Over 3,500 people from across the city participated in a run to create awareness about the health benefits of millet. The 5K Smart Run 2019 was organised by the department of agriculture. The 5,000 m run was flagged off from Band Stand, Cubbon Park by agriculture minister H N Shivashankara Reddy. Rural development and panchayat raj minister, Krishna Byre Gowda, Padma Shri and Arjuna awardee athlete, Anju Bobby George and director of Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology, Dr Manjunath were also present during the occasion.
According to the agriculture minister the popularity of millet is steadily rising across India over the last few years. The response to the Smart Run is a testimony to this, he said. “People are becoming aware of the health benefits of millet. To encourage farmers to grow and to meet consumers’ demand, the government has been taking several steps like reducing farm input costs and raising remuneration,” added Reddy. The participants ran a distance of five kilometres in the run, which culminated back again at Cubbon Park.
The event was a precursor to the Organic Millets International Trade Fair 2019. The fair will be held from January 18-20 in the city. Dr Manjunath said millet is a nutritional powerhouse.
“They are high in proteins, dietary fibre, B complex vitamins, essential amino acids, folic acids, and vitamin C. They are also high in minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, calcium and potassium. Apart from the many other health benefits, millets also help reduce the risk of diabetes and reduce obesity.” he said. The event was coordinated by Roopa Mouli from Sahaya Hasta Trust.