In a bid to create awareness of the benefits of millet-based diet, students of Sri Meenakshi Government Arts College for Women here organised an exhibition, in which they displayed a variety of food and cosmetic items made of millets and organic materials.
Organised by the departments of Home Science and Chemistry, the millet festival saw over 25 stalls put up by students who prepared and sold dishes made of thinai (foxtail millet), varagu (kodo millet), samai (little millet), kambu (pearl millet) among others. The festival was also held as part of the International Year of Millets announced by the United Nations.
Principal S. Vanathi said the festival had also helped in bringing out the entrepreneurial skills of the students.
Most of the students sold a variety of food items – rich in nutritional value – including millet balls, black gram and kambu laddus, varagu paniyaram, pongal and kozhukkattai, fenugreek payasam, ragi barfi, seedai and pakkoda and beetroot jam. They explained to the visitors and buyers how millets helped regulate blood circulation, reduce blood glucose levels, increase daily iron intake and manage diabetics.
While K. Sneha, a second-year postgraduate student of Chemistry, had made natural soaps in lemon and rose flavours using samai and varagu and priced them at ₹35 each, A. Gayathri, a third-year-student of Chemistry, sold her organic carrot and tomato face washes, priced at ₹45 each.
K. Vigneswari, Head, Department of Chemistry, said most of the students researched and made the products in the college labs as “activity-based learning.”
“This has encouraged us into thinking of making a business out of them,” said S. Sugantha, a third-year-student of Chemistry, who sold goat milk-based soaps.
Traditional games such as ‘Pallanguzhi’ and hopscotch were also part of the festival. J.B. Sharmila, Head, Department of Home Science, was also present.