What is the 'Aahaar Kranti' Mission launched by the Central Government?
On 13 April 2021, Union Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched 'Aahaar Kranti' Mission, a join-initiative of Vijnana Bharati (Vibha), ‘Global Indian Scientists and Technocrats’ Forum (GIST), Vigyan Prasar, and Pravasi Bharatiya Academic and Scientific Sampark (PRABHASS). Also, a monthly newsletter 'Aahaar Kranti', both in Hindi and English has also been launched and will be published by Vigyan Prasar.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, "Today when the country is reeling under the onslaught of a pandemic like COVID -19, 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."
He stressed that only healthy individuals can lead to a prosperous society. He further highlighted that the Indian Ayurveda has been a guide to the entire world. It is time that we use the knowledge to meet the various health and social challenges of today.
Director of 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 forms of games or as instructions such as `how to’; and the content will be provided with both online and offline, in all vernacular languages besides English and Hindi. The programme 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."
Aim and Motto of the Mission
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need for a nutritionally balanced diet as a healthy body will be able to fight the novel virus with greater resilience. The initiative aims at spreading awareness about a nutritious diet to every citizen of the country. It has been launched with the motto of ‘Uttam Aahaar- Uttam Vichaar’ or `Good Diet-Good Cognition’. It is designed to address the particular problem being faced by India and the world-- hunger and diseases in abundance.
It will be a model for the entire world to look upon. As per several studies, India produces twice the amount of calories that it consumes. Despite this, many in the country are malnourished. The root cause behind this strange phenomenon is the lack of nutritional awareness.
The movement proposes to address the aforementioned problem by working to rouse 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. It will renew the focus on nutritionally balanced diets replete in locally sourced fruits and vegetables, the Ministry said in a statement.
How will the mission reach the general masses?
As per the Ministry, the initiative focuses on training the 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. The same strategy was adopted by the country for the eradication of Polio and it proved to be a huge success.
The Aahaar Kranti Mission is in line with the United Nation's declaration of the year 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. Furthermore, UN sustainable goal #3 emphasizes human well-being. India has remained the world leader or Vishwaguru for ages in terms of science, technology, and innovations, and in the case of diet and nutrition, it has led to several path-breaking efforts. The latest movement will add a feather to its cap.