This Two women are making Uttarakhand’s nutritional delicacies, a reality
WOMEN EMPOWERMENT FOR THE BETTER:
An illustrator and a nutritionist from Uttarakhand are paving the way for a new change in Uttarakhand and trying to revive Uttarakhand’s nutritional delicacies. Tanya Kotnala and Tanya Singh, both ranging from two significant backgrounds made a great effort. They joined hands with an organization named, Bhuli (which means ‘Little Sister’ in the native dialect of Garhwali), last year with the intention of reviving the local art and culture of the state
A NOBLE EFFORT TO REVIVE UTTARAKHAND’S NUTRITIONAL DELICACIES:
The habit of migrating to the bigger cities and towns has also changed the cultural patterns of people. Once people migrate, they take up employment which restricts them from sticking to the old cultural practices and food habits. So they generally resort to easier methods of food habits which take less time and are convenient.
In these cases, people are unable to keep in touch with their cultures and traditions, most particularly food habits. Here, the native culinary traditions get enmeshed with newer methods and thus loses its originality.
Such cases are not only limited to Uttarakhand alone but it is a common sight among many villages. Many people have even forgotten about their native dishes, except for the fact that it is a knowledge preserved by the older generations.
In a bid to bring back the forgotten practices of their state, two young women from Uttarakhand have shouldered the responsibility of raising awareness amidst the rural population—through illustrations.
These two women are working on multiple projects and collaborating with the state government’s Food and Nutrition Board under the Ministry of Women & Child Development. They opened platforms to highlight issues like menstrual hygiene and breastfeeding among women in these rural regions.
The topic ‘breastfeeding’ is always a taboo among people of these regions, especially among the women. So Singh says, “we are trying our best to bring this issue of breastfeeding in the open, by reaching out to 500 Anganwadis, so that women get educated about the seriousness of this issue”. They tried initiating these discussions through the medium of art.
In fact, the work that Bhuli undertook as part of the state government’s breastfeeding campaign in August is being used to spread awareness in about 26,000 anganwadis across Uttarakhand.
Among issues like breastfeeding and menstrual hygiene, how does the word, ‘nutrition’ connects?
“Both of us have literally lived all of our lives in the state, save a few years in between for studies. So, the memories of our grandmothers preparing delicious dishes, using seasonal crops still brings back memories”, reminisces Singh.
After her completion of Masters from Food communication, Tanya Singh went back to Uttarakhand.
“I tried recalling about a dish or a local preparation named lungdi, after an in-depth research about the dish with my family members and even my friends. But most of them had completely forgotten about that particular dish. So I tried looking into several of those age-old culinary dishes of Uttarakhand, also with my added benefits of being a nutritionist,” she laughs.
“Most of these dishes are made out of seasonal crops”, Singh stresses on the significance of the nutritional content in these crops.
To help more people know of the nutritional local delicacies of Uttarakhand, the duo decided to release a series of informative illustrations in the first week of September.
Here are some of the posts put up by Bhuli as part of the National Nutrition Week campaign: