June 12, 2023
Coimbatore : The world has been witnessing a lot over the last few years and it brings just one question to our minds- Has time arrived to follow the lifestyle of our forefathers or is this the end. This debate has been going on with eminent individuals suggesting old food habits are the best solution towards eliminating global hunger and climate crisis in one stroke. FLO, the women’s wing of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Coimbatore Chapter celebrated “International Year of the Millets, 2023”, in presence of Padma Shri Dr.Khadar Valli, popularly called ‘Millet Man of India’. The theme selected by FICCI for this year is RISE & Reach out to the Community. Her main focus is on Women Education, & Skill Development, Women Led Business, Legal & Policy Advocacy, Women in Leadership Roles.
The Chief Guest for the occasion was Dr.Khadar Valli, Padma Shri Awardee, Independent Scientist, Food & Health while the Guest of Honors were Ms. Sudha Shivkumar, President, FICCI FLO and Ms. Sangeeta Chetan, Event Chair. Other members present on the occasion were Rama Rajasekaran, Chairperson-FLO Coimbatore and Executive Committee Members. The event began with a prayer song followed by lighting of the lamp and felicitation of the Chief Guest Dr.Khadar Valli.
The Welcome Address was delivered by Rama Rajashekran who said, “Today is a special day. I am very happy to welcome Padma Shri awardee Dr.Khadar Valli who has opened our eyes towards the importance of millets and its health impact today especially to the community. We have a lot of take home from him. He is really great at the millet movement in not just our country but the whole world. As our favorite Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam had said, the nation will never be empowered if the women are not playing a very important role. FLO has lot of important role in promoting millets in the sense even at the grass root level. This year, I think it’s going to take a long road for us and also how to introduce technology, have more start-up’s and I’m sure it’s going to be very interesting for us and for the other FLO Chapters too”.
The Guest of Honor, Sudha Shivkumar, President-FICCI FLO in her address stated, “In a few months into the FLO Year, together we stand to understand breadth and width of this organization. As already said, we are 9,600 with 19 Chapters; strongest in South-Asia. Today with G-20 in the air, the government is willing to listen to anything that we have to say provided it’s logical and fair towards empowerment of women for their betterment. Well, we know our time is limited, it is more precious, the drive to achieve, to create and leave behind something that says I’m here and I mattered becomes so much stronger. I urge everyone of you to involve yourself in the might map of FLO 2023 to help educational schemes for women, support women led businesses through SME’s and start-up’s, encourage leadership, excellence through talks; knowledge exchange, involvement research and policy suggestions. With an aim to create awareness and increased production and consumption of Millets as already told, India’s initiative with 70 other countries, the UN has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. Helping millets combat is not just popularized or neglected or an underutilized crop but it is also an effort to achieve sustainable development. In his recent speech at the global millet conference Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had said, that Millet will bring income to small farmers of the country, solve issues of food security, curb lifestyle diseases and help in climate change precedence. The global branding of millets will help India’s 2.5 Crore small and marginal farmers who are dependent on crops. More than 500 start-up have been set up for millets”.
The Chief Guest Padma Shri Dr.Khadar Valli in his address stated, “All women in different parts of the world, it is the women who made human race economically stable. It is they who invented agriculture. The first domesticated class on millets was discovered by women from all across the continent, all women different parts of the world. The credit of agriculture has never been given to great, nurturing, nourishing, loving mothers of the past and even today. More than anything it is the sovereignty of the great ladies that has kept the individual, the family, and the village places all around the world in different formats, in different phase of living. It is the power of women that empowers the world. It has been the women who have done agriculture, men never did anything. It is the women’s knowledge of different kinds of leaves; in fact I have personal experience near Chamra, where I had gone. There was an 88 year old lady, I couldn’t walk with her. She was running showing her 8 acres of land, more than 400 varieties of greens. Recently, we had the opportunity of giving 30 so called lifetime, you people think are lifetime diseases these are not lifetime but lifestyle style diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer in fact these are no diseases around at all. We collected 30 odd poor people in the village of Golconda near Anantapur district. We kept them in 8 acre land in a hut and gave them 30 days food of millets and all their diseases disappeared. They were taking insulin and medicines but step by step in a matter of 30 days, we stopped all their medicines”.
Padma Shri Dr.Khadar Valli addressed the audience on “Multi-Dimensional Problems of the World, only solution- Millets” while also highlighting aspects on food security, how to grow, easy availability, accessibility and most importantly can be grown on any type of farm with less water.
He has worked hard to revive five different types of millets that were fast disappearing. In the process of consuming each of these millets, he discovered that the healing properties present in them could cure even deadly diseases. Hence, he named these five millets Siridhanya. To cultivate them naturally, Dr. Khadar propounded a method called ‘Kadu Krishi’, also known as Jungle Farming.
FLO,s Various Activities with focus on Women Education & Skill Development, Women led Businesses, Legal & Policy Advocacy, Women in Leadership Roles was highlighted, while staying committed to the society at the grass root level, middle level and to the members was shared to all. We at FLO, are committed towards the Adoption of our TRIBAL VILLAGE, at SENGULI, Annakatti, where we teach them different skills, (Vermi compost, Tailoring, Herbal Powder and will start on Digital Literacy. For women entrepreneurs, we are holding their hands especially for START UP’s and guiding them to access funds from MSME of the Government.
Sudha Shivkumar, the 40th President of FICCI Ladies Organization aims to focus on empowering women by promoting and enabling environment that fosters entrepreneurship, industry participation and economic development for women. She intends to carry out several interventions towards achieving this goal. FLO plays a significant role in promoting and encouraging women’s participation in various fields and the organization has been working towards the economic and social empowerment of women in India for many years. Focused strategic planning, penchant for process improvement and the ability to inspire teams to reach higher goals are her inherent skills. She’s a natural leader, one who can bridge cultures with her affable ease and grounded nature-someone who is simple an approachable with achievements that command respect.
Some of the key highlights under the leadership of Ms.Sudha Shivkumar include 380 women being up skilled based on their interest; 93% were economically empowered earning between Rs/-4000 9000, FICCI-FLO Women Achievers Award was broadcasted with over 100 applications and aired on CNBC TV-18 for the first time, Over 175 toilets were built at an adopted village and four tuition centers set up that are still actively functioning, 44 programs were conducted with several prolific writers, influential speakers and acclaimed spiritual coaches taking the stage.
About Dr.Khadar: Born on 15th January, 1958, Padma Shri Dr.Khadar Valli Dudekula is a distinguished personality known as the ‘Millet Man of India’. He has been working relentlessly in reviving Siridhanya, also known as positive millets for nearly 20 years. After having completed a Masters in Science (with a specialization in Education) from the Regional Institute of Education, Mysuru, he went on to get his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bengaluru, for his work involving steroids. He pursued his postdoctoral research fellowship in environmental science from Beaverton, Oregon in the USA. His research involved deactivating deadly chemical substances such as Dioxin at a time when food was being rapidly commercialized.
Dr.Khadar established Hasuru Hani Clinic and trained doctors to use food systems to heal people along with homeopathic medicine. He has spent the last 25 yrs. of his life travelling to various villages and cities across Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh & Telengana and last five years across India spreading awareness on millets as our staple grains and its importance in preventing and healing diseases as well as the most sustainable food for the future.
He has been constantly working for past 25yrs. and has been successful in bringing back Millet Food to the conscious of human race. Along with Millets, he is also working to develop ‘Sustainable Living Models’ for the planet. He claims that the consumption of Siridhanya can facilitate the prevention and cure of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, constipation, piles, gangrene, triglycerides, PCOD, low sperm count, skin diseases, kidney, and thyroid-related disorders.
Dr.Khadar Valli Dudekula is a recipient of several awards like Ahimsa Prashati by Jain Samaj Mysuru (2015), Krishi Ratna by Raitu Nestam Foundation (2021) and Nava Nakshatra by TV9 (2021). He was conferred with Padma Shri by the Honorable President of India in 2022 and also with Honorary Doctorate by SGT University, Gurgaon in January, 2023.
The event was organized at The Residency Towers, Coimbatore on June 11th, 2023.