TERI Launches Digital Library Dedicated to Nutrition Security
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a leading think tank dedicated to conducting research for sustainable development, recently launched a first-of-its-kind digital library that details scientific information of approximately 200 edible plant species from the Western Ghats. Dedicated to nutrition security, the website seeks to positively influence the lives of both the urban and rural communities and address malnutrition by serving as a guide for existing and potential stakeholders of this rich wealth of wild resources.
Mr. Sudhir Mungantiwar, Minister of Finance & Planning and Forests departments, Government of Maharashtra (GoM), launched the website in presence of other dignitaries including Mr. Hemendra Kothari, Chairman, DSP Blackrock and Governing Council Member of TERI; Mr. Kiran Kurundkar, Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries, GoM; Dr. Ganesh Kamat, Managing Director, Organica Biotech; Mr. Sandeep Sharma, General Manager, Branding, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.; Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI; and Mr. G.S. Gill, Ex-Additional Chief Secretary and Distinguished advisor, TERI.
Malnutrition is a persistent problem of India in both rural and urban areas. While nutrition outcomes across India are poor, they are significantly worse in tribal areas, and vary depending on the diversity in their socio-economic, socio-cultural and ecological factors. Hence, nutrition security is a top priority, and has also been given due importance in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasizing on zero hunger, health and well-being of individuals as one of its prime objectives.
Several of the tubers, corms, fruits, mushrooms, seeds and nuts that are indigenous and grow in the wild are domesticated, are important for food, pigment, medicine and chemical industries. However, a large segment of the population is unaware about their significance. TERI’s digital library aims to bridge this knowledge-gap by serving as a guidebook.
Towards this end, TERI has used simple, low cost but sustainable methods to create demonstration projects that have high potential of scaling up and replication, which would be important for government, policy makers, scientific community, development agencies, academia as well as society at large.
Today, over 40 households in Palghar have adopted TERI’s model and require little or no sustained support or aid. Of the 900 children targeted in TERI’s pilot programme, 68% of SAM (Severe Acute Malnutrition) children were restored to normal category within three months. 32% children moved up from SAM to MAM (Moderate Acute Malnutrition). The entire village has started cultivating the vegetables in their backyard and integrating healthy food sources in their regular diet.
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