Anniversary Celebrations: Abilitating Change
By Amitabh Srivastava
Over the last four years, The Bridge India has been working to promote Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the most pressing needs of the country, such as education, health, gender equality, livelihood and empowerment, and inclusion. This year, then was no different. To mark our work through the year and to celebrate our fourth anniversary, we organised a fitting grand finale which coincided with World Disability Day on December 3. As a special focus, Bridge India organised a series of events that were not only enabling and empowering but also provided insights into several issues that we tend to push under the carpet or take for granted.
The Grand Finale day was marked by a three-part event. The first being a grand finale quiz on Kaun Banega Social Sector Champion 2021 an initiative to promote SDGs. The second was a panel discussion on leadership and participation of persons with disabilities towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world.
Last but definitely not the east, awards for Heroes of Humanity.
The multiple events were presided over by the Chief Guest Mahavir Sharma, Entrepreneur and an angel investor from Rajasthan.
Introducing the event, Ms. Seema Jairath, Executive Director, Bridge India said that the organisation had filled the long-felt need to bridge the gap between the NGOs and the corporate sector to transform society. She said that in its four years of existence it had emerged as a multidisciplinary think-tank in providing advisory support to civil societies and corporates.
One of the much awaited events was the grand finale one of its kind quiz show ‘Kaun Banega Social Sector Champion’.
Earlier, as part of the fourth anniversary celebrations, the prelimanary round of the quiz show in October 2020, saw our chief guest, Mr Rajkumar Makkad, State Commissioner, Disability Harayana encourage 21 participants. Six of these bright stars made it to the grand Finale.
The Grand Finale, a part of the three part series saw an engaging final round of Kaun Banega Social Sector Champion quiz with Quiz Master Deepak Taneja keeping the audience engaged in his inimitable style.
Himanshu Aggarwal from Indian Oil Mumbai, the first winner won the title Kaun Banega Social Sector Champion 2021 followed by Umesh Sahu from SAIL, Bhilai, and Debasmit Panja from Indian Oil Corporation, Haldia. They were given gift vouchers of Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000, respectively.
Another very engaging part of our celebration was the panel discussion which saw our able panelists speaking about the shortcomings and limitations of the prevalent thinking on disability. All eminent names in their fields, the panelist were: Rakesh Jinsi, President SOS Children’s Villages of India & Senator SOS International, Austria; Vijay Sethi, Chairman Advisory Board Mentokart; Ruma Roka , Founder of Noida Deaf Society; Prashant Hota, President, Group Head CSR and Sustainability, Jindal Group; and RN Dubey, (DGM-CSR) CO India Oil Corporation. The session was ably moderated by Vikas Kataria, Director Resource Mobilisation and Communication, WaterAid India.
Among the important conclusions and recommendations from the panel discussion summed up by Vikas Kataria were:
a. Need to bring political leadership at board level and include diversity.
b. Disability should be mainstreamed.
c. There is a strong need to invest in innovative solutions.
d. The CSR Act is evolving and we are at the beginning stage of development.
e. Disability cannot be generalised, it has to be specified and has to be initiated from the school level. Braille and sign language can be taught as a language of daily skills.
The last but definitely not any less important part of the event saw The Bridge India felicitate Heroes of Humanity in the field of disability who have been role models.
For this, six persons with disabilities from different states have now become role models and were chosen after an able judge panel zeroed down on them. These six who were chosen for their incredible work in the field of disability are: Ragevendra Ratnakar Anavekar (Belgaum, winner of many national and international awards in swimming); Dr. Ritesh Sinha (Karnal Haryana, winner of many prestigious awards including Limca India Book of Records); Mr. Gunasekaran (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, recipient of role model award in the category of leprosy cured from the President of India); Himanshu Arora (Delhi,disability rights activist, research scholar and a crusader for disability, helping people to get quality education); Priyanka Hasija (Gurgaon, participated in power lifting and winner of Bronze medal in 2015 Special Olympics World Games at Los Angeles); Abdul Wahab (role model for youth, having trained 200 disabled persons in his village and an Assam government civil servant aspirant).
With the three events, we tried, once again to cement our commitment to bridging gaps in the social sector and being a catalyst of change. We hope to continue inspiring and getting inspired.
Corporate biggies walk the nutrition talk
By Prachi Raturi Misra
We are what we eat, they say. And given what an average Indian gets to eat, it’s no surprise our nutrition levels are one of the poorest .According to Global Nutrition report, 2020,. 51.4% of women aged 15 to 49 years are affected by anaemia. India is ‘on course’ to meet the target for stunting, but 34.7% of children under 5 years of age are still affected, which is higher than the average for the Asia region (21.8%).
World Health Organization (WHO) says, “Nutrition is a critical part of health and development. People with adequate nutrition are more productive and can create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of poverty and hunger.”
The fact that poor nutrition doesn’t only lead to poor health but also has larger implication for a nation is a well known fact. A Bloomberg 2020, report pointed out that poor diets in developing countries are costing businesses as much as $850 billion a year in lost productivity.
A host of initiatives are being taken by the government, NGO as well as corporates to step up India’s nutrition goals. We look at some of the initiatives by a few leading corporates. From setting up kitchen to serve nutritious meals to children at school to helping set up kitchen gardens at homes to helping understand nutrition, they are doing it all.
Nutrition-focused initiatives undertaken by Dabur India Ltd .
With its corporate motto being, ‘Dedicated to the Health and Well-Being of every Household’, talking nutrition as part of its CSR activities, says Dabur India Ltd CSR Head Mr. A. Sudhakar, is a natural extension of its motto.
“At Dabur, we have been working towards ensuring that a greater share of the population from the socially and economically weaker classes lead a healthy life. We work with local NGOs across the length and breadth of the country to jointly spread awareness about the need for a balanced diet and to meet the nutrition-related needs of people from underprivileged sections of the society,” he says.
Swasthya Aur Suraksha:
Dabur has put together an integrated programme aimed at improving the Health, Nutrition and Safety Standards in rural India, with a particular focus on the girl child. The programmes have been specially crafted to give the girl child the right chances to nurture their talent and skills, and helping them excel in different areas of life. The four key pillars of this Integrated Programme are:
• Safe and Nutritious Food
• Promoting Kitchen Garden
• Self-Defense Training
• Promoting Health Care
As part of this programme, Dabur, along with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) – organise Safe & Nutritious Food (SNF) campaigns in schools to spread awareness about having a balanced diet and staying away from junk food. Seeing children as “powerful change agents who can usher in behavioural change and promote consumption of safe and wholesome food in their respective households”, Dabur began the Swasthya aur Suaksha programme. Through this, they reach out to school-going children and teachers to spread information about nutritious food intake.
Ghar Ki Bagiya:
During their interactions with the community and at the various malnutrition screening camps in the villages, Dabur, came across children suffering from malnutrition. “Their parents were, in fact, surprised that despite having proper meals, comprising rice and pulses, their children were facing these issues. Most parents were ignorant of the fact that adding fruits and vegetables in their daily diet was necessary to get the required nutrition. Some said the high prices put the fruits and vegetables beyond their reach, while marginal farmers did not want to use their small farmlands for growing vegetables and preferred crop that yielded better returns” shares Mr Sudhakar.
The idea of Ghar ki Bagiya came as the extremely unique project which works on building awareness within the community about environment as well as encourage them to plant and nurture plants that provide nutritious fruits and vegetables for their own consumption. The initiative offers dual benefits to community members by providing them seeds to grow nutritious fruits and vegetables for their daily consumption besides generating addition income for their households. This initiative has not only helped in upping the nutrition levels in target communities but has gone a long way in enhancing the green cover in the villages.
Over 600 families in 20 villages in Uttar Pradesh, 200 families from 9 villages of Baddi (Himachal Pradesh), 400 families from 10 villages in Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) and 300 families from 4 villages of Tezpur (Assam) have benefited from our GharkiBagiyaprogramme in 2020-21 and are now consuming vegetables as part of their daily diet.
Nutrition Support during COVID:
Under this programme, Dabur provided Immunity and Nutrition support to Communities and Migrant Workers who were struggling for daily essentials. They worked with local NGOs and community leaders to not only provide dry ration and nutritious meals but also medicines to people in need during the lockdown. Dabur supported these distressed families by providing them with groceries and vegetables, besides Nutrition and Health Care products and face masks.
Adani Wilmar’s Fortune SuPoshan project
Adani Wilmar Limited’s Fortune SuPoshan project, which aims to tackle malnourishment by improving nutrition levels among young children in its first phase ( 2016 to 2020) showed an assessment report, contributed to a significant reduction in malnutrition indicators.
Launched in May 2016, the Fortune SuPoshan project, which was executed on the ground by Adani Foundation, the CSR arm of Adani Group, is a mission against Malnutrition and Anemia and it was operational in ten sites Mundra, Hazira, Dahej, Kawai, Shimla, Tirora, Sarguja, Vinzhinjam, Kamuthi and Bitta across seven states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan. The project will continue its operation at its existing sites by reaching the target group 0-5 age children, adolescent girls, and women in reproductive age.
All 239 villages where the Fortune SuPoshan project was operational in the first phase have shown a significant reduction in all three malnutrition indicators.
After four years of intervention via the Fortune SuPoshan project, the levels at the 10 sites fell to 4.1%, 1.3%, and 2.7%, respectively as found in the Universal Anthropometric Measurement conducted by Fortune SuPoshan’s team of village volunteers called SuPoshan Sanginis at these locations in the year 2019-20.
“It is most gratifying to see the significant impact the Fortune SuPoshan project has had in improving nutrition levels among young children across its sites. The project has been expanded to more sites now, and Adani Wilmar is committed to contributing to make India a healthy country,” said Angshu Mallick, MD and CEO, Adani Wilmar.
Havells India Ltd:Nourishing minds and bodies
Anxious eyes of some 70,000 odd children from the 700 Government School children in Alwar await QRG Foundation’s White and Orange vehicles, to bring them hot nutritious meals.
The journey began in 2004 with meals from a ready made meals from a popular restaurant supplied to a few schools. A year later, in 2005 it was decided to extend the food programme to more schools and begin a mid day meal scheme whereby children would get a nutritious, well balanced meal cooked with care and the best of ingredients at Havell’s very own facility.
In 2006 when government launched its mid day meal scheme throughout India, several Government school in Alwar already had a scheme going on, thanks to Havells Group.
The government then added their support with a 40 per cent funding. With the 60 percent that QRG foundation puts in, the biggest focus is on the quality of raw material, not to forget the cooking.
Interestingly, since QRG meals started there have been some marked changes in the lives of these children. Some of the most important ones are:
Reduction in dropout rate, more enrollments, better nutrition which leads to better concentration.
Nutrition, thus,a host of corporates realise, is an area that could definitely do with some helping hands because a better nourished society also means growth for the nation and economy. We, at The Bridge India couldn’t agree more.
By Bridge India Correspondent
Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Department, Uttar Pradesh Organized State level recognition and exhibition on 3rd Dec.2021 at Atal Auditorium, Dr.Shakuntala Mishra National Rehabilitation University, Lucknow for various government organization and NGO’s working for persons with disabilities.
Hon.Shri Yogi Aditya Nath ( Chief Minister-Uttar Pradesh ) graced the event along with other dignitaries. Shri Yogi Aditya Nath appreciated the efforts of Saubhagya Foundation Staff and students who displayed excellent exhibition of Hand made Emroidery clothes and handicraft items which were made by their trained students (persons with disabilities).
Skill council for persons with disabilities in collaboration with Saubhagya Foundation organized Mega Job Fair at CRC ( Composite Regional centre) in Lucknow on 25th Nov.2021 More than 40 companies partcipated in this event and offer letters were distributed to 500 plus beneficiaries and felicitation was done for 40 employers.
Shri Sudhir Halwasiya Ji (U.P. State Convenor – BJP ) graced the event along with other dignitaries.
Top Brand companies like Reliance trends, Lemon Tree Hotel, Hyatt Residency, Swiggy, Startrek, Utkarsh Small Finance Bank, HDFC Bank, GVK EMRi, Vishal Mega Mart, Flipkart, Amazon, SV Credit Line Ltd., Hotel Comfort INN, Hotel Hilton Garden and may more partcipitated in this event.
Felicitation of Heroes of Humanity
Impact Making NGO in the field of Disability
|Life Skills Development
· Activities of Daily Living
· Interpersonal Skills
· Personal Safety & Security
· Home Management & House Keeping
· Cooking & Catering
· Education (3Rs)
· Art & Craft
· Occupation Therapy with Multi Sensory Integration
· Hearing & Speech Therapy
· Performing & expressive arts (Music & Dance)
· Psychiatry & Counselling
|Early Intervention for Special Child
|Inclusive Education & Special Education
|Low Pressure Hyperbaric Therapy
|Occupational & Speech Therapy