Under the direction of Ministry of Education, Government of India, the Higher Education Institutions are conducting activities on Indian Culture, Language, Cuisine etc. Under this activity IGNOU Regional Centres of Maharashtra and Orisa in association with VNIT Nagpur organized National Webinar on “Unity through Diversity – Marathi and Odiya Foods”.
The IGNOU Regional Centres in Maharashtra namely Nagpur, Mumbai and Pune and IGNOU Regional Centres in Odisha namely Bhubaneshwar and Koraput have joined together under the coordinatorship of Dr. P. Sivaswaroop,
Senior Regional Director IGNOU RC Nagpur.
The webinar started with welcome address by Dr. P. Sivaswaroop. In his speech he said that Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat (EBSB) aims to enhance interaction and promote mutual understanding between people of different states and union territories. Under EBSB Maharashtra and Odisha are paired up states. He said that Regional territories in India play an important role in differentiating the ethnic groups with their own social and cultural identities. He quoted Hon’ble Prime Minister saying “Cultural diversity is a Joy”. He quoted a foreign tourist saying “Indians are least judgmental people on earth.
The atmosphere here allows you to be what you choose to be and do what you feel right for you”. Dr. Umesh Chandra Pandey, Director, Regional Services Division, IGNOU New Delhi in his key note address emphasized that people feel happy if their distinct identity is recognized. Celebrating distinctness is joyful. Food develops bonding and he complimented the Regional Centres for celebrating the EBSB. Dr. G. N. Nimbarte, Head, Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences and Coordinator of EBSB, VNIT Nagpur explained about objectives of EBSB. He gave an account of EBSB activities undertaken earlier by VNIT itself and also in association with IGNOU RC Nagpur.
From Nagpur, Shri. Vishnu Manohar, Celebrity Chef gave an Expert talk on “Exploring Maharashtrian Culture through Food”. Dr. (Mrs.) Shakti Sharma, Coordinator, IGNOU Study Centre 36040P, Nagpur introduced the speaker. Shri. Vishnu Manohar said that each food item is connected to the culture, festivals and health. He referred about Til Gud during Sankranti, Dev Kheer by farmers, Kojagiri etc. He explained there are large varieties of Marathi chutney and there is a systematic way of serving food items in thali. He also said Maharashtra is so big that some of Konkan Food items are not known to Vidarbha and vice versa. Dr. S. K. Tripathi, Senior Regional Director of IGNOU RC Bhubaneshwar spoke about Speciality of Odisha. From Bhubaneshwar, Shri. Laxhminarayan Das, Principal & Shri. Aditya Singh Deo, Shri Golap Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism gave a talk on “Traditional Cuisines of Odisha”. Dr. S. K. Tripathi, SRD introduced the speakers.
The experts explained various food items of Odiya like Dalma. They said that the cuisine of Odisha are with less oil. Dr. B. Rajagopal, Regional Director, IGNOU RC Koraput spoke about Speaciality of Tribal Food. From Koraput Dr. Rajat Kumar Sarangi gave a talk on “Food Practices and Habits of Koraput Tribals”. Dr. B. Rajagopal, RD introduced the speaker. Dr. Rajat explained through powerpoint various food items and ingredients of tribals of Koraput like Kanda, Ragi Palau, Ragi Laddu etc. From Mumbai Ms. Bhavisha Sancheti, Dr. BMN College of Home Science, Mumbai gave a talk on “Konkan Food and Culture”. Dr. E. Krishna Rao, RD (In-charge), IGNOU RC Mumbai introduced the speaker. She said that Kokan area spreads in Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka states. Rice, Coconut, Fish availability is high in this region.
So these are the major ingredients of the food items. She said in Maharashtra “Anna He Purna Brahma” means “Food is God” and she explained the recipes of various Konkan Food items like Airavat, Bharali Vangi, Varan Bhat etc. From Pune Ms. Ruchu Kuthiala gave a talk on “The Versatile Maharashtrian Cuisine – Various Shades for Health”. Dr. D. R. Sharma, Senior Regional Director of Pune introduced the speaker. She explained the recipes of Varan, Katachi Amti, Sabudana Khichdi, Thalipeeth etc. Ms. Ruchu expressed concern that Maharashtra has highest number of malnourished children in the country which is a matter of concern for everyone.
Dr. Bimal Chandra Nanda, Deputy Director, IGNOU RC Bhubaneshwar proposed vote of thanks. Dr. S. Saunand of RC Pune conducted the webinar in effective manner. Shri. Chandrashekhar Rajgure, Shri. Rajesh Wasnik of IGNOU Nagpur worked tirelessly for the success of the event. The Webinar can be viewed on the IGNOU RC Nagpur Youtube channel.