Ensuring nutrition is central to human development

The rationale for investing in nutrition is globally well recognized both as a critical development imperative and crucial for fulfilling human rights, especially for the most vulnerable children, girls, and women. It constitutes the foundation for human development by:

  • Reducing susceptibility to infections, related morbidity, disability, and mortality burden.
  • Enhancing cumulative lifelong learning capacities and adult productivity.
  • Nutrition is acknowledged as one of the most effective entry points for human development, poverty reduction, and economic development, with high economic returns. Therefore, as a part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, Tata Chemicals Limited (TCL) with its CSR arm Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) launched the Health, Nutrition, and Wellness program. It aims to educate the communities and families to make the right nutritional choices, anemia prevention, and malnutrition management and enhance community awareness and engagement.

    By providing preventive, and where possible, curative health services TCSRD acts as a bridge between the government and the community, facilitating access to government health services wherever possible to the underserved population. TCSRD’s primary areas of focus have been reducing Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) through several initiatives promoting nutrition and nutrition-related education, while also working in the area of general health treatment and education regarding safe drinking water and sanitation.

    The vision of the program is to promote positive health, prevent undernutrition in children and reduce morbidity and mortality among women and children due to malnutrition.

    The program aims to ensure access to information about the importance of making localized nutritional choices during the first 1,000 days of life and adolescence to break the cycle of malnutrition.

    Objective 1 Enhance nutritional status: Fill Tribal Thali with the missing components through locally available nutritious food products and make it a completely balanced diet for sustainable and positive health changes.

    Objective 2 Linkage: To act as a bridge between the government health services and the community thus facilitating access to government health services wherever possible and ensuring sustainability.

    The program aims at the holistic improvement of community - health by improving the nutritional intake of women and children. It included the following initiatives: 

    Nutritious Thali: This initiative educates the community about filling the Thali with the missing components through locally available nutritious food to make it a complete balanced diet by the following sub-activities: 

  • Preserving available vegetables (dal wadi with palak and moringa leaf).
  • Making minor changes in processing and preparation (fermentation, tempering of grains, etc.) of food to increase the bio-availability of nutrients
  • Demonstrating nutritious recipes
  • Promoting kitchen gardens for dietary diversity:    To ensure food security and dietary diversity along with sustainability
  • In Mambattu the Herbal garden was implemented in partnership with The Covenant Centre for Development (CCD). This has helped in generating awareness among the people regarding the available herbal resources and also decreasing the expenditure on private doctors and medicine. 
  • Nutri-Clubs: TCSRD has formed nutritional clubs, which monitor the use of plants and focus on improving IYCF practices, health literacy, connecting rural communities with government health care facilities, promoting primary health care, and enhancing awareness of anemia and malnutrition.


    Finding THALI fillers – through scientific approach: Following the scientific approach to finding the THALI filler, nutrition analysis of local food products has been carried out in association with Innovation Centre Pune (Tata Chemicals).  

    Indicative Nutritional Profile of select samples promoted for Thali Filler:


    Moringa Leaf Powder

    Curry Leaf Powder

    Total Calories (Kcal/100g)



    Protein (N*6.25) (%)



    Total Dietary Fibre (%)



    Phosphorus as P (mg/100g)



    Vitamin C (mg/100g)



    Iron as Fe (mg/kg)




    Moringa Leaf Powder

    Curry Leaf Powder

    Total Calories (Kcal/100g)




    Anaemia Prevention and Malnutrition Management: TCL conducted biannual malnutrition screening for under-5 years children and Anaemia screening for pregnant and lactating women, and adolescent girls, and referred severe cases to the higher centre such as Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre. To meet the immediate needs distribution of iron and folic acid (IFA) tablets and deworming tablets was undertaken.

    Community Awareness and Engagement: TCSRD promoted behavior change with the help of information on health and nutritional needs. They shared good practices on the following:

  • Promotion of local and nutritious food
  • Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF)
  • Proper Breastfeeding techniques
  • Menstrual hygiene management for adolescent girls - Shared along with basic hygiene and sanitation awareness among school children.
  • Capacity Building of Government Health staff and Village Health and Nutrition Day (VHND): TCSRD skilled and upskilled government health staff on antenatal and postnatal care and IYCF and facilitated support to conduct VHND activities regularly to deliver health services to the community. Facilitation and supporting Village Health and Nutrition Day (VHND) is one of the most important platforms for providing health and nutrition services to even the remotest of regions. Strengthening VHNDs will help in improving the health of the community as a whole.

    Target Population: The direct target groups are 

  • Pregnant women
  • Lactating mothers
  • Under 5-year children
  • Adolescent girls
  • TCSRD is working with key health influencers - the community and government health staff to reinforce its message and ensure sustainability.

  • The programme covered two of tribal districts one of Madhya Pradesh and the other of Maharashtra, that emerged as needy districts with poor nutrition indicators: 
  • Amravati (Maharashtra): Dharni (Melghat) Block   
  • Barwani, (Madhya Pradesh): Pati Block (one of the Aspirational districts with approximately 85% AA (Affirmative Action) Population - The Tata Affirmative Action Programme, attempts to address the prevailing social inequities in India by encouraging positive discrimination against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) communities.)
  • Population Covered : 77 villages & 78,000 population (approx.) 
  • The programme has been implemented in Mithapur (Devbhumi Dwarka District, Gujarat), Dharni Block (Amravati District, Maharashtra), Pati Block (Barwani District, Madhya Pradesh), Mambattu (Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh) &  Semmankuppam (Cuddalore district,Tamil Nadu) locations as well. 

    In Mithapur, TCSRD held sessions for adolescents in schools, using audio-visual tools to raise awareness of the physical and mental changes that occur during puberty. The sessions were attended by schoolgirls and non-schoolgirls.  At Aanganwadi centres, Hb screenings are done. Nutritional counselling and supplementary medicines such as iron- folic acid, multivitamins, and calcium are given to them as needed.  Some of the activities carried out include raising awareness about nutrition, general health, and hygiene among adolescents, and nutrition awareness sessions in school about healthy eating.  Patients are screened via telemedicine for health education and counselling. Through telephone, WhatsApp banners, and other means, health awareness and counselling to ASHA and AWW have been provided in five villages (Lalpur, Batisa, Makanpur, Positra, and Padali).  Students at Skill Development Centre receive training in health and hygiene, as well as first aid.

    Mr. R Nanda (Chief of CSR and HR, Tata Chemicals) states that “India has been battling against malnutrition for a very long time, due to heavy medical expenses and lack of awareness, many vulnerable households are still deprived of general health treatment. Thus, making it imperative to engage with communities, improve knowledge, and promote healthcare-seeking behavior 

    Through several initiatives, TCSRD assists communities in obtaining better health care, nutrition, safe drinking water, and sanitation services. To achieve higher impact across our community development projects, they work in partnership with the government, NGOs, educational institutions, and technical organizations to benefit from their expertise and knowledge” 

    The program focuses on how communities and families participate in making the right nutritional choices each time, thus adding incremental learning for everybody that will make the outcome sustainable. 


  • Nutrition: Developed Nutri-gardens leading to availability, dietary diversity, and enhanced nutritional status 
  • Village Health: Enhanced functioning and regularity of village health and nutrition day
  • Anaemia Reduction: Reduction in severe anemia cases from 20% to 2.5% of the population
  • Behavior Change and Women’s Health: Increased consumption of iron and folic acid tablets by creating awareness among women
  • IYCF Practices: Improvement in child health by providing training on IYCF and various breastfeeding technique
  • IMPACT –Barwani & Amravati

    Impact Indicators



    Prevalence of anemia among female (%)



    Prevalence of severe anemia among female (%)



    Prevalence of underweight among under 5 children (%)



    Prevalence of stunting among under 5 children (%)



    Number of kitchen gardens or nutrition gardens developed (in number per year)



    Nutrition Rehabilitation Center (NRC) admissions of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) children



    IFA consumption



    VHND sessions conducted




    The replication possibilities are the following:

  • Improved nutritional outcomes in nutritional indicators such as stunting, underweight, and anemia suggest that the program is being taken to the replication stage.
  • The best practices of the project are being replicated in geographies like Cuddalore, Mambattu, and Mithapur with Rallis near Bengaluru and other plant locations.
  • For replication, the program can be customized as per the needs of the target population, geography, and socioeconomic conditions
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