Karnataka leader Rajasekharan calls for "Miss a Meal" programme

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New Delhi, March 9 (ANI): Inspired by a call once given by former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri in the 1960s asking people to observe a day's fast in a week to save food, a former Union Minister of State from Karnataka is running a campaign for the same cause as he believes it is needed for the welfare of the hungry in the country today.

According to former Union Minister of State for Planning M.V.Rajasekharan today India is passing through one of the most difficult period of human history. It is time that every leader irrespective of region, language or religion should come together to deal with the problems of global warming raising pollution of water and air, rapid dwindling of our forests, hunger, poverty, unemployment, terrorism, and fall in moral, ethical, and human values. The world leaders should raise above their self-interest, give up their ego and find solutions to the problems of human sufferings.

As far as global warming is concerned, millions of people across the world looked towards the Copenhagen Climate Summit with great expectation that they would reach common accord to save the humanity from disaster. But the outcome fell far short of expectations due to lack of stronger display of commitment and political will on the part of world leaders, he says.

He says due to change in climatic condition and melting of glaciers in the Himalayan ranges, there has been serious impact on the productivity of wheat and rice, particularly in the State of Punjab, Haryana, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and other States in the north India.

He says irrigated land area in the States of Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh, the fertile and productive soils have already become alkaline, due to the use of excessive water in the areas where we have got assured irrigation facilities. Therefore, providing food, nutrition, and livelihood security to the millions of poorest of the poor and disadvantaged people in India, has been seriously threatened.

He adds this is certainly causing a great concern to everyone in the country. Therefore, a time has come, to mount a countrywide National Campaign to create awareness among the general public to observe a day's fast in a week, to save the consumption of food and make it available to the disadvantaged people who are below poverty line.

Mr. Rajasekharan has written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to draw his attention to the call given by the United Nation Organisation's Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Director General, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and as well as citing the earlier example set by former Prime Minister Late Lal Bahadur Shashtri during 1960s appealing to the Nation to observe a day's fast in a week, to save food consumption and make it available for the poor.

In his public appeal, Mr. Rajasekharan has urged to all members of the Parliament, State Legislators, the intellectuals, CEOs of Corporate Sectors, Heads of Political Parties both at the State and national level, heads of educational institutions including universities, colleges and high schools , non-governmental organizations, women and youth oragnisations, heads of religious institutions, and the general, to observe a day's fast once a week.

It can help to save consumption of food to provide food, nutrition, and livelihood security to the millions of poor people, who are in dire need of food and nutrition security to sustain their livelihood, he states.

Mr. Rajasekharan, in his personal life, has already started fasting each Sunday for 24 hours and has appealed to the print an electronic media to create public awareness to make this national campaign a great success.

Rajasekharan is presently a member of the upper House of Karnataka Assembly. (ANI)

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