India is not just fighting a COVID 19 outbreak, but is also battling existing undernutrition. The spread of COVID-19 has impacted the health, nutrition, livelihoods and wellbeing of India’s most vulnerable populations and will have a lasting effect on people in rural India. The impact of malnutrition has increased, especially amongst most at-risk children in an environment in which health and nutrition services are reduced due to pandemic.
Ahmedabad based 35 year old non-profit organization ICECD, had partnered with the CSR arm of Amazon India for Gujarat way back in 2017. Since then, ICECD has worked in the areas of women empowerment through entrepreneurship, leadership empowerment of the Panchayti Raj Institutions (PRI), Education Initiatives, Environmental Issues, as well as Health & Malnutrition. A positive step, further in the CSR advocacy was conducted in 12 villages of Gujarat recently where, ICECD and Amazon India together addressed Malnourishment in villages of Daskroi Taluka and Bavla Taluka to help 5500 kids.
Project Manager Shaina Shah of ICECD shared, “Due to the unprecedented lock downs during the first and second wave of Covid, various institutional support systems had to shut down or reduce capacity. For example, the young children receiving mid-day meals at the schools and Anganwadis were severely impacted. Considering this and the impact on malnourishment as an issue, Amazon India along with Akshay Patra foundation donated 5500 kits of nutrition to ICECD to be distributed among the young children on the brink of malnourishment. The kits contained oatmeal, milk powder as well as biscuits to help the children achieve their caloric intake”.
ICECD took up the task of last mile distribution in villages of Daskroi Taluka and Bavla Taluka, going door to door as well as working with Anganwadis to make sure the most at-risk children receive the kits. At each kit distribution the Sarpanch and the PRI members remained present to encourage mothers and children for the fight against malnourishment.
A total of 5500 kids have been impacted through this generous contribution by Amazon and Akshay Patra. “We hope to continue supporting the villages we work in, in every way enabling good health, employment opportunities as well as unique educational initiatives.” Said the ICECD spokesperson and Project Manager Shaina Shah. ICECD is a 35 year old organization which works nationally and internationally with a focus on entrepreneurship and health.
“Having touched more than 1 lakh people in the last 3 years, the ICECD-Amazon India’s Partnership is now ready for the 4th year of implementation of developmental initiatives. This year too, the focus has been on Covid Relief, Entrepreneurship and Skill Development to create more income generation opportunities for men and women who are Covid impacted, health initiatives with a focus on children for eradicating malnourishment as well as innovative initiatives for women and child rights including Bal Panchayats. This year ICECD shall be working in 12 villages which would cover a population of 2 lac persons”, Shaina Shah, further adds.
Sarpanch Shri Zakir Bhai Vhora of Rupal, shared “The nutrition kits are coming at a very appropriate time and shall be very useful to help young children who at risk of malnourishment. We are very thankful to Amazon for the generosity and ICECD for all their efforts to reach us”
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