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Malnutrition eradication program in rural section with a vision ‘Let no child go to school hungry, ever!’

Campaign by Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust

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Story

India is home to the largest number of children with moderate or severe malnutrition. The numbers are sobering: India is home to 131 million children wherein 55% of children are underweight. Of the 150 million stunted children in the world, a third of it, about 46 million, are in India.

The 2021 Global Hunger Index (GHI) ranked India at 101st out of a total of 116 countries. The 2021 GHI report, stated that India with a score of 27.5 is facing a level of hunger that is serious. 

The Global Hunger Index released in 2020 ranked India at 94th among 107 countries. India has also been identified among the 31 countries where hunger has been identified as a serious threat. 

India has also ranked behind Pakistan (92nd rank), Bangladesh (76th rank), and Nepal (76th rank). 

The burden of Malnutrition leads to a critical and lasting economic, social and medical impact for individuals and their families, for communities and their countries. 

The Global Nutrition Report also promulgated that nearly 70% of India’s school-going children are undernourished. Such children are extremely thin and have stunted growth which hinders their physical and mental development leading to poor health, school performance, and a high risk of disease. The key reason for child malnutrition is economic inequality resulting in having no access to balanced and nutritious food. They hail from poor and displaced tribal families that have a hand-to-mouth existence.  

These disadvantaged children come to school on an empty stomach. They often show diminished attention span, loss of focus, unruly or listless behaviour and reduced academic performance. This leads to decreased school attendance and student enrollments, as well as increased vulnerability to childhood illnesses, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, protein-calorie malnutrition and stunted growth, thus significantly lowering the effectiveness of government programs and expenditures on rural education and healthcare.

Morning nutrition/breakfast, as research has shown, has a lasting effect on the health of children. Healthy children are the building blocks to a healthy future in our world. Consuming morning nutrition aids in their physical and mental well-being, academic achievement and cognitive development

In order to tackle this largely spread malnutrition and under-nutrition in the rural and underprivileged centres in India, the Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust under its flagship program “Annapoorna Morning Nutrition Program” has been set up with a strong goal of eradicating under-nutrition across the length and breadth of the country by providing free morning nutrition to the school-going children with a vision 

aptly resonated by ‘Let No Child Go To School Hungry, Ever!’

Annapoorna now serves nutritious breakfast/morning nutrition – free of cost – to over 5,00,000 (Five lakh) school-going children at 6000+ centres located across 20 States and 3 Union Territories. We have several MOUs and Permission letters from all these state Governments. 

The morning Nutrition can be classified under three models based upon the geographical requirement 

1.        Saisure with Milk

2.        Cooked solid Breakfast

3.        Basic Foods like Banana or cookies with Milk 

What we do: 

The Trust has formulated a health supplement mix (called SaiSure) which has been designed to specifically meet the protein, calorie, vitamin and mineral requirements, as well as micronutrients required for growing children. The tasty and highly nutritious SaiSure health mix augments the milk and thereby makes it a wholesome meal for the children. This alleviates hunger, increases attention span, and improves the academic and health profiles of the children. 

This product is certified by the FSSAI and is manufactured in an FDA-approved facility. This product is easily consumed by simply mixing it in milk and is also easily transportable to remote geographies. It doesn’t require expensive means of storage, and thus, is conveniently and economically scalable. It is extremely cost-effective as compared to other commercially available health mixes. All these services, which would have otherwise been expensive for the needy children’s families, are rendered to the beneficiaries free of charge.

Alignment with Government Policies

The Government of India along with the State Governments has planned and propagated initiatives, called the Poshan Abhiyaan program to address the malnutrition gap which is a major concern in the country. The POSHAN Abhiyaan continues to work towards this daunting challenge of alleviating malnutrition amongst children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is a government program in India that provides nutritional meals, primary healthcare, immunization, health check-up and referral services to children under 6 years of age and their mothers.

National Education Policy research shows that the morning hours after a nutritious breakfast can be particularly productive for the study of cognitively more demanding subjects and hence these hours may be leveraged by providing a simple but energizing nutritional supplement.

Morning Breakfast/Nutrition (SaiSure) is designed to meet 50% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of most of the Micro Nutrients for the growing child and will lead to the following benefits.

●   Improve in children’s Immunity.

●   Enhancement in children’s cognition

●   Optimized weight gain and bone mass.

●   Higher attendance rates, reducing school absenteeism and school dropouts

●   Significantly better academic performance, improving pass rates and test scores

●   Harmony among village communities, empowerment of disadvantaged villagers

●   Economic benefits to local farmers and vendors

●   Better Health posture eliminating Anemic and Malnutrition issues.

●   Improve literacy in the village communities.

Organisers
Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust

Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust

Beneficiary Charity

Anand Kumar Kadali

Anand Kumar Kadali

Organiser

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