded. Three popular varieties of millets flour — Bajra, Jowar and Ragi — will be issued to troops duly considering preference.
Millets have the benefit of being a good source of proteins, micronutrients and phyto-chemicals thus boosting the nutritional profile of a soldier’s diet.
Advisories have been issued for millets to be extensively used in organised functions, barakhanas, canteens and in home cooking. Centralised training of chefs is being undertaken to prepare wholesome, tasty and nutritious millet dishes. Special emphasis for introducing value added millet items and snacks to troops deployed along the northern borders have been given. “Millet foods are being introduced through CSD canteens as well as dedicated corners are being set up in shopping complexes. ‘Know your Millet’ awareness campaigns are also being conducted in educational institutions,” the Army said.
Also Read: Millets Can Tackle Challenges Of Global Food Security, Bad Food Habits: PM Narendra Modi
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.