“This incident actually influenced me to find out why in such an advanced country a girl is menstruating at the age of six. After thorough research, I found out that it all boils down to the food we eat, which is totally unhealthy. Milk is genetically modified, rice and wheat are not natural foods, but we have been duped by corporates to consume such food.”In Dr. Valli’s word, a recent Padma Shri award winner for being a proponent of millet consumption for healthy living
Millets are finally receiving due recognition because of the extraordinary efforts of the policymakers and the government. However, some unsung heroes work relentlessly to make things happen and transform dreams into reality. Our hero’s disrupted the system and brought about a revolution to change the world. We are sharing stories of one such person named the millet man, Dr. Khadar Vali, from Mysore. Dr. Vali started his journey 20 years ago and took the uncarved path to bring back something we forgot: the mighty millet. Millet was called “birdfeed” back in the day since they were buried deep down due to tons of rice and wheat.
He is an independent scientist invested in studying millet in depth to combat diseases to improve our lifestyle. A mix of five millets, Kodo millet, Foxtail millet, Green millet, Barnyard millet, and Little millet, is termed Sridhanya, a recommendation by Dr. Vali, and it is reported to heal diseases and, in some cases, reverse diseases. Sridhanya is extensively grown by farmers in Karnataka and sold globally as well. Dr. Vali teaches and trains individuals on millet farming.
Additionally, Dr. Vali is a proponent of Kadu Krishi, also known as Jungle farming. Dr. Vali is involved in growing millet and studying millet extensively to improve human lifestyle. This has encouraged many individuals to enter the millet growing and commercializing space. One such example is K V Rama Subba Reddy, another unsung hero in the millet revolution; he was highly inspired by Dr. Vali’s work and became a full-time farmer in 2017. Mr. Reddy is involved in millet farming and processing and runs an agro-based company. His company produces brands such as Renadu and Mibbles, millet-based, ready-to-eat sugar-free, and gluten-free products. Mr. Reddy plans on launching his brand in the international markets in the coming years.
“When the food is wrong, medicine is of no use
When food is right, medicine is of no need”Dr. Valli
Dr. Valli’s work has proven to fill the nutritional gaps in the human diet. As consumers, we always fail to achieve complete nutrition; we either lack the presence of a micronutrient or a macronutrient. This is one reason for the increased nutritional deficiencies in today’s time and age. Generally, people consume sugar for instant energy during a long workday. Similarly, some folks consume proteins for their body needs. This paints a picture that many consumers are deprived of a balanced diet. We fail to address the issues concerning consuming the correct amount of micronutrients; hence, making room for millet on our plate could be a potential boon for the 21st-century man.