Sheila Balaji, Chairperson, AIm for Seva and Rakesh Raghunathan, food expert, present rice varieties. (Photo: DC)
CHENNAI: The All India Movement (AIM) for seva, a NGO that caters to rural children with its primary focus on education and healthcare, launched its first retail outlet "Spirit of the Earth" in the city on Friday. ‘Spirit of the Earth’ would be offering 14 different indigenously produced organic heritage rice varieties that were originally cultivated in Manjakkudi, a village in the Cauvery Delta region, using natural manure and modern techniques of cultivation.
Talking to DC about the initiative, Mrs Sheila Balaji, Chairperson and Managing Trustee of AIM for Seva said, " Most of the rice varieties are rarely seen in the market and people are not aware of the different varieties of rice that are native to our country. We cultivated 14 different varieties of rice. They are organic, heritage and non-hybrid rice".
Kaatuyaanam, a rice variety that would keep diabetes and arthritis under control also protects against skin issues. Kalajeera, an aromatic rice variety, is believed to increase haemoglobin levels in the body. Mappilai Champa is a variety believed to cure mouth ulcers and cancer.
There are also other varieties of rice like Kichili Champa, Iluppai Poo Champa, Thooyamalli and Karuppu Kauvuni all of which have certain amount of nutrients that are indigenous yet unknown. These varieties would add more strength and increase the immune system of the body. In a view to retain the essential nutrients value in all varieties of rice, all grains are semi-polished to retain the husk, which would enhance richness and provide nutrient to the body.