Anil Agarwal Foundation (AAF), the philanthropic arm of Vedanta launched its biggest nutritional program for children with multi-millet nutri-bar distribution in Varanasi in the presence of Hon’ble Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Smt. Anandiben Patel,and Ms Priya Agarwal Hebbar, Chairperson of Hindustan Zinc Ltd & Non-Executive Director, Vedanta Ltd today. Also gracing the occasion were Shri S Rajalingam, District Magistrate, Varanasi, and Shri. Himanshu Nagpal, Chief Development Officer (CDO), Varanasi. The launch took place at the modernized aanganwadi centre ‘Nand Ghar’ in Kashi Vidyapith, as an endeavor to make India malnutrition free.
Under this pilot launch, AAF would distribute the nutri-bar targeting almost 50,000 children daily across 1400 Anganwadi centers including Nand Ghars across three focus blocks of Varanasi- Sewapuri, Arajiline, and Kashi Vidyapith. With this, AAF aims to bring a positive nutrition impact by addressing malnutrition concerns among children aged 3-6 years in Uttar Pradesh. As a part of its thematic intervention on right nourishment, Nand Ghar, the flagship social impact project of AAF working towards child and women development, collaborated with Indian Institute of Millet Research (Nutri-hub, IIMR) through Troo Good.
These micro-nutrient rich millet bars provide adequate amount of protein, fiber and antioxidants which is required for the optimal growth and well-being of children and has been launched in tandem with the government’s initiative to promote millets in one’s daily diet.
Speaking about this unique initiative, Hon’ble Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Smt. Anandiben Patel, said, “As Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has declared 2023 as International Year of Millets, our government’s efforts have been to signify the importance of millet in developing nutritional healthy diet for every growing child and women. Such initiatives will not only address the importance of millet, but also help to cure several malnutrition related diseases, thus creating a positive impact on the community. It’s good to see cause-oriented organizations such as Vedanta and Anil Agarwal Foundation aid holistic nourishment of children by including millets. I also appreciate the efforts of Varanasi Administration for smooth execution of this intervention.”
This unique nutritional pilot intervention is designed on a 6x6x6 model i.e., to deliver multi-millet bars packed with 6 powerpack ingredients for 6 days of the week for 6 months to the children attending the aanganwadis centres in the three specified blocks.
Priya Agarwal Hebbar, Chairperson of Hindustan Zinc Ltd & Non-Executive Director, Vedanta Ltd said, “Vedanta’s vision to achieve zero hunger aligns with Government’s POSHAN Abhiyan towards eliminating hunger and malnutrition from our country. Through this unique initiative, we aim to address the nutritional concerns amongst the children especially in the rural parts of India. These protein-dense millet bars are thoughtfully curated for children keeping in mind their nutritional needs, palate and preferences. We are thankful to IIMR and Govt of Uttar Pradesh in helping us commence this initiative as a small step towards creating a national movement.”
The recent Union Budget designated IIMR as a Centre of Excellence for sharing millet-related best practices and technologies globally and the nutrition intervention has been supported by the premier institute.
Dr. B. Dayakar Rao, Principal Scientist, Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) commented, “It gives me immense pride to be on board for community initiatives like this that makes a difference at the grassroots levels. Millet as a Smart Food, must be introduced to the rural landscape about its nutritional value and health benefits, including information on calorific content. I believe, millets are an important solution in the collective march towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
Anil Agarwal Foundation has partnered with Hyderabad based Troo Good to develop the nutri-bar. Mr. Raju Bhupati, Founder and CEO of Troo Good commented, “Troo Good is elated to partner with Anil Agarwal Foundation and the Government of Uttar Pradesh to combat nutritional deficiency amongst children with its proprietary Multi Millet Nutrition bar. This will help nourish and build a strong, healthy, capable, and competent next generation for the country. For this we are thankful to Anil Agarwal Foundation for a path breaking initiative. Our association with IIMR has helped us develop millet-based products that are aimed to advance the nutrition quotient in the children. With this bar, we are rightly poised to support the millet mission of the country.”
The pilot intervention is expected to have a significant impact on the nutritional status of the children in the district of Varanasi and will be scaled up to other states gradually. Over the years, Vedanta has built many impactful CSR programs in India and is considered one of the most socially responsible corporations of the country. Its prime focus has been on children’s well-being and education, women empowerment, health care, sustainable agriculture & animal welfare, market-linked skilling of youth, environment protection & restoration, development of community infrastructure among others.
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