“The time has come for Haryana’s youth to promote millets in the state”: Chandigarh Millets Ambassador, Guneet Swani : Guneet Swani, a Chandigarh based social entrepreneur and Chandigarh’s Millets Ambassador under the centre’s ‘Aahar Kranti’ initiative, motivated the youth of Haryana to popularize millets, which are a storehouse of protein, iron, zinc, and many more important nutrients, in their cities and villages. “We have made Chandigarh India’s first ‘health smart city’ by running a campaign of including millets in one’s diet and now is the turn of developing different cities of Haryana including Panchkula as ‘health smart cities’,” said Guneet Swani while delivering the keynote address at the State Youth Festival 2023 organized by Skill Development Industrial Training Department, Haryana at Indradhanush Auditorium, Panchkula.
Guneet was the guest of honour and keynote speaker at this prestigious event. She has been instrumental in making Chandigarh India’s first ‘health smart city’ by persuading many restaurant owners from the city to include at least one dish based on millets as a part of their menu.
While addressing Haryana’s youth, Guneet said, “Make your cities aware of the benefits of millets and ask the restaurants and dhabas in your places of residence to start serving millet-based dishes. I have been able to get 16 restaurants in Chandigarh to add millet dishes to their menu.”
She also urged the youth of Haryana to set up small units to manufacture popular food items like cookies, noodles, and even pasta using millets as the base and then supplying these to not just Indian markets but also exporting these to foreign shores.
In her address about the history of millets and their dietary benefits, she noted, “In Haryana, millets were a part of the food ecosystem way back in the Indus Valley Civilization. So, Haryana already has a rich heritage of growing and consuming millets. Bajra, ragi and other millets are very healthy options and all these have good levels of collagen which is good for skin too. There are studies available which suggest that millet consumption leads to countering medical conditions like diabetes.”
Guneet concluded by highlighting that the year 2023 was celebrated as the International Year of Millets. She emphasized the agricultural and climate resilience of millets, noting that more consumption of millets will lead to increased income for farmers.
It’s noteworthy that Guneet is not only advocating for the inclusion of millets in diets but also making people aware of the broader consequences of their food choices today. Her efforts include educating about millets, utensils, slow cooking, A2 milk, Ayurveda, and superfoods through demonstrations, lectures, and providing resources for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Guneet Swani extended a special word of thanks to the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Manohar Lal Khattar, Shri Mool Chand Sharma, Education Minister of Haryana, Shri Gian Chand Gupta, Speaker, Haryana Vidhan Sabha, and Dir. Vivek Aggarwal, Director General, Skill Development, Haryana for their visionary leadership and support towards promoting millets. “Their foresight and commitment to health and agriculture have been a great inspiration in making this initiative a success,” said Guneet.