Mumbai, March 29 (IANS) Doubling its efforts to tackle the malaise of malnutrition among children, the Reliance Foundation (RF) on Thursday said it will now extend its involvement in the programme from existing eight districts in Maharashtra to 16.
The Foundation signed and renewed its 2015 commitment in a tripartite MoU with the Rajmata Jijau Mother-Child Health Nutrition Mission and syaye Department of Women & Child Development in the presence of state Minister for Rural Development Pankaja Munde and Reliance Foundation CEO Jagannatha Kumar.
The endeavor would strengthen the Central government’s agenda of Sustainable Development Goals 2 in the National Action Plan for Children 2016 targeting “improved nutrition” as the key result.
Under the programme, the Foundation has been helping local communities establish small kitchens or backyard gardens called Reliance Nutrition Gardens (RNGs), covering targeted areas in Thane, Palghar, Pune, Jalgaon, Osmanabad, Yavatmal, Parbhani and Wardha districts in the first phase.
These RNGs are scientifically-developed, low cost, organic kitchen gardens that use a multi-tier cropping system to accommodate a variety of fruits and vegetables that helps improve health and nutritional parameters among farmer families across villages in India.
Vide this initiative, over 100,000 children are provided with fresh fruits and vegetables through 7,300 nutrition gardens set up in Aanganwadis.
Under the new MoU signed on Thursday, Reliance Foundation will double its involvement from eight to 16 more districts – Beed, Jalna, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Gondiya, Solapur, Nandurbar and Chandrapur.
For implementing this, it will capacitate more than 1,000 master trainers, for all the 16 districts, to support and develop 25,000 RNGs in Aanganwadis.
“The encouraging results of the first phase have motivated the state government to expand the program in eight new districts with RF as our knowledge partner. We want to ensure that every child in anganwadis gets access to fresh fruits and vegetables across the state,” said Munde, lauding the initiative.
“The concept of RNGs have had a huge positive impact on communities associated with us. RF is proud to partner with the Maharashtra government to tackle the issue of malnutrition among children in Aanganwadis and strengthen the centre’s agenda of nutrition in the National Action Plan for Children 2016,” said Kumar.
The RF is the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries Ltd, founded and led by its Chairperon Nita Ambani, working towards facilitating transformative changes to ensure overall well-being and higher quality of life for all in multiple sectors.
Over the years, it has touched the lives of more than 15 million people across India in more than 13,500 villages and several urban centres.