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World Book Day 23 April

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World Book Day or World Book and Copyright Day is also known as International Day of the Book. World Book Day is a yearly event on 23 April, organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote reading, publishing and copyright.

Reading is an essential tool for lifelong learning. It is important for everyone to develop the rudiments of reading and the culture of reading always so as to survive in life. Reading adds quality to life and provides access to culture and cultural heritage. Art of reading is a priceless instrument for everyone. It is one of the most important activities of life through which we enter into the life and experiences of others and extend our knowledge, scope of experience and enjoyment. It has critical role to play in the overall development of an individual and the nation at large. Books are gateway to knowledge.

Due to technological development, reading habits are changing. In our society today, while technology is slowly taking a steady control over individual lives, the reading habit is fast vanishing into thin air (The Hindu, 2004). Students now lack the skill of reading. Instead they spend more hours on electronic media. Browsing the net, playing with funky handsets and passing non-stop SMSs seem to be the order of the day. Students are rarely interested in reading for pleasure and enjoyment instead they read only to pass examination. The declining interest in reading culture among our children (especially those in primary and secondary schools) is a cause for alarm and a challenge to all and something need to be done.

Reading is believed to make man to close his mind to wider possibilities of imaginative expression. Reading improve power of thinking.

Ragi means Nagali means Nachani.

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Eleusine coracana is an annual plant widely grown as a cereal in the arid areas of Africa and Asia. Earliest Karnataka civilisation shows it was grown in Hallur in the later Iron Age. It remains one of the main ingredients of the staple diet in Konkan region of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Finger millet have been cultivated in India from as far back as 4000 years ago. Now the Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Konkan region of Maharashtra produce ragi. Karnataka is the top producer of Ragi and has 58% share in India’s export of this crop. In Maharashtra it’s called as Nagali(नागली) or Nachani.

Benefits of ragi or nachni or Nagali.

  • Rich in calcium. No other cereal comes close to ragi when it comes to calcium content. Calcium is a significant factor when it comes to bone development and prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Rich in Iron. Ragi is an excellent plant based source of Iron that helps in increasing blood formation in persons suffering from anemia or low hemoglobin levels. Vitamin C increases the level of iron absorption in the body and therefore it is best to have sprouted Ragi in the form of Ragi flour or Ragi malt. .Sprouted Ragi contains vitamin C that makes the iron present in it easily absorbable by the body
  • Suitable for diabetics. Ragi has a low glycemic index suitable for diabetics. Ragi has also high content of dietary fibers and polyphenols. The high level of fibers in Ragi slows down the pace of digestion thereby helping in lowering blood sugar levels
  • Lower cholesterol levels. Ragi helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood; this leads to less plaque formation, prevents the blocking of blood vessels, and hence reduces the risk of hypertension and stroke. The key amino acids Lecithin and Methionine present in the cereal helps in lowering cholesterol by extracting and cutting out excess fat from the liver, and the amino acid Threonine prevents formation of fat in the liver. Ragi, in the unripe, green form can also help in controlling high blood pressure and hypertension.
  • Helps Digestion. The high level of dietary fiber in this cereal aids in proper digestion, normal bowel movement and prevents constipation. The insoluble fibers present in Ragi assists movement of food through the intestines while the insoluble fibers retain water thereby easing the passage of waste.
  • Helps in weight loss. The natural fat content in ragi is lower than all other cereals. Also, this fat is in its unsaturated form. Thus, substituting it for wheat and rice is a good choice for people trying to lose weight. It also contains an amino acid called tryptophan which reduces appetite.
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