Health problems in India have been a vocal issue for decades now and government initiatives, albeit reasonably successful, have made a substantial, but not revolutionary impact to the prolonged problem. That said, IMPAct4Nutrition was launched today as a means to provide impetus to the POSHAN Abhiyaan.
Engaging the private sector, the initiative provides a platform for business personalities, customers, employees, and their families to collectively develop a social movement that proves to be instrumental in improving the nutrition quotient of India.
Alok Kumar, Niti Aayog advisor, marked the beginning of the session with emphasis on the fact that malnutrition is a key challenge for India as approximately one-third of the children in India are suffering from reduced growth. “This needs to change for a nation that is doing well in many other areas, and we need to come together to tackle the problem of malnutrition,” he said.
Kumar further expressed that government initiatives need the input from private sector in order to comprehensively tackle this issue. While distribution schemes and accessibility is the responsibility of former, he urged the private sector to develop nutritious alternatives for the junk food present in the market.
Offering educational material, program information, and a business connection to the movement around POSHAN Abhiyaan, IMPAct4Nutrition received a tremendous response. Leading companies like Bosch, Arvind Mills, Moody’s Analytics, and CareNX Innovations promised their support to the cause even before the official launch. With appropriate strategy, private sector hold immense potential to make a serious wave in the nutrition improvement facet.
This comes after the abundance of resources, capital, and workforce in the private sector. Provided that more such entities join hands and come forward in the noble cause, private sector can effectively contribute in three areas of the program including CSR, employee engagement, and business assets, all nutrition-centric.
Arjan De Waqt, OIC Deputy Representative at UNICEF India, said, “For every $1 of investment there is a return of $16 due to employee retention, dip in absenteeism and increased productivity. When you reach out to employees, their families and customers and empower them to improve their nutritional status, you benefit the business. Being an employer who cares by running a business that is socially aware and responsible also contributes to nation building.”
With the expectation of an exponentially increasing response from other companies, businesses, tie-ups, and government initiatives, it is expected that India’s nutrition problem will be minimized.