Gandhi Smriti and Darshan hosted a one-day dialogue on “Mahatma Gandhi’s Experiment with Food – Key to Health” in Gandhi Darshan on March 2, 2020. The programme was organised by Kendriya Bhandar along with its strategic partner, Centre for Strategy and Leadership. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Shri Jitendra Singh was the chief guest on the occasion.
Delivering the key note address, Shri Jitendra Singh said that the government is following the Gandhian thought for inclusive development of the country, according to an official statement. He said, “Those who tend to dismiss Mahatma Gandhi's views regarding healthcare and food as mere fads or whims, actually do a great injustice to themselves because in doing so they only deprive themselves of a sound scientific opinion”. Shri Jitendra Singh also launched a special series of programmes to mark the 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi's birth.
He further said, “Like in other spheres of life, Gandhiji not only experimented in depth, but also tested the influence of his experiments on his own self. This he did famously in case of his experiments with "Truth" and so also in case of health and lifestyle”.
Citing several instances, Dr Jitendra Singh said, for example, Mahatma Gandhi walked on foot, on an average, for nearly 18 Kms each day and believed that this was a fitness test for him. He continued to do so till the end.
Dr Jitendra Singh further recalled that Gandhiji lived in the pre-antibiotic era and the first antibiotic drug namely Penicillin came into use around the time of Mahatma Gandhi's death. “But, what is amazing is that even though he was never a student of science, Gandhiji had conducted experiments with his physique and came to certain conclusions like, for example, that the consumption of two ounce of raw vegetable or raw salad was more useful than nine ounces of cooked vegetable because it provided a higher quantity of vitamins and antioxidants which helped in building up immunity of the body against infection and other diseases”, he said.
"Our government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is committed to promoting the teachings of Bapu, which are crucial for the development of a nation. Be it yoga, swachata or healthy eating, we are following Gandhian thought for inclusive development," he said.
Kendriya Bhandar's Managing Director Shri Mukesh Kumar said, “It is a unique privilege for Kendriya Bhandar to play a small part in commemorating the 150th year of Mahatma Gandhi by conducting a series of five events each focused on a key topic that was not only important to the Father of the Nation, but is also critical to the growth and development of the people of the nation.”
Talking on the theme of the first event of the series, Shri Vikas Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Strategy and Leadership, said that "Gandhiji's life is a lesson and one should adopt his teachings in everyday life, particularly the youth of the nation who can make the greatest difference through his ideals." “A healthy and well-nourished populace is a pre-condition for sustainable development of the country. Gandhi’s ideas on food can help us improve our lifestyle and lead better (healthier) lives,” said Vikas Sharma, director and chief executive of CSL.
Thematic discussions, a live cooking session, and a yoga dance performance "Shiv Tandav Stotram" by Ms. Jyoti from Blossom Yoga were the highlights of the programme. The programme also featured an exhibition with free diet and yoga consultation for all participants.
The programme was attended by members of parliament, senior government officials, eminent Gandhians, heads of missions of various countries, representatives from the United Nations, doctors, dieticians, naturopaths, chefs, bloggers, and media, media, the statement issued by Kendriya Bhandar said.
Earlier Director GSDS, Shri Dipanker Shri Gyan, along with Shri Basant felicitated Shri Jintendra Singh with angavastram and charkha. They also took part in a session on ‘Mahatma Gandhi's Experiments with Food: Key to Health’ in which speakers such as Mr. Bishow Parulji from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Dr. A K Arun from Gandhi Smarak Prakritik Chikitsa Samiti took part.
Chefs of The Ashok, ITDC participated in the food expo organised as part of the day-long programme.