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How to get an Aadhaar card? Pg 9 How to apply for a BWSSB water connection Pg 10 The Broom Brigade takes on garbage Pg 12 How to plan balanced meals Pg 16

Citizen Matters Local news like no one else does

Everybody wants an Aadhaar carD

But why? Pg 4


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A Step-by-step guide for getting things done in Bangalore From covering public services to property matters, school boards to driving licenses, voting to saving water to filing FIRs and more. Since its launch, The Living in Bengaluru book has become a hit with Bangaloreans, both recent settlers and long-time residents alike. Many bookshops including those in peripheral areas are seeing brisk sales. “This is a very welcome book, long overdue, which should be a prized possession of every citizen of this great city.” - T V Mohandas Pai

“I recommend this book to every Bangalorean as it is a holistic book and every Bangalorean must have it.” - Santosh Hegde

Living in Bengaluru is available at all major book shops like: Jayanagar/JP Nagar: Prism the Bookshop, Book Paradise, Nagashri Books, Page world (Puttenahalli), Nudi Pusthaka (BSK II Stage) Basavanagudi: Belegere Books, Ankita Pusthaka, Shree Book Centre, Koramangala: Intouch, Bookstop, City Centre: Gangaram, Higginbothams, Bookworm, Page Turner, Blossom Books, Vinayaka Book Distributors, Strand Book, Shankars (Domlur), North Bangalore: Sahitya Sadan, (Sahakaranagar), Bangalore Book Centre (Hebbal) Navakarnataka (Kumarapark west) Also available at Sapna book stores, Reliance Timeout & Crossword. AVAILABLE ONLINE at Flipkart and




How BWSSB is hoodwinking the people of Bengaluru The most inefficient BWSSB is no longer to handle water supply to Bangalore citizens.There is lot of water there is no proper distribution.The area Engineers and valve men are made use of the the opportunity by creating crisis.If 40% leakage why they continuing in the service.The worst hit are are dwelling house residents, they are under mercy of valve men. The Apartment living people they buy the Engineers and Valve men and get more water.Again, Govt must bring legislation to stop the bore well water construction, watering the parks and all hotel establishments and marriage halls should use only the treated sewage water by this ground water can be saved.The Govt is also failed to take any action in this matter keerthikumar

Everybody wants an Aadhaar card. But why? How many more ID cards will an Indian need ?? Nandan got himself a job as a IT revolutionary & this AADHAR card is as difficult as any of other cards like, Passport, Voter ID, Ration card, DL, PAN card, bank passbook, credit/ debit card, etc etc. All the above have as much details & it is claimed this has Bio metric images of eyes & finger prints !!! Are we getting as frightened & Paranoid as Americans & Europeans ???? S V Raghavan

Jayanagar MLA B N Vijayakumar I would like to say that though Mr. Vijaykumar represents the constituency but his support is highly fragmented. Without exaggeration please visit any street between the swagath main road

(30th Cross) to Jayangar hospital main road ( 32nd Cross) and see the contribution. I wish among the many citizens that we dont see repitition of the last election results and we see some person with a character of public service and not biased as the current one Mohammed Rafiq

Bengaluru’s CA sites are ‘Crorepathi Amenities’ Was surprised to see a mega structure built up at BSK 6th Stage 4th Block CA site. On inquiring the locals came to know this belongs to RV College of Engg Architecture department. There are no sign boards and looks like they are doing this in a haste. Not sure if the residential owners around have noticed this and are either oblivious or not worried. Maybe the case 4 in this article is connected, but who can confirm? Guru

BWSSB trying to register all the borewells in Bangalore This is another hi handed approach from BWSSB. No body ever gives a thought to ensure water supply before sanctioning the high density residential complexes in given location.People have made their arrangements through borewells but most of them are dried up. In Bellandur area our 99% needs are met by private water suppliers who charge exorbitantly for this service.A very simple solution to keep the ground water charged is to rejuvenate all lakes in the city and increase their rain water storage capacity by making them deep and not letting city severage in to them.Expenses to do this will be much less than any piping supply system. D K Pathak

Be a Citizen Journalist! Submit your stories at We welcome all citizens to share their stories about this city. We look for ideas for stories that other citizens will find useful or enjoyable. Sometimes there is no point writing about the obvious. For example, enough stories have been written about the traffic situation. But if you have a particular angle about an issue that has not been covered, or a lead about somebody who is working to solve a problem, that works. SUBMIT ALERTS on issues that need to be investigated. SHARE EVENTS that your neighbours may like to attend. COMMENT & DISCUSS on whatever matters to you.

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In Focus


Everybody wants an Aadhaar carD

But why? Many Bangaloreans seem to believe UID registration is mandatory and are queueing up to get the Aadhaar card. But why are they so eager? Who is asking for the ID?



In Focus



In Focus


he much talked about and hyped Aadhaar card still remains a mystery to many, but the rush at the registration counters tells a different tale. On closer look one finds that though people are rushing to the centres to get their Unique Identity (UID) cards, they do not know the exact purpose. Most citizens believe that since it is a government document, it is required. However they do not know if it is mandatory to have an UID or not. Narayan K, a businessman operating from Chickpet, got his Aadhaar card made a year ago. He says that the card was made right at his door step; “Since I was not losing anything I got it made - without spending money or time, unlike other government documents. But I have just kept the card in my cupboard as it is of no use.” The businessman had been told that Aadhaar would be a valid government document, but was surprised to note that it did not have his date of birth, even though he had been required to furnish proof of age while applying for the ID. On inquiry from the counter officials, he was told that it is a proof of nationality and nothing more. “But I was not convinced, I tried the numbers available on the UID website but they proved to be of no use as the helplines are constantly busy and officials are not available to talk to citizens,’’ says Narayan. Lakshmamma, a domestic help residing near KR Market, has similar feelings: “I stood in the queue for an entire day and got my card made. I was told that the card will help me get aid from the government - benefits in food ration, subsidies in medical treatment and other facilities. But it has all come to waste. It is just lying at home like any other card. I was also told that it will help in bank transactions, but 6 CITIZEN MATTERS

“In India, the purpose of the UID project is very simple; it is to give every Indian resident a unique number, preventing the kinds of duplication that currently exists. The complexity of the issue lies in ensuring that everybody in a population of 1.2 billion gets a unique number, and therein lies an enormous challenge of scale and technology. But issuing a unique number is just one part of the challenge. The other part is making sure that this number is used effectively. For this purpose, the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) is providing an online authentication capability. In such a scenario, we will be able to verify online anyone claiming to be Mr. XYZ with the unique number 123 as actually being that person. This combination of de-duplication and having unique numbers on one end, and the existence of online authentication at the other end is the core of the solution that the UIDAI is seeking to achieve.” Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, UIDAI Source: Inclusion

they have been the same as before with no changes.’’ She also got her card made a year ago. Those who haven’t got their cards yet seem to be more positive about it. Jahnabi B, a resident of Indiranagar, Bangalore, who is yet to enroll for the card says, “I will get it done at the earliest as I was told that the Aadhaar number is important for provident funds transfer from one office to the other.” Jahnabi has heard that in case she wants a transfer of her Provident Fund savings from her present


In Focus employer to a new employer, or withdraw the same, she would need to furnish an Aadhar number to the bank and to the PF office for faster processing. This convinces her of the need to get one.

What is the use of Aadhaar? Strangely, even the UID authority has not much to share that can help to throw more light on the use and application of Aadhaar. The UIDAI merely mentions that Aadhaar will have many benefits. It affirms that the UID is a proof of identity and “seeks to be a gateway to services,” being sufficient “KnowYour-Customer” information for many things like opening a bank account, getting a mobile connection and availing other State government services. Nandan Nilekani, Chairman of the UIDAI, however confirms that the Aadhaar number does not stand as a substitute for other forms of identity. “The other proofs of identity exist for particular purposes,” says Nilekani. He also points out that the decision to use the Aadhaar number for various services is that of the agency implementing the service and is not taken by the UIDAI. A senior official from Indian Oil, handling Indane, who does not wish to be named, says that 50 districts have been identified by the central government for linking the UID number of citizens with their LPG accounts, especially among the weaker sections of society, and enabling banks to directly transfer subsidy to them, thus eliminating

Srinivas Reddy and Anjali Devi, just after their enrolment. Pic: Yogaraj S Mudalgi

other agents. In Karnataka, Mysore, Tumkur and Dharwad have been chosen. Over 70% of customers have been covered in Mysore, while work in Dharwad and Tumkur is yet to start. “We have been told to link Aadhaar with LPG subsidy and for consumers, UID number is being taken, as per the government’s scheme,” said the official. In case of banks, benefits are yet to start for customers. An official from Indian Overseas Bank, who also wishes to remain anonymous, says that the benefits of Aadhaar work mostly for the weaker sections and those residing in rural and semiurban areas. Once government orders are obtained, customers UID numbers will be taken to ensure financial aid is transferred directly to their accounts.

opening a bank account or receiving direct transfers under any particular scheme. Nilekani stresses the need to ensure that there is no exclusion from services due to the nonavailability of an Aadhaar number during the period of transition. Even as the queues outside Aadhaar enrollment centres in Bangalore get longer, Dr DS Ravindran, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for E-governance admits that there is no scheme linked to Bangalore currently, to the best of his knowledge. “There is a direct cash transfer programme, where there is service delivery to Bangalore, but details of it are yet to be clarified. We are yet to understand why there is a rush at the centres and what is driving them in such large numbers,” wonders Ravindran.

When will Aadhaar card be used by government agencies?

What are the details on the card?

This, however, leaves a grey area around the question of when the UID will actually prove to be necessary for availing LPG subsidy, or sufficient documentation for

The UID card physically contains the name, sex, address, year of birth along with the 12-digit unique number assigned to the holder. As Ravindran points out, it is not a valid document of date of



In Focus birth, but is an identity proof of the person residing in India and in a particular address during the time of enrollment. Adding to this, Ashok MR Dalwai, Deputy Director General, UIDAI regional office, Bangalore, says, “we are relying on the biometric, demographic (data) or even a combination of both while issuing the UID number. We are now thinking of including the date of birth in the card, rather than the year of birth alone.” The main benefit of the UID, he says, is that it recognizes an individual as a citizen of the nation and gives one a unique number; it also provides authentication facilities for verification of a person and ensure provision of services. Another UIDAI official, on conditions of anonymity, reveals that over time and through experience, the team has learnt that inclusion of many personal details (such as date of birth) other than those initially included will make the card complete. But the question is how to do so now, after so many cards have been issued. The authority is thus grappling with the question of whether all cards should be called back, cancelled and re-issued or if there might be any other possibility. The official also rules out the possibility of any kind of duplication, saying that the whole system is computerized and centralized, despite the existence of multiple data collection agencies across the country. “We would get to know that a person has already registered and it will show on the system. This will eliminate duplication. It is also being largely advertised to the 8 CITIZEN MATTERS

masses that if they register once anywhere in India, they need not go anywhere else.” According to officials from the e-governance department, who are vested with the responsibility for Aadhaar enrollment, over 20 lakh Bangaloreans have been issued the card so far. There are 68 centres in Bangalore alone, with 300 systems enrolling citizens.

An easier process? While its actual use may still be far from clear, citizens do say that


getting an Aadhaar card is easier, faster and better than procuring any other government document. Comparing it with the ration card or even a voter-identity card, Namrata M, a student points out that communicating with officials during the Aadhaar enrolment is much easier. They are multi-lingual, unlike officials involved in other government processes. Moreover, corrections in case of Aadhaar card can be made immediately on the screen and there are usually no mistakes when the card arrives by post, unlike in case of the voter-ID or other government card.

Bosky Khanna

In Focus

How to get an Aadhaar card? What is Aadhaar? Aadhaar is a 12-digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India on behalf of the Government of India.

Where can I use it? This number will serve as a proof of identity and address, anywhere in India.

Is UID registration and getting Aadhaar card compulsory? No, Aadhaar is voluntary, not Enrollment is free.

registration compulsory.

Is this like a social security? In a sense, yes; Aadhaar enables identification and may be assigned to every 'resident' of India; it is NOT a proof of citizenship and consequently, not only for Indians.

What information is visible on the card? The UID card physically contains the name, sex, address, year of birth along with the 12-digit unique number assigned to the holder.

Who can register? Any individual, irrespective of age and gender, who is a resident in India and satisfies the verification process laid down by the UIDAI can enrol for Aadhaar.

What are the documents required? UIDAI process accepts 18 PoI (Proof of Identity) and 33 PoA (Proof of Address) documents. Please click here for a nationally valid list of documents. Common proofs of identity and address are election photo ID card, Ration card, passport For Enrollment Centres

and driving license. Photo ID cards like PAN card and Govt ID cards are permissible for identity proof. Address proof documents also include water electricity - telephone bills from the last three months. In case you do not have above common proofs, Certificate of Identity having photo issued by Gazetted Officer/Tehsildar on letterhead is also accepted as PoI. Certificate of Address having photo issued by MP or MLA /Gazetted Officer/Tehsildar on letterhead or by Village Panchayat head or its equivalent authority (for rural areas) is accepted as valid PoA. Even if someone in a family does not have individual valid documents, the resident can still enrol if his/her name exists in family entitlement document. In this case the Head of Family in entitlement document needs to be enrolled first with valid PoI and PoA document. The head of the household can then introduce other members in the family while they are enrolling. UIDAI accepts 8 document types as Proof of Relationship. Please click here for a nationally valid list of documents. Where there are no documents available, resident may also take the help of 'Introducers' available at the enrolment centre. The Introducers are notified by the Registrar. For further details please contact office of the concerned Registrar.

What do I need to fill in the form? At the enrollment center, please fill your personal details within the form. Your photo, finger-prints and iris scan will also be taken as a part of the enrollment. You can review the

details you have provided and make corrections during enrolment itself. You will get an acknowledgment slip with an temporary enrolment number and other details captured during enrolment

How long does it take to get the card? Based on your information provided, your details will be verified centrally. If your application is successful, an Aadhaar number will be generated and mailed to your address. The waiting time for Aadhaar may vary from 60-90 days after receipt of information. However, it could take even longer in case enrolment is done through The National Population Registry exercise.

Can I organise a camp in my organisation or apartment? To organise a camp, contact: CEO, Centre for e-Governance, Room No:146A, Multi-Storied Building, Dr. Ambedkar Veedhi, Bangalore 560 001. Ph:22373840, Email: ceoceg@, cegkarnataka@ UIDAI Regional Office Khanija Bhavan, No. 49, 3rd Floor, South Wing Race Course Road, Bangalore 560001 Grievance Cell: 22340864 Email: uidroblr@ Reception Ph: 22340104

Where are the enrollment centres? The centres are open all days 9 am to 7pm. The centres are shifted depending on demand and response. So please check before going. 23-March-2013



How to apply for a BWSSB water connection Planning to apply for water connection under the new Cauvery Stage IV Phase II? Which documents do you need and how much does it cost?


he Cauvery Stage IV Phase II project is on, which means Bangaloreans will get up to 500 million litres of water per day. The new project is set to benefit the residents of seven City Municipal Councils Yelahanka, Byatarayanapura, Bommanahalli, Mahadevpura, K.R. Puram, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Dasarahalli and one Town Municipal Council Kengeri. See the full details of who will get water here. There are 110 villages that will NOT benefit under this scheme. "We have sold 1.04 lakh forms. Of this, around 51,600 people have submitted the forms. Among those who submitted forms, over 43,500 applications have been approved. The rest (8000-odd) are pending, as many applicants have not paid the full charges," says T C Sarala Kumari, PRO at BWSSB. To avail of this new connection, BWSSB has launched a Sajala drive. Citizen Matters spoke to Dr P.N Ravindra, Executive Engineer, BWSSB who told us to get a new connection, how much will it cost you and in how many days will the process take.

What do you need to submit? You need the Sajala form. you can buy the form from the subdivision office in your area for Rs 10 CITIZEN MATTERS

100. These forms are available online too at Application%20Form.pdf. You need two copies of the following documents : Any property related document building sanction plan, khatha, tax paid receipt Address proof - Absolute Sale Deed/ Ration Card/ Electricity bill/ Telephone Bill A stamp paper of Rs 20. Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) adoption document, certifying that the site has implemented RWH, for sites measuring 1200 sq ft and more.You can give a self-declaration saying that RWH has been installed in your house, along with a photo of the RWH system. Before sanction, BWSSB officers will visit your house and verify this. Photograph of the house (To make the inspection process easy) Beneficiary Capital Contribution Receipt (under GBWASP project) The submission needs to be certified by a BWSSB-approved plumber.

How much will it cost you? The total amount is calculated like this: Total fees + Pro rata charges + Beneficiary Capital Contribution 1. Total fees: Rs 2040 (Payable in the form of a DD in favour of the Chairman, BWSSB)


Break up of total fees Meter charges: Rs 850 Inspection fee: Rs 250 Three months minimum fee: Rs 315 Connection fee: Rs 25 Sewage line fee: Rs 600 2. Pro rata charges: These are applicable only for houses that have more than two storeys, in sites measuring 1200 sq ft or more. If you live in a house with three floors (G+2) or more, then pro rata charges are applicable only from the second floor onwards, not on the first or ground floors. 3. Beneficiary Capital Contribution: This is to be paid at any branch of Syndicate Bank within BBMP jurisdiction. The beneficiary capital contribution can also be paid in 24 equal installments, which will be added in your water bill.

Where to submit the forms? The Sajala form with the documents can be submitted at your nearest BWSSB sub division office. For list of BWSSB sub division offices, click here Days required for water connection: Seven to 15 days

Guides and Primers

(Inspection might cause delay)

Citizens forced to pay bribes Many people complain that they are being forced to pay bribes while applying for connections. Public give applications to a BWSSBcertified plumber (many of whom sit in the BWSSB offices), rather than directly to BWSSB. Most plumbers ask for extra amounts. Sathya Prasad, a freelance journalist residing in Devasandra in KR Puram, says, "In our local BWSSB office, the plumber collected an extra Rs 500 only for accepting applications. This amount was mentioned nowhere in the application. I realised only later that it was a bribe."

For Enrollment Centres

A BWSSB AEE clarifies that plumbers are not supposed to collect any additional amount for processing the applications. "They can collect labour charges though, at the time of laying pipes. Labour charge will vary from house to house depending on the condition of the site and road," he says. In Prasad's case, more drama followed. For him, Rs 12,000 was the cost of connection - including pipe laying and meter fixing - to his single storey house in a 30X40 site. Prasad had submitted his application in September. "In October, BWSSB informed me that my application got misplaced. The plumber told me that the officers

may need a bribe, but I did not pay. I had to visit BWSSB office many times, and finally in December, they said that they found the application, and approved it," says Prasad. Though Prasad and most of his neighbours have taken connections, there is no regular supply to their houses yet. BWSSB has only done a few trial runs in this area so far.

Nivedita Niranjankumar and Navya PK also contributed to this article. 23-March-2013



The Broom Brigade takes on garbage Fed up with the mounting waste in their locality, residents of Raj Mahal Vilas decided to clear it themselves, regularly. A volunteer narrates all that they have been doing.


he initiative to clean up Lottegollahalli was the brainchild of a few residents of Raj Mahal Vilas (RMV) clusters phase 1 and 2 who were keen to do something about the waste that had accumulated on our recently tarred main road. Like the garbage, our anger, frustration and the need to act was also piling up. So, after deliberating this issue many times, we decided to greet each other 'good morning' on 17th February, 2013 armed with face masks, gloves, brooms, rakes and shovels and most importantly, our will. When the group of us who had been strategising and motivating each other over the past several weeks, dragged ourselves out of bed on that day, little did we realise that we would have a fulfilling experience. We were originally about 10 committed people who decided to adopt The Ugly Indian's motto, namely, "Mooh Band, Kaam Chalu" (shut up and start work). Meeting at our gate around 7.15 am, we stepped outside and decided to attack the first of the garbage 'hot spots' outside LNR school. More enthusiastic volunteers from our building complex joined us soon. Happy cows who refused to budge as they were getting food without 12 CITIZEN MATTERS

plastic were present too! The garbage contractors were taken aback at our motley group segregating, shovelling, raking and clearing the garbage in bags, neatly and diligently. Sporting yellow face masks and ivory surgical gloves clad, we went about our duties like we were possessed. The neighbours gawked with perhaps a trace of admiration and awe, but we soldiered on. We gave gloves and masks to a delighted pair of pourakarmikas and got rangoli powder from a kind old man willing to help. A lovely lady drew a beautiful rangoli and we then moved from one place to the next. Winding up at around 11.00 am at the mound outside phase 1, we had 38 bags filled with garbage at this site. About 3.5 feet of road from the newly laid pavement kerb having an area of roughly 2.5 feet in radius was cleared. Strong, middle-aged, young, old and the willing had all contributed to the effort. A garbage pile had disgustingly acquired cult status as it had accumulated over months and was mixed with debris, soil, dung and wet and dry waste. The stench seeped into our skins and lined our lungs. But we got more bags, shovels, a pick-axe and the enthusiasm to see it 'finished'


rang with determination. Women adorned the freshly minted place with rangoli. There were sweat, aching hands and shoulders, tired voices, all dripping with a feeling of absolute fulfilment. Yes, we were bothered by the waste and wanted to do something about it. And, we did it together as passers by stopped. The garbage contractor

Local Matters

The mound opposite Phase 1, proves to be challenging - took us 2 hours to flatten this one. Pic: Sindhu Naik

who had tears in his eyes when he noticed the bags of garbage stacked neatly, vowed to have them cleared. It was a fun-filled, exhilarating, fulfilling and revealing experience. A mother of one of the residents and a daughter of another served us tea and water. A young girl said, "I have to submit my science project tomorrow, but here I am - cleaning

my neighbourhood". Someone pledged, "I will never dump mixed garbage again". It was infectious. The men were like Jason and the Argonauts, lifting huge stones and bags, sprinkling bleach, and, attacking the mound as if their lives depended on it. The efforts of the residents of RMV Clusters Phase 1 and 2, Suchitra from Krishna

Dwellington and Sridhar Pabisetty of Vidyaranyapura deserve appreciation. Our lesson: If we want to, we can!

The next round At 7.00 am on 3rd March, the Broom Brigade was at work again and there we were - a group of 1819 people willing to get our hands



Local Matters

The Broom Brigade clean up impact. Pic: Sindhu Naik



Local Matters down and dirty. This time the effort was commendable again for many reasons, but the outstanding ones for me are: a)  People like Vinayak and Julie returning finishing their personal work early so that they could participate in this activity. b) Spouses coming alongwith or instead of those who were part of the group the previous time. c)  A little boy Umesh, aged around 9 or less helping enthusiastically. Age, caste, background no bar. Clean "baar baar" (repeatedly)! d) The happy faces of the BVG garbage contractors, Pedappa, Ravi, Nagaraj and Shivakumar. These people do their work following a motto which we have adopted from The Ugly Indian, namely, "Mooh Bandh Kaam Chalu". e) The group deciding to make this effort more effective by repeating it every 2 weeks. f )  Adarsh, an unforgettable, inspiring young lad from Rajajinagar (at least 10 kms from our locality) helping us because he is passionate. We have proved that cleaning is actually therapeutic. Once you clean, you want to do more and again. Some of us kept digging with small pick-axes, shovelling, segregating and filling 21 bags of garbage. We swept the area clean, the ladies drew beautiful rangoli and we had tea, biscuits and water and felt very satisfied. Garbage is not that bad. When you look at it from up close, it consists of paper, plastic of all shapes, hues, sizes, packets mixed with soil, stone, sand, leaves and tar. Over a period of time it coagulates into a hard mass and sometimes mixed with wet waste and dirty water, spit, probably some dung and urine (human and others') and starts stinking. Before cleaning, we could see the road buried under at least 1 feet of mixed debris. So we cleaned up hard and well. We put dried leaves, good soil from whatever we had raked and mud like a mulch around the magnificent trees nearby and watered them lovingly. They stand tribute to our effort. The neighbouring shops supplied us with bags which we were running short of. Vasudha, a local resident, quickly bought a box of gloves when we were running short of them. When help was sought, it came. There is a long way to go, but work has begun. We do not want to leave it midway and are grateful to each of the group members who did not shirk. Words of encouragement are great, "like" on Facebook is good, "we'll participate later" can be considered heartening. But actually doing the work, will be satisfying. So, we appeal to all to join us now and not wait for the next time!

Renuka Mani volunteers with the Broom Brigade.




How many rotis, how much palya and what else? Eating healthy is great but how do you strike the right balance of essential nutrients in your meals? A few simple steps...


imes have changed and today almost everyone you meet knows the importance of eating healthy and if you are ready to lend an ear, they will probably even end up giving you ‘gyaan' on what to eat and what not to eat. This is a welcome change, but what I notice is that most people have no idea on how to plan out a balanced diet. Including ‘healthy foods' in your diet is great, but how does one make sure that each meal that is consumed is providing the body with the nutrients needed on a daily basis? Take for example a plate of chapathi and beetroot palya - it can pass as ‘healthy food' but it certainly isn't a balanced meal. What could be missing? Protein, if I have to name just one nutrient. Including a cup of dal or adding some kalu (kabuli or kadale) to the beetroot palya itself will add the much needed protein to the meal. Making similar simple additions can make a balanced meal out of the same. Planning and eating a balanced diet isn't exactly rocket science nor do you need to get a diet chart for the entire family from a dietitian for that. For starters, let's try to understand what exactly a ‘Balanced diet' means. The human body requires certain nutrients on a regular basis for optimal growth and development. Any nutrient 16 CITIZEN MATTERS


How to plan balanced meals which is missing over a period of time can cause deficiency disease. Take for example the mineral iron the absence of iron in the diet over a period of time causes anaemia. Just like iron there are a number of other minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins and such that are needed by the body. For this reason, it becomes imperative that we plan our meals such that they provide the body with the maximum number of (if not all) essential nutrients possible. Planning and cooking a balanced meal can be very easy if you keep these 3 steps in mind:


Step 1: Choose an item from each of the four food groups mentioned 1. Whole grains are full of energygiving carbohydrates that the body uses as fuel, along with minerals, vitamins and fibre. Try opting for whole grains as these are more nutritious than their refined versions like maida, white bread, noodles, etc. Use unpolished/ semi polished rice or par boiled rice, make chapathis, phulkas or rotti from whole wheat flour, jowar, bajra, corn/makkai, ragi. If you love experimenting, then you could try using oats or broken wheat (dalia) in pulav's, khichdi's or bisi bele bhat.

Opinion 2. Vegetables and fruits are a great way of getting different vitamins, minerals along with fiber. Aim at including at least two different vegetables, a salad and a fruit instead of dessert/sweets during meal times. Fresh seasonal vegetables, soppu (green leafy veggies) and fruits are loaded with a variety of nutrients. I usually try to buy my fruits and veggies from the neighbourhood ‘tarkari angadi' (vegetable shop) as they tend to stock fresh vegetables on a daily basis unlike the supermarket chains who have their delivery days just once or twice a week. Buying and consuming fresh veggies ensures that you get the maximum food benefits as nutrients tend to diminish over a period of time. Frozen veggies are a good option for those who are hard pressed for time. 3. Pulses/lentil/lean meat provide the much needed protein which is needed for growth and replacement of tissues. Vegetarians can choose from a wide variety of dals (bele's) like togari/ tur, masoor, kadale bele/ channa , mung or whole pulses(kalu) like alasande kalu/lobia(black eyed peas),hesarukalu (whole mung), kabuli channa, kadale kalu (brown channa) among others. Sprouting these pulses not only increases the nutrition count but also makes them easy to digest. Soy and soy products like tofu, soy nuggets/granules are another excellent source of protein. Non vegetarians can also choose from lean meat like chicken (skinout), fish or eggs. 4. Milk Wand milk products are an excellent source of calcium and protein. You can add low-fat curd to the salad (raitha) or end your meal with a katori of curd or curd rice or even a glass of majjige/buttermilk. Soy milk is a good substitute for those who are lactose intolerant. Once you have chosen an item

from each group you can decide the dishes you want to make them into.

Step 2: Use very little oil for cooking as far as possible. Try to make phulkas/rotti without oil or use as little oil as possible. Use just 2-3 tsp oil while making the palya/sabzi's and sambar/ curries.

Step 3: When serving keep in mind ‘portion sizes' Eating anything in excess, even healthy food, can have undesirable effects. Here is a picture to make it easier to understand and stick to portion sizes during meal times: As seen in the picture: try to mentally divide your plate into two halves - one half should contain the palya/sabzi (1-2 varieties), a fruit/ salad and the other half can be further divided into two portions - one for the whole grain and the other for the dal/pulse(protein) item. Following this makes it easy to avoid overeating which can result in unnecessary weight gain. Once you get these basic steps correct, you can go a step further and plan out healthy meals not just for the day but for the entire week. Doing so will also help you: Eat a variety of healthy meals on a regular basis, Plan your grocery list in advance that way you don't end up buying more than you will need, Save time and money - buying  things from the list helps avoid impulse buying and will shorten the time spent in shopping. Sometimes when I'm in a hurry and have no time to make separate dishes I add the vegetables to the dal/sambar or add some kalu or bele into my palya. Next time try adding some mung dal to the beans palya or kabuli channa to your tondekai (tendli) palya. Bisi bele bath with lots of veggies, combined

with cucumber raitha and a fruit can be a quick and easy one-pot meal. Use your imagination and you'll be surprised at the number of new recipes you can dish out. A little planning never hurt anyone - and if the planning is for a healthy and balanced meal, then you (and your family) have only benefits to reap at the end of the day!

Sweta Uchil-Purohit is a dietitian with over 15 years of experience in the field of nutrition and dietetics with a passion for helping people understand the topic.



Deepdive into India Agriculture, Children,Economy, Education, Environment, Government, Health, Human Rights, Laws, Media, Peace, Poverty, RTI, Society, Women THE NEWS IN PROPORTION

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citizen matters emagazine 23-march-2013  

citizen matters emagazine 23-march-2013

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