July 27, 2021, 9:15 PM

President of the Academy of Nutrition Improvement and renowned dietician, activist and nutritionist, Nagpur’s Dr Shantilal Kothari, passed away at 78, on Tuesday.
He was famously known as the ‘Soya Milk Man’ of Nagpur. Kothari fought for 40 years to get Khesari dal (Lakholi) sold in the open market and to lift the ban on these pulses. He also introduced Soya milk to Nagpur and Vidarbha.
In his press conference, he used to serve pakoras made from Lakholi. His last rites were performed at Ambazhari Ghat, Nagpur.
Kothari had begun his campaign against the ban on Lakholi in 1985 and made it his life’s one single aim to get the ban lifted.
As a result of his agitation and protest, the Maharashtra government, in 2008, lifted the ban on the production, selling and consumption of Lakholi. This came at the end of an 80-day hunger strike.
His hunger strike started again in September 2015 and lasted for 57 days against the nationwide ban on Lakholi.
He was then informed by the Central Government's Food Safety and Standards Authority of India that the ban on Lakholi had been lifted.
Reportedly more than 15,000 farmers gathered at Nagpur’s Kuhi to celebrate the Centre’s move.
He had set up a Soya milk plant in Nagpur, which manufactures 300-litre-milk per day.
He inspired many farmers, activists and students through his fight and struggle to get the ban on Lakholi lifted.

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