Andhra man on mission to spread awareness about benefits of millets

NewsDrum Desk
29 Jan 2023

Chandigarh, Jan 29 (PTI) A mechanical engineer by training, Ram Babu has been on a mission to spread awareness about benefits of millets through his cooking shows and workshops ever since leaving his job 14 years ago.

He has been travelling extensively, holding cooking shows. lectures, and talking about the benefit of millets which he terms a "super food of our ancestors".

Notably, 2023 has been designated as the 'International Year of Millets' after a proposal for it was brought forward by India and endorsed by members of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) governing bodies, as well as by the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly.

The noted millet food expert says cooking is his passion and he wants to make masses aware about benefits of millets.

"I will be there at the Surajkund Mela in Faridabad for two weeks next month where I will do millet-related activities.

"Towards March-end, when some G-20 meetings are scheduled to take place in Chandigarh, I will again be doing some activities when variety of millet dishes will be served to the foreign dignitaries," he told PTI.

In February-end and beginning of March, Ram Babu said he will visit different colleges in Chandigarh, including the Home Science college and Hotel Management Institute, where several activities related to millet and spices will take place for three days.

In Punjab, he has been closely working with an organisation -- Kheti Virasat Mission -- which has also been trying to propagate millets for past many years and whose mission he says is to revive and conserve natural farming practices, traditional and healthy food, traditional handicrafts etc.  "I tie up with different organisations which are working in food and agriculture --they keep on asking me to do some activities. I also want to give a helping hand to different organisations, which are working in agriculture and food side, in healing and forgotten foods.  "Even in northeast, I am working with different universities where I do workshops and give awareness about our ancient, forgotten foods," he says.

Ram Babu, who was born in Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, gave up his job as a mechanical engineer.

He said though he is based in Hyderabad, he keeps travelling to different parts of the country.

"In addition to north India including Punjab, I also keep on travelling in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra doing awareness programmes on millets," he says.

After giving up his job, Ram Babu initially started a millet and organic restaurant fourteen years back in Hyderabad.

He said mostly people know about Ragi, Jawar and Bajra, but they are not aware about so many varieties.  "I have developed lot of recipes with millets. I started baking millet cake too," he says.

"Our body is a precious gift given by nature. What could be the proper food which will give strength as well as healing capacities to our bodies so that it can sustain healthily and we could lead a healthy and purposeful life.

"Many people in our country suffer from obesity, diabetes and heart problems. Ancient grain like millets, which have been forgotten for last few decades, need to be made popular.

"Millets have less glycemic index and gets digested very easily. It can be described as wonder food for diabetics and obesity and these are rich in fiber and minerals," he says. PTI SUN VSD TDS TDS

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