Adani Wilmar’s Community-Based Approach to Fight Malnutrition & Anemia wins CSR Impact Award
Child malnutrition is a prevalent and longstanding public health challenge in India. Over the years the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) has found that India was one of the worst-performing countries on child health indicators.
The incidence of anemia in children under the age of 5 years rose from 58.6 to 67%, in women rose from 53.1 to 57%, and in men from 22.7 to 25%. The situation has worsened in all states of India.
While considerable amounts of investment have been put forth to tackle this malaise, India’s child malnutrition rates are still one of the most alarming in the world. The Global Hunger Index (2022) — which is calculated based on total undernourishment of the population, child stunting, wasting, and child mortality — places India at the 107th spot among 121 countries.
This bane of malnutrition whether it is child or maternal malnutrition is responsible for around 15% of India’s total disease burden.
Noticing this, Adani Wilmar Limited, one of the largest food FMCG companies in India along with the implementing partner Adani Foundation, the CSR arm of the Adani Group have designed a project to supplement the government nutrition-related schemes by creating locally empowered community resources. This works in tandem with government resources to make the schemes accessible to all.
The project named Fortune SuPoshan takes a lifecycle approach and targets adolescent girls, expecting mothers, lactating mothers, and 0-5 years children, towards reducing the problem of malnutrition in the project area.
With timely identification and curative action, Fortune SuPoshan has reached the most vulnerable communities that include 10% SC & 34% ST. Over 45,000 children and 8000 anemic adolescent girls and women have benefitted from the initiative.
For their efforts and on-ground impact, Adani Wilmar and Adani Foundation were awarded ‘Project of The Year’ at the 8th CSR Impact Awards, India CSR Summit. This is Asia’s largest CSR Forum hosted by CSRBOX and Dalmia Bharat Foundation.
Pivotal roles for change
Launched in 2016, the project not only strengthens the health & nutrition status of children, adolescent girls, and pregnant & lactating women but also instills positive knowledge for appropriate behavior change.
The pivot of the project is the village-level volunteers also known as ‘SuPoshan Sanginis’. Their work is aimed at improving malnutrition levels amongst children and Anemia levels of Adolescent girls and Women of reproductive age. The SuPoshan Sanginis act as agents of behavior change targeting improvement in nutrition at a community level. A representative from within the village, SuPoshan Saginis devote their time to demonstrating the importance of food, nutrition, and WASH at household levels.
SuPoshan Sanginis plays a pivotal role.
The program activities are primarily conducted by the SuPoshan Sanginis which start with an Anthropometric Survey and Screening at the household level. They adopt WHO standards to screen the children on measures of malnutrition and learn the technical skills of counseling on multiple issues. Further, they conduct a gamut of activities like focus group discussions, family counseling, and other village-level events.
The Fortune SuPoshan is designed in such a way that it aligns and syncs with government services line ICDS, National Nutrition Mission, and NHM. The project’s strategy incorporates a multi-stakeholder community-based approach to fight malnutrition and anemia. It focuses on a community-led model to improve nutritional outcomes for the target population – children below the age of five, adolescent girls, and women in the reproductive age group.
After identifying a child with severe levels of malnutrition along with certain medical complications SuPoshan Sanginis maintain a system to support the family. This includes referring to the malnutrition treatment center for medical support, family counseling, and even post-treatment follow-ups.
Today, the project reaches the most vulnerable communities in India. More than 45,000 undernourished children have been shifted to a healthy category through rigorous community-based management of malnutrition with a key focus on 1000 days, MIYCF, and the life cycle approach.
Similarly, more than 8000 anemic adolescent girls and women of reproductive age groups have successfully moved to healthy levels.
The improved nutrition of women and girls via the Fortune SuPoshan project has the potential to increase the returns on educational investment, greater economic empowerment, increase productivity, and greater longevity. Hence the project can preemptively provide an enabling future for growth and development as it intervenes to improve the health of vulnerable communities.