On the occasion of ‘World Hunger Day’, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, in partnership with GSK Consumer Healthcare, Nestlé, PepsiCo India, PVR Nest, Reliance Fresh, Facebook, The LaLiT, Reliance Broadcast Networks Ltd. & Viacom 18 and the Government of India flagged off a movement to raise awareness about importance of nourishment amongst children & its impetus to education. Christened as ‘Feed The Future Now’, this movement is set to serve 5 billion meals to children across India by 2020 with a view to create a ‘Poshit Bharat, Shikshit Bharat.’
The movement was flagged off by Hon’ble Ministerfor Women & Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi. The launch was also graced byMr. Shridhar Venkat, Chief Executive Officer, The Akshaya PatraFoundationalong with theCEOs and senior representatives of nine leading corporate partners. At the launch, each partner pledged to drive initiatives that raise mass awareness about need for the right nourishment amongst children. To meet key global nutrition milestones, future growth requires significant investments critical to ensure school going children don’t drop out due to direct and indirect impact of hidden hunger and micronutrient deficiency.
Raising awareness on the issue of child malnourishment, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, said, “I congratulate the Akshaya Patra Foundation for the launch of this movement. They are one of a kind institution in the world and are doing great service. Malnutrition is one of those issues that require urgent attention. The focus should not be on feeding just food, but providing a nutritious meal. I believe children should be provided packets that contain 600-1000 calories and nutrients and urge the Akshaya Patra Foundation to take up this initiative. I will wholeheartedly support you and take this initiative to all states. I congratulate all the corporates today for partnering with this cause and I am sure you will achieve great results through this movement”
The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s CEO, Shridhar Venkatsaid, “We are very thankful to all our partners especially the Government of India (GoI) who have come together today to raise awareness about the growing need to ensure children are well nourished at the age of 0 – 12 years and join us in our mission to serve 5 billion meals by 2020. Food is not charity. Food is life. Setting a child on a proper course with good daily nutrition and the ability to attend and succeed in school is our collective social responsibility and one which reaps unlimited rewards as new generations grow and thrive.”
Pledging their support for the cause, Mr.Manoj Kumar, Managing Director, GSK Consumer Healthcare said,“‘Feed the Future Now’ resonates well with GSK’s core philosophy of do more, feel better and live longer. In India, where 9 out of 10 children are micro-nutrient deficient, this partnership that aims to provide nutritious meal to children will definitely help nurture the future of our children. Under this partnership, GSK will provide nutritious meals to over 50,000 children. In addition, under ‘Mission Health’,our CSR programme, we have taken on us the task of educating and building awareness around micro-nutrient deficiency among children. We are currently reaching out to over 150,000 children in the country.”