Satyagraha Plea to PM Narendra Modi Ji to go 100% Plant Based in 2020
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Dear Honorable Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi Ji,
This Petition by LiveMAST & SHARAN is filed on behalf of the 166 million Indian Adults who are Overweight and Obese, 72 million Indian Adults who are living with Diabetes & related Chronic Lifestyle Diseases, 46 million Indian children (under the age of 5 years) who were described as “Stunted in Growth” and over 447 million Indians (all ages) who suffer from Iron Deficiency and Anemia, which is a chronic malabsorption disorder and a veritable National Health Emergency!
Clearly the only ones saying “I’m Lovin’ It” are the captains of the Processed Food, Confectionary & Beverages industry who have set up shop in India, at the expense of the Indian population’s future health metrics – and clearly the only ones launching “Kisses-shaped Dairy Chocolate” bombs upon our children are the ones who are laying the foundations for more patients for the flourishing Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices industry in India.
It is clearly time for a new Satyagraha – an earnest appeal for the Ultimate Human Truth - for a Disease Free India, for one that is not held hostage by malnutrition, obesity, diabetes, depression, cancer and other chronic diseases!
In 1978, Indian Council of Medical Research estimated just 1.73% Indians living with Diabetes, one of the most common Chronic Lifestyle Diseases with underlying cause being systemic and chronic Insulin Resistance. By 2016, that figure rose to 8% of the Indian population (72 million Adults) – with a much larger figure attributable to all preceding stages of this disease – namely, Pre-Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity, High Body Fat%, Microbiome Dysfunction, Digestive disorders and Intestinal disorders etc.
As you are acutely aware, there has been a significant rise of Chronic Non-Communicable Disease in India and amongst Indians globally. Malnutrition has been identified as one of the principal causes limiting India’s global economic potential (Copenhagen consensus, 2012) and Non-Communicable diseases (NCD) have arisen as major causes of death (Dandona, 2017).
Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients. The condition encompasses both undernutrition, being overweight and obesity. Food and feeding behaviors in children are closely linked to and shaped by their family’s preferences, practices and backgrounds.
Being the leader of the Republic of India and indeed, the leader of all Indians living globally – You have personally championed several milestone initiatives to take on challenges in nutrition, health and hygiene/sanitation. Under your leadership, the Government of India has launched the POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission), National Health Mission and Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (water, sanitation and hygiene) Mission. The government has matched the commitment by creating ambitious targets and supporting efforts with substantial budgets.
As a pioneer Plant Powered Nutrition advocacy organization in India and for Indians everywhere in the world since 2005, SHARAN believes that your personal leadership in creating a “Culture of Health” and setting exemplary leadership for Indian families everywhere is the need of the hour.
We at LiveMAST – an International Support Community for Indians everywhere - congratulate you for the massive effort undertaken to leave no stone unturned in assessing the Health Epidemic prevailing in the country right now. To provide robust data on the shifting conditions of both undernutrition, overweight and obesity, the Ministry of Health conducted the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) to collect a comprehensive set of data on nutritional status of Indian children from 0–19 years of age. This survey was the largest micronutrient survey ever implemented globally. Also, the survey used gold standard methods to assess anemia, micronutrient deficiencies and biomarkers of NCDs for the first time in India.
The findings are critical and confirm us to us the Indian “Culture of Health” is unfortunately NOT geared towards creating Positive Health Outcomes at all.
Both LiveMAST and SHARAN define Culture of Health of health as one, which starts with Health & Fertility Status of both the Mother and Father, Maternal and Fetal Nutrition during and after Pregnancy, Minimal Acceptable Standard of Nutrition for all Children, Adolescents and Adults – and most critically, the Nutritional Values, Preventative Health Awareness, Nutrition Education imparted at Home and in Schools and Healthy Habits children receive through socio-cultural interactions and will pass on to the future generations of Indians living in the Sub-continent and elsewhere in the world.
The CNNS Study clearly demonstrates that Indian Children – whether Urban or Rural, whether in Rich States or Poor States and regardless of Maternal Educational Status – are increasingly deficient in Key Micronutrients (Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, Folate, Vitamin D and Iodine). The study shows that the problem of Malnutrition, Hyperinsulinemia, Inflammation, Lack of Absorption of Key Micronutrients and Failure to Thrive at a young age creates a very poor prognosis for when these children become Adults, with average Onset of Type 2 Diabetes in India now pegged at 42 years of age.
The study also clearly states that Indian Children and Adolescents are fed on a diet rich in DAIRY – The world’s #1 Source of Saturated Fat, Addictive Casein and Cancer & Insulin Resistance promoting Protein. Those groups that are fed Eggs and Meat additionally seem to be worse off across all parameters measured. While “Edible Oils” consumption was conspicuous from its absence in the CNNS Study, Edible Oil usage in Indian Households has created an inflammation-promoting Culinary Culture that douses vegetables in oil thereby reducing bioavailability of the vital micronutrients Plant Foods contain. In fact, even the term "Folate" (a key nutrient tracked in the CNNS Study) is derived from Foliage – meaning Plants. As ironically suggested by CNNS Study, a “Vegan” diet is NOT the cause of malabsorption, rather a Dairy-rich, Oil-rich Vegetarian and Meat Diets are the real culprits!
Dairy, Meat, Oils and Eggs are high in Cholesterol, high in Saturated Fat, contain Zero Fiber and have ZERO Nutritional Value for a Human Being. Not to mention the unimaginable levels of brutality associated with the Dairy Industry (and the consequent merciless slaughter of spent Cows once they cannot produce milk) – a blot on the Indian philosophy of Ahimsa that we all seem to be so proud of as a nation!
While we await in catatonic suspension, there are Governments, Regulators and Physician-led Organizations around the world that are steadfastly saying NO TO DAIRY, MEAT, EGGS and OILS for their Populations and their Patients. Specific Plant Based Nutrition Programs have been launched in the US for Medical Schools, Plant Based Meals are now mandated in key School Systems and Hospital Systems (all over the USA), the Government of Canada’s 2019 Nutrition Guidelines have specifically cautioned against the consumption of Dairy citing key findings from the recently published EAT-LANCET research, Governments and Agencies in Northern Europe, Israel, Australia and New Zealand are taking up the cause of Real Whole Foods Plant Based Nutrition and focusing towards "Plants" as a Source of Non-Inflammatory Protein.
There is ample Evidence-Based Clinical Research on the subject of Dairy, Eggs, Oils and Meat that LiveMAST and SHARAN would like to share with the PMO’s Office and with the Director of the National Institute of Nutrition.
Using a Whole Foods Plant Based (NO OIL) approach to Nutrition, SHARAN’s Founder and Nari Shakti Puraskar 2016 Awardee, Dr. Nandita Shah and her team of trained Consultants, Facilitators and Volunteers have consistently proved that Diabetes and several related Chronic Disease can indeed be reversed – without unnecessary Pharmaceutical and/or Surgical Interventions. The burden of Health Care and Rising Health Insurance Premiums lies squarely on the shoulders of the Common Man in India. Are all the gains in our Economy’s GDP and Personal Disposable Income meant to be thrown down the Health Care Expenses drain?
Dear Hon’ble Prime Minster, it is clearly time for a new Satyagraha. We invite you to please light the flame and carry the torch forward for Indians in India and everywhere in the world. We petition you to make a small – yet significant start using your personal example and declaration.
We ask for ONLY 1 MONTH of your time – A mere 30 days dedicated towards Nutritional Satyagraha and towards Ahimsa! A small step where you consume Dairy-Free and Oil-Free meals for 30 days at a stretch - Delicious Traditional Indian Meals that are full of Fruits, Vegetables, Beans, Legumes and Lentils - all of Nature's bounty that Mother Earth provides us with.
We petition you to JOIN THE HEALTH SATYAGRAHA – on behalf of the millions that are suffering under your watch!
With gratitude on behalf of an entire nation and millions of Indians overseas, in anticipation!
Dr. Nandita Shah at SHARAN
Mr. Raj Bhatt and Ms. Nivi Jaswal at LiveMAST
#sharansatyagraha #LiveMAST #healthybharat
Sources and References: Stunting - Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates, 2019; Diabetes - IDF DIABETES ATLAS, Eighth edition, 2017; Overweight and obesity - Global Health Observatory (GHO) data, 2018; Anaemia -. The Global Burden of Anaemia, 2016 and Global Burden of Disease Study, 2013. EXHIBITS ON PAGE 4 AND 5. https://www.popcouncil.org/uploads/pdfs/2019RH_CNNSreport.pdf; The CHINA STUDY, by Dr. T Colin Campbell; Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM.org) and Dr. Neal Barnard; How To Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn; How To Reverse Diabetes in 21 Days by Dr. Nandita Shah.
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