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Bihar Governor Inaugurates Three-Day Millets Festival in Patna

By Neeraj Kumar

Patna, June 17: Bihar Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar inaugurated the three-day Millets Festival at Ravindra Bhawan in Patna on Sunday. Addressing the gathering, he emphasized the medicinal value of food, noting that our ancestors stayed healthy and lived long lives by consuming millets. He lamented that modern society is neglecting these traditions, leading to increased health issues.

Governor Arlekar urged the audience to adopt millet-based diets to maintain good health, highlighting the significance of the festival. He expressed his gratitude to former MP RK Sinha for organizing the event, which promises to impart lifelong benefits.

Agriculture and Health Minister of Bihar, Mangal Pandey, attended the program as the chief guest. Pandey commended RK Sinha for organizing Bihar’s first millet workshop. He stated that pure food is essential for a healthy body and mind, which in turn fosters societal development. He echoed Prime Minister’s advocacy for millets, asserting that increased millet production would boost farmers’ incomes and lead to prosperity. The government, he assured, would provide all necessary support to millet producers.

Former Rajya Sabha MP and President of Avsar Trust, RK Sinha, in his welcome speech, stressed the importance of a proper diet for health, stating that no doctor can cure you if your diet is poor. He highlighted the benefits of the Millets Festival for both farmers and agricultural scientists.

Dr. Khadar Wali, known as the Millets Man, addressed the audience, emphasizing the environmental and health benefits of millets over rice and wheat. He pointed out the significantly lower water requirements for millet production and criticized the commercialization of food. He encouraged the consumption of millets to manage blood sugar and maintain health, listing various types of millets beneficial for the body.

The festival featured stalls by millet producers from across the country. The first day’s sessions covered the history of food, the corporate influence on kitchens, and an interactive Q&A with Dr. Khadar Wali. A millets song by lyricist Buddhiman Mishra, sung by Manisha Srivastava, was also released, adding a cultural touch to the event.

Dignitaries such as Agriculture Department Secretary Dr. Sanjay Agarwal, NABARD Chief General Manager Sunil Kumar, ACFL Director AP Verma, and Aadya Organic Director Ratna Sinha attended the festival. The stage was managed by Avsar Trust CEO Anuranjan Srivastava. Supported by the Bihar Government Agriculture Department and various organizations, the festival will continue for two more days.

The author is a Patna based journalist


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