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RSS-backed think tank plans ‘Nanaji Thali’ for nutrition with nationalism

New Delhi: “Food must not just satisfy hunger, it is also meant to nourish a person’s mind, body and soul.” This is one of the driving principles of Integral Humanism, philosophy of RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.

Focusing on the concept, the Deendayal Research Institute (DRI), which has been appointed as a ‘knowledge partner’ by the ministry of culture, is set to conduct a two-day seminar on June 23 and 24 in Shillong, to put together a ‘nutritious thali’ using local ingredients, which has a nationalistic character.

The event is part of the birth centenary celebrations of Upadhyay and the thali is proposed to be named after Nanaji Deshmukh, who had set up DRI to translate Upadhyay’s vision into reality.

The seminar will also see participation from other ministries and state governments, including Madhya Pardesh’s women and child development ministry and Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR).

“This will help us look into what is deficient in people’s daily intake of food so that we can suggest local sources of nutritious food. This will be a holistic approach where agriculture will be looked at not just from the perspective of sufficiency but also for providing nutrition,” said Archana Chitnis, minister for women and child development, Madhya Pradesh.

The seminar will be attended by health and agricultural experts from across the country.

“It will be a multi-dimensional exercise, involving nutritionists, agriculture scientists, agriculture practitioners, social activists, policy makers. The Bharatiya philosophy that we are trying to encompass with this concept is holistic in nature and encompasses all aspects of human life,” said Atul Jain, general secretary of DRI.

So far three such workshops have been conducted in Chitrakoot, Jabalpur and Bhopal to understand viability of this concept.

“There is a general consensus among various stakeholders that there is an urgent need for localization of food and its availability and also in incorporating indigenous food habits of people. This must also reflect in government policies aimed at food security. We are trying to include ‘nutrition security’ as part of food security,” added Jain.

First Published: May 10, 2017, 12:50 PM IST