Nutrition project for adolescent girls flagged off in Banaskantha
Of 243 million adolescents in India, 56 percent are girls living below the poverty line. Anemia among these girls adversely affects their growth, resistance to infections, cognitive development and work productivity. With a holistic approach to the healthcare of adolescent girls, Smile Foundation with the support of PepsiCo Foundation has initiated a nutrition enhancement program called 'Sampoorna' (meaning 'complete or whole') in Banaskantha district, Gujarat. The project is working to improve the health and nutrition levels of at least 1,000 poorest of the poor adolescent girls across 10 villages in the Banaskantha district.
While presenting the programme model to Shri Haribhai Chaudhary, Hon’ble Minister of State for Coal & Mines, Government of India, and Mr Sandip Sagle, District Collector - Banaskantha, Ms. Neelima Dwivedi, Vice President - CSR, PepsiCo India said, "Nutrition deficiency and related issues are real risks to socio-economic progress. We are happy to partner with Smile Foundation to effect positive change among the communities in Gujarat, particularly women and girls, as we believe that empowering a woman is equal to empowering a family."
Speaking about the partnership, Mr Santanu Mishra, co-founder and executive trustee, Smile Foundation said, "We share PepsiCo Foundation's vision to help address the nutrition gap among children from underprivileged communities. It is our endeavour to bring about behavioural change that will help adolescent girls understand the importance of a nutritious diet, and we believe this will create a ripple effect for their family and future generations. Further, we hope that creating livelihood skills and opportunities will help them sustain the change."
As part of the nutrition enhancement efforts, Michelin Star Chef and PepsiCo's & Smile Foundation's Nutrition Ambassador, Chef Vikas Khanna has developed a nutritious 'laddoo' recipe using locally available ingredients like jaggery, sesame seeds and maize flour.