#EAT LOCAL EAT HEALTHY – PROMOTING THE USE OF UNDERUTILIZED NATIVE CROPS!!

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Agriculture forms an integral part of Indian history, from the days of the Indus Valley civilization to even modern day era, and forms an integral part of Indian lifestyle and culture. Even today, agriculture holds a major role in the Indian economy, contributing 17-18% of the nation’s GDP and in a recent Economic Survey 2017-18 released in the parliament last year, and agriculture employs more than 50% of the total workforce. However today, traditional knowledge about India’s indigenous plants have reduced in the younger generation, mainly due to the influence of urbanization. India is rich in diverse plant species, ranging from food, materials to even medicinal properties. Not only do India’s indigenous plants have economic values, but also have major health benefits equal to those of avocados and other foreign crops.

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Tasteful examples include star fruit, rich in antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C, okra, a vegetable with a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and the seeds provide quality oil and protein. Phalsa is another fruit similar to blueberries and extremely rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and vitamin C. It is a super fruit with an effective cooling effect that is perfect for summers. Others also include lemongrass, turmeric, and many other herbs, used to add a little bit of flavor and have medicinal properties.

Today’s integration of connectivity has changed even the food we eat, as now many of the younger generations opt for international ‘superfoods’, often forgetting the value of the crops we grow on our own soil. Foods that we have been cultivating, researching and eating for generations have now lost importance, and it’s important that we bring them back.

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Many people are uncomfortable with market-bought fruits and vegetables, and rightfully so, because it may not be as fresh or reliable as advertised. Therefore we encourage growing locally grown produce right at the comfort of your own home. Options such as terrace farming, kitchen gardening are always ideal, and even if you lack space a smaller balcony farm works just as well.

We at SHARP NGO encourage the use of locally available crops and spread awareness about them under our NUTRITION PROJECTS through awareness campaigns, talk shows, promoting kitchen gardening, educational games in communities &villages to promote dietary diversification of indigenous crops to lead healthy lifestyle, encouraging people from all age group like children, pregnant ladies, adolescents to consume them for a healthy mind & healthy life.

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Personal Hygiene

In its effort to help children across the country through the problem of lice, Mediker had the vision to make Haryana the first lice free state in the country by the 2010. Partnering Mediker through this effort is School Health Annual Report Programme (SHARP), committed to safeguarding the health of school children. Thus, SHARP is conducting hygiene and lice checks in every school in Haryana so as to ensure that every girl child in Haryana is declared free of lice. 55 schools have been covered so far and Ryan International School, Faridabad is the 56th.
In the pursuance of Health awareness programmes in school children we got an opportunity to make our operations in Haryana in collaboration with Marico Industries Ltd, Mumbai to conduct free Hygiene Check-up Programme in school children between the age group of 5 to 12 years (Classes III to VIII). During hygiene check-up, the following things are inspected for:
i) Hair Hygiene ii) Dental Hygiene iii) Nail Hygiene iv) Nape Hygiene v) Ear Hygiene. The survey report of all these parameters will be made available after the completion of Ist Phase of the programme. During the survey it has been found that very few children are conscious about the good personal hygiene, which is the basic of leading a good healthy life.