Renowned experts discuss the need for building sustainability and innovation in nutrition interventions
Leveraging its global experience in nutrition and wellness, Amway India, the country’s leading FMCG direct selling company, recently commemorated World Food Day through a unique virtual conference, in partnership with PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and Mamta Health Institute for Mother and Child (HIMC). The conference witnessed renowned experts and speakers across the industry come together and discussed the importance of building sustainability and innovation in nutrition interventions.
With the ongoing pandemic highlighting the disproportionate access to healthy and nutritious meals, the World Food Day this year has gained more significance*. According to the recent Global Nutrition Report 2020, there is an urgent need to address rising malnutrition across economies fueled by the global health crisis. The malnutrition scenario in our country is in a precarious situation. While the number of underweight children has decreased over the years, it is still high compared to average statistics in Asian countries.
Deliberating on addressing such critical issues through innovative methodologies, present at the conference were Mr. Sudhanshu Pandey, Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution, Padma Shri Dr. Deepa Malik, International para-athlete, Ms. Nishtha Satyam, Deputy Country Representative, India, UN Women. The event also witnessed addresses by Mr. David Madiol, Global CSR Head, Amway Corporation, Ms. Simrat Bishnoi, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Marketing Communications and CSR, Amway India, along with Dr. Sunil Mehra, Executive Director, Mamta HIMC, and Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHDCCI, and Chairman, Paramount Cables.
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Sudhanshu Pandey said: “Over the years, India has been relentless in its fight against hunger and malnutrition. We have the largest food-aid program in the world through public distribution system. We have especially ramped up our efforts to provide food to millions of people from underprivileged communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are further focusing on maternal health, child nutrition and well-being through programmes such as POSHAN Abhiyaan. I commend PHDCCI, Amway India and MAMTA HIMC for bringing thought leaders on a single platform. I truly believe it is the need of the hour for everyone to join hands and work together to address malnutrition and its underlying causes in all forms.”
Talking about the initiative Mr. Anshu Budhraja, CEO, Amway India, said: “World Food Day 2020 takes place under exceptional circumstances. In the wake of the ongoing pandemic, the theme for this year ‘Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together’ is more relevant than ever. Amway has always been committed to support the community by coming forward in the face of adversity. In India, we had introduced the ‘Power of Five’ in 2018. It is a community-based global campaign to address childhood malnutrition. With this campaign, we aim to use our vast global experience in nutrition and wellness to contribute to the Government of India’s National Nutrition Mission to raise the nutrition levels in the country. I am happy to share that we witnessed tremendous improvement in the nutritional status of the children. The results clearly demonstrate the power of mobilizing and empowering communities at the grassroots level to help them lead a better, healthier life.”
Over the last two years Amway, with its Power of 5 programme, has been working persistently to address the cause of malnutrition in children under the age of 5 years. In its pilot phase, the campaign has been conducted in Kirari, an urban slum and resettlement colony of North West Delhi. Since 2018, over 9,750 children were surveyed under the age of five years. Out of these, close to 1,000 were identified for further monitoring through the entire course of the program. The findings have been highly encouraging highlighting that over 81% of children came out of the ‘wasted’ category. Similarly, over 70% of children came out of the ‘underweight’ category and 33% came out of the ‘stunted’ category.
Talking about the global Power of 5 campaign, Mr. David Madiol said: “Multiple studies across the globe have concluded that the first five years of life are critical for a child’s development. If they don’t receive essential nutrients during this time, they can suffer from health problems that can last into adulthood. To meet this problem head on we created the Power of 5 campaign. Our goal is simply to give children the nutrition they need to reach their fifth birthday and beyond. In the last few years, the campaign has helped hundreds and thousands of children across 14 countries. I am happy to see the incredible results that our India team has driven in the pilot phase. This has driven us to plan for the further expansion of the programme across regions. I believe, together we can help more children survive, thrive and grow.”
Ms. Nishtha Satyam said: “World Food Day 2020 takes place at a time when people across the globe have realized the importance of food security, good nutrition and immunity. Vulnerable people from underprivileged communities, especially women and children, are particularly susceptible to both the virus and the impact of the containment measures. We must work to ensure they have access to nutritious meals as nutritional resilience is a key element of any society’s readiness to combat the health crisis.”
Speaking at the event, Padma Shri Dr. Deepa Malik said: “As an athlete competing at the international level, I understand the importance of nutrition in one’s life. Nutrition is important to not just lead a healthy life but also for optimum mental and physical growth. I believe we all need to work together to create a comprehensive ecosystem that supports and provides access to healthy and nutritious diets to all in society.”