A World Of Hunger-Free Toddlers

Fight Hunger Foundation, India

Shreya Mehta on August 30, 2018 in Food & Shelter

The attention on India’s economic growth has brought a considerable level of progress in various sectors of life. But one area of human development that we have not been able to achieve desired levels is malnutrition and hunger.

Statistics released from World Bank indicate that India has one of the world’s largest number of children suffering from malnutrition. India’s Global Hunger Index is 67 of the 80 nations.

Around 20% of children in India under the age of five years (i.e. about 8 million children) suffer from acute malnutrition. 50% of all child deaths in India (i.e. about 1 million children) are due to under-nutrition each year.

To combat the present scenario, a non-profit organization named the Fight Hunger Foundation was set up in August 2012. Its goal is to eradicate malnutrition from India and protect young children from hunger.

In partnership with various government and private organizations like the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Women and Child Development, Integrated Child Development Services, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Godrej, and HSBC, the Fight Hunger Foundation aims to achieve its mission to eliminate malnutrition and hunger in a systematic and sustainable manner.

Headed by Professor M.S. Swaminathan, the foundation is currently working with children and their families in Baran (Rajasthan), the rural areas of Burhanpur and Dhar (Madhya Pradesh), the suburban neighborhood of Govandi and the Palghar district (Maharashtra).

A community-based approach is adopted by the foundation in order to manage the acute malnutrition in these regions. A small group of local community workers are trained by the foundation to work as the base team. They begin their work in the area by visiting the neighbourhood and identifying families that have under-nourished children (below the age of five years).

Once they are rightly diagnosed, children suffering from acute malnutrition are enrolled in their program. Treatment begins by providing them therapeutic food and micronutrients. Follow-ups and check-ups are done on regular intervals to monitor their recovery, until the children become nourished.

To make their programs sustainable, they also train Anganwadi, ASHA and other Government front-line workers so that they can also work as part of the team. Training is focused on identifying signs of acute malnutrition in children, taking corrective action, maternal and child nutrition and sanitation.

Various awareness programs are also conducted from time-to-time, to educate the community about the importance of a wide range of nutritional diets, based on the local produce and items sold. Programs on Water Sanitation and Hygiene are also conducted to curb the cycle of water-borne diseases.

Pregnant women and lactating mothers are also provided information to support their pre- and post-pregnancy so that both the mother and child enjoy a healthy lifestyle and environment.

Since poverty, lack of safe drinking water, lack of access to food, seasonal migrations and various diseases have been identified by the foundation as the various causes of malnutrition in India, in their awareness programs they inform the communities about the various steps they can take to control and prevent them.

As part of the Love Food Give Food campaign, various chefs and restaurants are engaged in promoting a charitable initiative in association with the foundation. The goal of this project is to channel their passion for food into a lifesaving impact.

For every rupee received, the foundation spends 87 paisa on their programs and the rest 13p is spend on ensuring that the work of the foundation is being carried out without interruption.

In order to combat acute malnutrition in Amravati, the Fight Hunger Foundation launched its first Outpatient Treatment Centre (OTC) under the NAOS village project on 12th June 2018. The newly launched center at the Sadrabadi PHC (Primary Health Centre), is the 1st of 3 OTC’s that will be set up as part of the project.

The foundation also conducts various research programs and surveys to measure the current state of malnutrition in India. The Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transition (SMART) survey complemented with the user-friendly software Emergency Nutrition Assessment (ENA) is advocated by the foundation to accurately measure the different types of malnutrition i.e. wasting, stunting and underweight along with information related to birth, death and migration.

They engage in advocating various policies and measures that suit the needs of the malnourished children based on the results of their evidence-based research. Their goal as part of advocacy and research is to voice the concerns, mobilize resources and provide supportive policies that address their unique nutrition & health care needs of the community.

Celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar, John Abraham, Sonu Nigam have joined Fight Hunger Foundation’s mission against hunger and malnutrition. In 2016, Sonam Kapoor became the Goodwill Ambassador of the foundation.

She says “Each year, over one million children die from malnutrition-related causes in India. It is inconceivable to me that there are children who do not have access to proper nutrition and clean water. We cannot build a productive and peaceful world on empty stomachs.”

A world free from hunger is a world where our children have nutritious food, clean drinking water and can live in a hygienic environment. At Fight Hunger Foundation, there are various ways in which you can do your bit to help make India a better place for children. You could make a donation individually or as part of an organisation to become partners or founding members of various projects that the foundations carries out.

The foundation has successfully impacted the lives of 7,00,000 people across the 680 villages in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. 58% of the acutely malnourished children have been cured as part of their Poshan Baran project in Rajasthan.

To read more about the inspirational work they are doing, visit Fight Hunger Foundation today!

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