Webinar Series organized on ‘Immuno-nutrition, Wellness management and Livelihood change’

A National Webinar Series on ‘Immuno-nutrition, Wellness management and Livelihood change’ was organized by ICAR-CIWA, AICRP Centre, AAU, Jorhat during 3-5 July, 2020. Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Hon’ble Secretary, DARE & Director General, ICAR, New Delhi delivered the key note address. Eleven distinguished speakers from India and Abroad delivered their lectures on relevant topics. The Webinar series started with brief introduction by Dr Mamoni Das, Unit Coordinator of AICRP-WIA, Jorhat Centre highlighting the aim of the webinar that is to generate awareness on positive management of physical, mental, emotional and social well being during unprecedented pandemic situation of COVID 19.
Dr. Ashok Bhattacharyya, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor (I/c) of Assam Agricultural University delivered the welcome address and spoke on need for physical well being by maintaining proper diet to support the immune system and wellness management since COVID 19 pandemic is rapidly sweeping across the world leading to increased level of fear, worry and concern among the population. As the pandemic situation causing increased level of unemployment, he also pointed out the necessity for innovative livelihood approaches.
Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, DARE & DG, ICAR while delivering the key note address, emphasised the importance of practicing rich Indian culture and tradition including yoga and meditation for health management. He highlighted that for the wellness of individuals, science based methodologies should be applied to stay fit and healthy. Today science proves that what we eat matters a lot because it is intricately related to how much of immunity a person earns, along with inner strength. Food influences gene expression, genetic alterations and improper foods can lead to devastating changes causing diseases. Therefore, the message is “Food matters a lot in context to wellness. He stressed that Food education should be the core of all education today.
Dr. K. M. Bujarbaruah, Former Vice-Chancellor, Assam Agricultural University suggested that there is an urgent need for innovative approaches in creating livelihoods during and after COVID pandemic for the youths in different areas. He further highlighted the importance of generating employment opportunities in different sectors by collectively identifying the areas and plan accordingly to materialize the concept of Atmanirvar. Delivering the talk on ‘Youth lead Agriculture: Key to modernization in Agriculture and National Food Security,’ Dr. Lipi Das, Principal Scientist (Agri.Extn), & Nodal Officer, AICRP-WIA, ICAR-CIWA, Bhubaneswar emphasized on importance of converting farmers to agri-preneurs in order to attract the youths to agriculture sector. Dr. P. K. Neog, Director, EEI-NE Region, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat focussed on harnessing Information and Communication Technology for development (ICT4D).
In the second day of the Webinar on Immuno nutrition, eminent scientist and Former Director of National Institute of Nutrition, Dr. B Sesikeran, delivered his speech on ‘Nutrition and Immunity: The way ahead’ and enlightened the participants on global scenario of COVID 19 pandemic and correlation of immunity with nutrition, morbidity and mortality. Eminent pharmacologist and scientist Dr. B. Dinesh Kumar, Head of the Department, Drug Toxicology Division, ICMR,NIN, Hyderabad delivered speech on “Pharmacological and Non Pharmacological intervention to combat pandemic- COVID 19”, where he deliberated on different pharmacological as well as non pharmacological approaches for combating COVID 19. Another important deliberation was on ‘Dealing with Infodemic during pandemic by Dr. G.M. Subba Rao, Deputy Director of Media, Communication & Extension of ICMR-NIN, Hyderabad. He stressed upon streamlining the overload of information during the pandemic and put forwarded advices for managing and designing proper diet and nutrition and adopting proper food safety measures.
The third day of the webinar was on “Wellness Management”. A Clinical Psychiatrist from Chicago laid emphasis on social connection and suggested measures for managing mental health during pandemic. Dr. Rouf Iqbal from National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai delivered talk on ‘Work environment management: From home to Office’ and emphasized on importance of creating an appropriate working environment at home while working from home during this pandemic. Dr. S. K. Srivastava, Director of ICAR-CIWA delivered a talk on ‘Wellness management for boosting immunity during COVID 19 giving more importance on naturopathy and yogic method for positive physical and mental health.
Around 3000 participants registered for the webinars including academicians, faculties, researchers, policy makers, health workers and students from abroad as well as from different institutes across India. Participants from abroad including UK, Germany, Zambia, Sudan, Tanzania, Phillipines, Jeddah, Dubai participated in the webinar. Due to limited capacity in Google meet, many joined the webinar Live through Face book Page and You Tube.