July 2018 - Tata Trusts Horizons

July 2018 - Tata Trusts Horizons
July 2018
July 2018 - Tata Trusts Horizons
July 2018 - Tata Trusts Horizons
July 2018   TaTa TrusTs Horizons   3

from the chairman
B      eginnings are always full of possibilities.
       They offer promise, expectation and hope
that the journey flagged off will lead smoothly
to the destination decided, and perhaps also to
places discovered along the way. So it is with this
maiden issue of Horizons, a magazine crafted to
recount the story of the Tata Trusts and the work
they do to enrich the lives of millions of Indians
across the land.
      People are at the heart of this story, which is
also about an extraordinary vision of philanthropy.
The Tata Trusts personify a philosophy of business
where every member of society is a stakeholder.
The year 2018 marks the sesquicentennial of the
Tata group, with the first of the Tata enterprises
being established in 1868 by Jamsetji Tata. The
first of the Tata Trusts — the JN Tata Endowment
for the Higher Education of Indians — was set up
in 1892, also by Jamsetji Tata. The idea and the
ideals connecting the two events symbolise what
being of service to the wider community meant for
our Founder.
      The legacy of Jamsetji Tata and those who
followed in his path continues to illuminate and
inspire the evolving Tata Trusts of today as we
strive to make a more substantial difference in
the communities we serve. Over the past few
years, the Trusts have changed more substantially
than at any time in their history. We are now
truly a cohesive institution, a collective that is
concentrated on deepening the impact of its
numerous programmes and projects.
      Horizons will, I hope, provide a comprehensive
and nuanced understanding of the modern-day
Tata Trusts to audiences in India and around the
world. My best wishes to the team behind the
magazine for all their efforts.

Ratan N Tata
July 2018 - Tata Trusts Horizons
Vol 1 | IssUe 1 | JUly 2018

neWs                               CoVer storY                      Centre stage                           interVieW

07                                                                                                         32
CanCer Care                                                                                                a perfeCt
Centres in assam                                                                                           partnership
Also in the roundup:                                                                                       Chief Minister Devendra
breakthrough with MRI                                                                                      Fadnavis on the collaboration
scanner; push for data-driven                                                                              between the Maharashtra
governance; football centre in                                                                             government and the Trusts
Mizoram; tie-up with Tel Aviv                                       18
University; and more                                                food first
                                                                    Making sure that India’s
                                                                    underprivileged children eat
                                                                    healthy — that is the objective
                                   10                               that drives the nutrition initiative
                                   Cash in the Crop
                                   The lakhpati Kisan project is
                                   transforming the lives of more
                                   than 100,000 tribal farming
                                   households in 800 villages

  editor                                editorial team                    editorial                         editorial adVisors
  Christabelle Noronha                  Philip Chacko                     Coordinators                      Debasis Ray
  Email: cnoronha@tatatrusts.org        Gayatri Kamath                    Kainaz Mistry                     Laxman Sivasubramanian
                                        Shubha Madhukar                   Sonia Divyang
July 2018 - Tata Trusts Horizons
feature stories                     interVieW                         interVieW                          speCtrum

                                    ‘time to redefine                 62
                                    generositY’                       Children are
                                    Amit Chandra, managing            the ConCern
                                    director of Bain Capital, talks   Madhu Pandit Dasa from the
                                    about his philanthropy and the    Akshaya Patra Foundation
40                                  importance of partnerships
                                    in the social sector
                                                                      on the midday meal project         73
liquid magiC                                                          that feeds 1.7 milllion children   a Culture of
How the satyamev Jayate                                               across India                       philanthropY
Water Cup became a people’s                                                                              Jamsetji Tata and his legacy of
movement, plus an interview
                                                                                                         compassion continues to define
with superstar Aamir Khan                                             in-depth
                                                                                                         the multi-themed and impactful
                                                                                                         efforts of the Tata Trusts
49    old is not gold
The 60-plus portion of India’s
population is growing fast, but
are we ready to cope?

38    Card plaY
The Points for People initiative
makes it possible for individuals
to support social causes
                                    leaVes of life
                                    Images from villages in
                                    Uttarakhand where the
                                                                      teCh is on top
                                    Himmothan Pariyojana runs
                                    a range of uplift programmes      Technology is the game
                                                                      changer in setting standards on
                                                                      governance and healthcare

  designed bY                         design                            ContaCt                            disClaimer
  The Information Company             Shilpa Naresh                     Tata Trusts                        All matter in Tata Trusts
                                      Abraham K John                    World Trade Centre 1               Horizons is copyrighted.
                                                                        26th Floor, Cuffe Parade           Material published in it
  printed at                                                            Mumbai 400 005                     can be reproduced with
  Sahaya Print Services                                                 India                              permission. To know more,
                                                                                                           please email the editor at
July 2018 - Tata Trusts Horizons

                                       J    amsetji Tata stands tall among Indian entrepreneurs for his vision,
                                            his pioneering businesses and his idea of an industrial India. As
                                       important as any of these contributions — perhaps more so — was
                                       Jamsetji’s philanthropy and the compassion that guided it.
                                            The JN Tata Endowment, established by the Founder of the Tata
                                       group in 1892, was the first of many trusts seeded by members of the
                                       Tata family. It marked the beginning of an extraordinary journey for what
                Christabelle Noronha   is now collectively known as the Tata Trusts.
                                            Transformed over the recent past, the Trusts have evolved to
                                       go well beyond being a giver of grants. It has become an important
                                       and proactive participant in the common endeavour to confront and
                                       overcome India’s most fundamental social development challenges.
                                            The Tata Trusts of today are concentrated on making a difference
                                       where it counts the most — on the ground and with a larger spread
                                       of beneficiaries than ever before. Purpose drives operations at the
                                       remodeled Trusts, technology enables scale and innovation facilitates
                                       impact. What remains intact is the Tata Trusts’ mission: to enhance the
                                       quality of life of millions of poor and marginalised Indians.
                                            There are numerous stories woven into the fabric of this mission
                                       — of individuals and communities, homes and hamlets, fortitude and
                                       euphoria, success and failure. Horizons is an effort, dear reader, to bring
                                       those stories — some interesting, some fascinating — to you.
                                            Horizons is also an effort to open a window to the world of the Tata
                                       Trusts and the remarkable work that they undertake across the length
                                       and breadth of India. This inaugural issue of the magazine provides a
                                       flavour of our intent — to document the change unfolding in the country,
                                       particularly in its remote regions, and to bring into light the human
                                       element at the heart of it all.


                                       We hope you will help us make Horizons better with your valuable feedback.
                                       Please do write to us at horizons@tatatrusts.org.
July 2018 - Tata Trusts Horizons
news   7

19 cancer care centres to
come up in Assam

                                                                              appointment systems are followed.
                                                                                  The cancer care foundation

T     he Assam government and the
      Tata Trusts have launched the
Assam Cancer Care Foundation to
                                                                              will implement government
                                                                              programmes for awareness,
                                                                              screening, early detection and
set up 19 cancer care facilities in                                           palliative care. This will be critical
the state. The cancer network will                                            in ensuring that patients come
become operational in April 2019.       to ensure that patients do not have   forward for treatment.
     Of the 19 facilities, 12 will be   to travel far for affordable and          The Trusts are talking to the
comprehensive cancer care centres       high-quality cancer treatment.        governments of Andhra Pradesh,
set up on the premises of                   The cancer care facilities will   Odisha and Telangana to establish
government medical colleges in          be connected by a ‘digital nerve      similar networks in these states.
the state and 5 will be adjacent to     centre’, which will help guide        About 100 such centres are
district hospitals.                     patients so that appropriate          expected to come up over the next
     The network has been designed      referral mechanisms and               three years. n

  A magnetic

  T     he Tata Trusts’ Foundation
        for Innovation and Social
   Entrepreneurship (FISE) has
   developed a portable magnetic
   resonance imaging (MRI)
   scanner, a first for the country.
       The whole-body scanner
   will help make MRI scans             power and can be mounted on a             The first system has been
   affordable and accessible, and it    truck for easy transport.             installed at the Bengaluru-
   is much faster than similar              The machine was built inside      based Sri Sathya Sai Institute of
   machines in the market.              24 months by engineers at             Higher Medical Sciences, the
       The scanner is compact,          Voxelgrids, incubated by FISE to      clinical partner in the
   lightweight, consumes far less       promote social innovations.           development. n
July 2018 - Tata Trusts Horizons
8   news

                                                 Ola’s ‘My Ride. My Cause’
                                                 commits to social causes

                                                  O      la, India’s leading
                                                         ride-share company, has
                                                  launched the ‘My Ride. My
                                                                                          As a part of this initiative,
                                                                                      Ola customers will have the
                                                                                      option to contribute one rupee
                                                  Cause.’ initiative on its mobile    per ride, money that will go
                                                  app platform to crowdsource         towards improving cancer care
      Fresh push for                              funds for cancer care.              in the country.
      data-driven                                      Ola has rolled out this            There is a huge burden of
                                                  unique, national-level initiative   cancer in India. The lack of
      governance                                  through a partnership with the      infrastructure, human resources
                                                  Tata Trusts’ Alamelu                and prevention programmes

      F    ollowing Pune, Jamshedpur
           and Surat, five more Indian
      cities — Ahmedabad, Bhopal,
                                                  Charitable Foundation.
                                                       Ola’s mobile app connects
                                                  users in more than 110 Indian
                                                                                      aggravates the situation. The
                                                                                      contributions raised by Ola
                                                                                      customers will help make
      Bhubaneswar, Chennai and                    cities with some 1 million          cancer care affordable and
      Vijayawada — have joined the                driver-partners across cabs,        available in rural and remote
      ‘City Data for India’ initiative,           auto-rickshaws and taxis.           areas of India. n
      launched by the Tata Trusts in
      2016 in association with
      PricewaterhouseCoopers, India, and       Tel Aviv University to deliver
      the World Council on City Data.
           The initiative will contribute      Israeli innovation in farming
      in improving urban planning,
      infrastructure investment and
      day-to-day operations management
      by empowering city leaders,
                                               T    el Aviv University and the
                                                    Tata Trusts are launching the
                                               Indian Centre for Agri & Allied
      decision-makers and citizens to          Tech to bring Israeli know-how
      make data-informed decisions.            and innovation to farmers in
           The objective is to create a        Andhra Pradesh.
      culture of data-driven decision-             The initiative, supported by
      making in order to foster better         the state government, will include
      accountability, transparency and         an advanced research centre. The
      governance, and to engage citizens       programme will be extended across
      in their city’s well-being.              India down the line.
           The value of city-centric data is       The programme has five main        conditions. A network of
      especially important in India,           components. Corporations and           satellite farms will conduct
      where the urban population is            research institutes in Israel will     additional experiments. Farmers
      projected to grow from 410               adapt existing technologies and        will test the technologies in their
      million in 2014 to 800 million by        develop new solutions for Indian       own fields. Business models will
      2050, placing enormous demands           agriculture. The R&D hub will test     be developed to support the
      on cities and governments. n             the solutions under local              project. n
July 2018 - Tata Trusts Horizons
July 2018    TaTa TrusTs Horizons     9

Football gets
a kick-start
in Mizoram

T     he Tata Trusts have launched
      a state-of-the-art Centre of
Excellence for Football in Aizawl,
Mizoram, to provide world-class
training to young footballers from
Northeast India.
     The first batch of 25 student
athletes, aged 12-14 years, has been
handpicked following a meticulous
scouting exercise conducted across
the states of Mizoram, Manipur,
Nagaland, Meghalaya and Assam.
     The Centre offers quality
coaching, infrastructure, education,
residential facilities, and a
sustainable progression structure        ‘Baby league’ in Meghalaya
through training and competitive
     The Centre has a training
ground, top-notch recovery
                                          T    he Tata Trusts have joined
                                               hands with the Meghalaya
                                          Football Association and the
                                                                               a boon for budding football
                                                                               talent in the state.
                                                                                   MBL aims to give children
equipment and a fully equipped            All India Football Federation to     regular exposure to competitive
physiotherapy room.                       launch the Meghalaya Baby            football over a period of six
     The Tata Trusts have                 League (MBL).                        months in order to develop their
collaborated with the Mizoram                 The league comprises 12          game, instill confidence and
government, the Mizoram Football          teams of children in the 4-13        eventually create a base of
Association and others to get the         age group and is expected to be      trained football players. n
Centre up and running.
     The Centre is one component
of ‘the Tata Trusts-Sarva Shiksha      India’s first police museum
Abhiyan grassroots football
development programme’, which
aims to identify children with an
interest in football and provide
                                       T    he Office of the
                                            Commissioner of Police,
                                       Mumbai, the Mumbai Police
                                                                               of the newly registered Mumbai
                                                                               Police Foundation is to restore
                                                                               artefacts and equipment of
them with a platform to develop        Foundation and the Tata Trusts          historical value.
their talent.                          have come together to conserve              Mumbai city’s police force
     The Trusts and their partners     and archive historic police             came into being in 1864. The
have set up 60 grassroots academies    records, and to plan for the first      archive and museum project will
across six districts of Mizoram for    police museum in India.                 help build awareness about the
kids in the 6-14 age group. n              One of the main objectives          rich history of the force. n
July 2018 - Tata Trusts Horizons
10   cover story

       in the
       the Lakhpati Kisan project
       is transforming the lives of
       over 100,000 tribal farming
       households in four Indian
       states — and it has the
       potential to deliver more

                 antibhai Makwana could barely
                 make ends meet with what he
                 earned by farming his field in
       Ratanpur village of Gujarat’s Sabarkantha
       district. Three years down the line, his
       income from agriculture has jumped
       from `25,000 per annum to about
       `175,000. The money has been meaty
       enough for him to do up his home —
       with a pipeline to boot, he says — buy a
       motorbike and start a flour-mill business.
            Sushila Khanda, who lives in Gaduan
       village in the mineral-rich Keonjhar district
       of Odisha, was a subsistence farmer till
       three years back. A member of the Gond
       tribal community, she managed to pull in
       `73,000 last year, modest in comparison
       with Mr Makwana but good enough to
       complete the plastering work of her house,
       send her son to a better school and spend
       on clothes and trinkets.
July 2018        TaTa TrusTs Horizons   11

A tribal woman and her son with the family’s
chilly crop in Dahod district of Gujarat
12   cover story

           Separated by some 1,800km
       and differences in language and
       culture, Mr Makwana and
                                                     a better
                                                     life, little
       Ms Khanda have never met and are
       unlikely to. They are, nevertheless,
       part of a single extended family,
       one that has under its canopy more
       than 100,000 households in 800
       underserved villages spread across
                                                     by little
       the states of Jharkhand,                       The lakhpati Kisan
       Maharashtra, Gujarat and Odisha.
                                                      programme is aimed
       This is the family that populates
       Mission 2020 — Lakhpati Kisan:
                                                      at equipping tribal
       Smart Villages, one of the most                households in four
       ambitious and challenging projects             states with the means
       supported by the Tata Trusts.                  and the knowledge
                                                      to improve their
       The upside and after
                                                      agricultural and allied
       Lakhpati Kisan, loosely translated as
       ‘`100,000 farmer’, is designed to lift
                                                      practices, and thereby
       those who have been incorporated               pull them irreversibly
       into the programme irreversibly                out of poverty
       out of poverty. Operational since
       April 2015, it has a spectrum of
       schemes and principles to realise        activities, bit by incremental bit.    with high-value vegetables. It means
       the objective, all of them aligned to    It’s a complicated task, made more     improving irrigation access — drip
       agriculture-centred livelihoods. The     difficult by the project’s stringent   irrigation is a crucial feature of the
       households are mainly from tribal        2020 deadline for completion.          project — and water usage efficiency.
       regions and the building blocks are           Lakhpati Kisan is a welcome       Also on the menu are year-round
       women’s self-help groups (SHGs).         balm amidst the melancholy that        farming, developing linkages to
            The aggregation of SHGs into        envelops Indian agriculture, a         markets, aggregation of produce to
       village organisations and, further       pursuit rendered perilous for many     fetch the right price and backing
       on, into federations enables the         by forces natural and induced.         tribal entrepreneurs.
       project to gather strength in scale      With its focus on tribal farmers
       and nurture the women-led                and their fundamental problems,        More than farming
       institutions spearheading their own      the programme aims to lift some of     Alongside high-value agriculture,
       development. The manner of the           this gloom and, it is hoped, provide   participating households have been
       project’s execution pours attention      a template that can be employed by     encouraged to take up at least one
       on making the communities in its         governments and their agencies to      allied livelihood activity — such
       care resilient and cohesive, self-       similar effect on a wider canvas.      as animal husbandry, apiculture,
       reliant and self-sustaining.                  Lakhpati Kisan supplements        lac cultivation, fisheries and
            The goal is to get `120,000         and often times supplants the ways     horticulture — to hedge risks as
       into the hands of each                   of traditional farming. That means     well as accelerate income growth.
       participating household every year       adding on to conventional crops        The focus has been on technology
       through farming and allied               such as maize, wheat and paddy         and innovations, among them
July 2018      TaTa TrusTs Horizons          13

                                    To enable 101,000 tribal households to earn at least
The goal:
                                    `120,000 a year
Geographic                          800 villages in the states of Odisha, Jharkhand,
spread:                             Gujarat and Maharashtra

                                    From 2015 to 2020, by when the initiative is
Project period:
                                    expected to be sustainable

The catalysts:                      Tribal women, trained                           and   supported,
                                    form the core of the programme

Institutional                       5,300+ self-help groups, 340 village organisations,
setup:                              19 federations and farmer-producer organisations
The methods:                        High-value crops,              year-round farming, improved
                                    irrigation, access to markets, aggregation of produce, animal
                                    husbandry, etc

X factor:                           Use of top-end technology for farming, water and
                                    sanitation, energy, education and health, and digital literacy

polyhouse nurseries, trellis farming         Collectives for Integrated         raising the income of these farmers
and solar-based lifting devices.        Livelihood Initiatives, an associate    by three to four times. We had to
     Initiatives for all-round          organisation of the Tata Trusts with    think outside the box on all aspects,
improvements in the quality of life     more than a decade of experience,       including technology, irrigation,
of tribal communities — with            became the natural vehicle to seed      getting other stakeholders on board,
projects in education, water and        the project and drive it forward.       and building capacities and
sanitation, nutrition, digital          Nonprofits, many of them already        institutions. We had to take
literacy, sports and life-skills        working with the Trusts, were           ownership and risks and that’s what
development — have been                 brought in to help with                 we have done.”
integrated in community clusters.       implementation. Once off the
     Lakhpati Kisan emerged             ground, the programme also              Miles to go
following a study done in 2013-14       connected with government bodies        With three years of the programmes
to understand the dynamics of           and schemes to intensify the impact     completed, not everything has gone
farming by small landholders in         of its various endeavours.              according to plans and expectations.
India, the bottlenecks they have to          What Lakhpati Kisan is trying      “We have covered in excess of
deal with and their successes. Vital    to accomplish is distinctive, and       100,000 households in Lakhpati
in this context was the need to         that poses challenges by the dozen.     Kisan and the idea was to get at least
spark the community’s aspirations       “We realised we couldn’t do the         50% of them to an income level of
and enterprise, to bring together its   regular stuff and expect to succeed,”   at least `120,000 a year by now,”
talents and efforts to ensure the       says Ganesh Neelam, who heads the       says Mr Neelam. “Our current
permanence of change.                   initiative. “We were looking at         achievement stands at 20%, so we
14   cover story

                                                         are behind the target. It has taken
                                                         longer than we expected to build
                                                         capacities in the community and to
                                                         get people to try out new things.”
                                                              Mr Neelam is confident that
                                                         progress from here on will be faster.
                                                         “This is our fourth year and I’m
                                                         sure that by the end of it we will
                                                         have about 70% of our farming
                                                         families with an income of `100,000
                                                         and more. The community
                                                         institutions, the technology and the
                                                         training are broadly in place today
                                                         and we are working on the market
                                                         linkages part. When we kicked off
                                                         we had certain hypotheses; those
                                                         have evolved and we have adapted.”

                                                         Mindset change
                                                         Hidden from view is the psychology
                                                         of villagers making the leap from
                                                         traditional agriculture to high-value
                                                         crops. The majority of these folks
                                                         were not full-time farmers to begin
                                                         with and it has taken a while to
                                                         bring them up to speed. “It requires
                                                         substantial energy to understand the
                                                         mindset of the villagers,” explains
                                                         Mr Neelam. “We spend six to
                                                         eight months interacting with the
                                                         community before we get started
                                                         and there are a lot of challenges in
                                                         convincing them about the multiple
                                                         facets of the initiative.”
                                                              There have been variations in
                                                         outcomes in the four states covered
                                                         by Lakhpati Kisan. The positive here
                                                         is the cross-pollination of ideas and
                                                         the sharing of knowledge from every
                                                         success and failure. “Gujarat stands
                                                         out because the institutions there are
                                                         strong; the people there had an early
         The tribal community in Tomka, a village in
         Jajapur district of Odisha, has benefitted in
                                                         start and they are proactive,” says
         good measure thanks to Lakhpati Kisan           Mr Neelam. “In Odisha and
                                                         Jharkhand the adoption of new
July 2018      TaTa TrusTs Horizons          15

                                        “We were looking at raising the income of these
                                        farmers by three to four times. We had to think
                                        outside the box... We had to take ownership and
                                        risks and that’s what we have done.”
                                        Ganesh Neelam, zonal manager, north and central india, Tata Trusts

technologies has been fast. In             of the project in Odisha. “In the       connected to the market. “Drip
Maharashtra, village institutions          tribal regions we work in, it is        irrigation is not about saving water
have come to the fore. It’s basically      mostly subsistence agriculture,         as much as it is about saving on
about learning from one another            mono crop and rain-fed,” he says.       labour,” says Mr Dutta. “And it’s
and going up the ladder.”                  “The villagers are not habituated to    not about isolated irrigation
     Having the state governments          the commercial growing of crops,        structures; you have to saturate the
on its side is critical for the            which requires a superior degree of     villages with irrigation access.”
programme and this, too, is a              skill and experience. We had to
demanding job. “You have to stay           create the momentum and the             Community care
engaged,” says Mr Neelam. “What            mahol [atmosphere] to attract them.”    Virendra Vaghani, Mr Dutta’s
we have learned is that we need to              There were other issues as well    counterpart in Gujarat, says the Tata
be close to the official machinery at      in Odisha: shortage of labour,          Trusts confronted a different set
the district level; they are the ones      inadequate access to irrigation, lack   of challenges in the state. “Initially
calling the shots.”                        of market linkages and                  it was about convincing our field
     The reality on the ground is          communities that found it difficult     partners on the feasibility of the
what occupies the attention of             to get mobilised. What did work         initiative. Then came setting up the
Santanu Dutta, the man in charge           was drip irrigation and getting         SHGs, the primary institutions in

                                                                    A village organisation meeting underway in Dhadgaon
                                                                    village in Nandurbar district of Maharashtra
16       cover story

     These tribal women in Deoghar
     district of Jharkhand are part of a
     project that nurtures nurseries
     providing seedlings to the community

             Lakhpati Kisan. We were a bit late       to the `120,000 mark and beyond.         norm, these villagers are putting in
             on this but we have caught up. We        The second phase, which has been         20-30% of the money required.
             got the community to take charge.        initiated in select clusters, will see        “I don’t know what plans God
             Once that happens you can trigger        greater stress being put on quality      has for me but I believe things will
             aspirations and it becomes easier.”      of life indices. In the thinking of      get better,” says Mr Makwana, who,
                  Change agents from within the       the Tata Trusts, what lies after that    unlike scores of farmers across
             community are important cogs in          is a surety.                             India, does not think agriculture
             the programme and Mr Vaghani                                                      will be anathema to those following
             and his team have come to depend         Sustainability equation                  in his stead. “I have a grandson
             heavily on them. “We selected the        “Our involvement will be reduced         now and, with the progress we have
             progressive ones and started with        substantially and the community          achieved, he will do four times as
             them. They were open to new ways         will take the lead,” says Mr Neelam.     well as me.”
             of doing things and we showed            “What we are also saying is we                The upbeat nature of
             them how. Other farmers saw the          have a fine opportunity here to          Mr Makwana and his mates is not
             result, believed in it and the village   scale-up the initiative, through         an aberration. After all, it is difficult
             as a whole adopted the approach.”        the institutions that have been          for those who can afford to take the
                  Mr Vaghani emphasises the           put in place and by getting the          necessities of everyday life for
             need to give the community more          government convinced that this           granted to understand the difference
             space and responsibility. “They may      concept can be taken far and wide.”      a swell in money earned makes to
             fail but they will learn from it.             The Tata Trusts have                those surviving on the margins. Not
             Having said that, I must add that        committed significant resources to       so for Shardaben Makwana, once a
             I’ve never seen the community            the Lakhpati Kisan programme,            sharecropper with an income of
             contributing as much in any              spread over its five-year duration.      `40,000 a year, now a rejuvenated
             programme. I’m very optimistic           About as much will come in from          farmer who made `150,000 in 2017.
             that we will achieve our results.”       other donors and government              Asked what the future holds for her,
                  Lakhpati Kisan is still in the      agencies. More heartening still is       she says, “Next, I’m headed for the
             first stage of implementation,           the monetary contribution the            moon.” n
             which is about enhancing                 villagers are making to their own
             livelihoods and getting households       uplift. Where 10% or less is the         By Philip Chacko
July 2018      TaTa TrusTs Horizons        17

‘there was so much to discover’
Sumitraben Patel, a self-assured 60-year-old from
the Bhil tribal community, is an example of how
Lakhpati Kisan is enabling farmers of modest means
to fashion a better life for themselves. A resident of
Dhabada village in Gujarat’s Dahod district,
Ms Patel has hauled herself and her family up from
a hardscrabble existence to find a fair measure of
security, a voice in her community and her place in the
world. This is her story:

        raditional, low-scale farming was what we
        were doing and we grew maize, wheat and
        pulses. The work was tough and the money
we made barely enough to get by. There were plenty
of days when we struggled to put decent food on the
table; dal-roti was the staple. Then came the lakhpati
Kisan project and it transformed everything.
    The programme opened our eyes. The training
and learning, the exposure to better farming
practices, the coming together of our women through
self-help groups [sHGs], the growing of cash crops,       is the kind who does not like taking advice from
the concept of year-round cultivation, the aggregated     outsiders; i wanted to listen to everybody and learn
marketing and selling of produce — all of these           from them. i mobilised other women from my village
were part of the programme. There was so much to          to form one of the earliest sHGs in the project.
discover and understand.                                      i used to work for daily wages before joining
    We had an irrigation scheme in our village but        the programme. no matter how sincere my labour,
the lakhpati initiative was the real accelerator. i was   there would always be complaints. i was convinced
making `50,000-60,000 a year before the programme         that if i put in the same effort on my land, and with
was introduced in 2015. now, three years later, my        the knowledge i had gained, at least there would be
family’s income has risen to `300,000 a year. We grow     nobody complaining. This is my field, my produce, my
vegetables, we produce honey and we have a small          earnings, my business. That makes me feel good.
business providing decorations, catering and music            i can’t read and write and that’s a disadvantage,
bands for weddings. none of this would have been          but my position in the family is strong. The final word
possible without the programme.                           is mine. That definitely is due to what i have achieved.
    The money coming in has been a huge help              Thanks to the exposure i got, i learned about the
for my family. We have been able to refurbish our         world and how it functioned, about leadership and
house, invest in digging borewells and also fund the      organising people. There was a time when i wasn’t
education of my grandson, who’s studying to be a          comfortable sitting on a chair. That’s long gone.
homeopathic doctor. as for me, i’ve gained so much            i’m certain we can sustain this success even
confidence from the project. My grandkids may well        after the project winds up here. We have moved
find employment elsewhere, but there is no question       from growing crops to marketing them. We have
of me giving up on agriculture. Besides the money, we     become entrepreneurs. We have created vibrant
get to eat fresh and wholesome food. no pesticides.       village communities that can speak — and do good
    i was the one who took the lead. My husband           — for themselves. n
18   centre stage
     center stage

                    A mother and child at the Penumaka
                    anganwadi centre in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
July 2018     tata trusts Horizons        19

Food first
ensuring that India’s underprivileged children eat healthy — this is
the objective driving the tata trusts’ nutrition initiative, a multi-
pronged effort that covers millions of needy women and their kids

         arika, six months                   The Trusts have set their own     to impact underprivileged and
         pregnant, comes every day      targets — to reduce the prevalence     marginalised communities, and to
         to the Penumaka                of stunting in children less than 5    go beyond urban areas and work in
anganwadi centre in Guntur in           years of age by 30%, and to reduce     the interiors,” says Dr Rajan
Andhra Pradesh for a hot meal of        the prevalence of anemia (iron         Sankar, director of the Trusts’
dal, rice, egg and milk. The meal       deficiency) by 40%. To do this, it     nutrition initiative.
will increase her nutritional levels    intends to reach out to improve
so that the child she bears will        nutrition levels for 6 million         Multi-sector approach
grow up healthy, not stunted.           children and 750,000 pregnant and      To achieve this laudable goal, the
      Undernutrition continues to be    lactating women.                       Tata Trusts are working at several
a major challenge in India, with             “We believe that improving        levels. One of their programmes
40% of children below five years of     nutrition standards will help          has adopted a multi-sectoral
age stunted (short for their age) and   improve India’s physical and           approach to nutrition.
20% of them wasted (low weight).        mental health parameters. We aim            They are partnering the
      High rates of undernutrition                                             government to strengthen existing
combined with its huge population                                              platforms; collaborating with
base makes India the country with                                              agencies to develop staple foods
the largest number of malnourished                                             fortified with iron, vitamins, folic
in the world. It is shocking                                                   acid, etc; working at the grassroots
numbers like these that the Tata                                               level with beneficiaries; and
Trusts are aiming to reduce through                                            supporting advocacy partners to
its ‘India nutrition initiative’.                                              generate data that will give a true
      The Tata Trusts began                                                    picture of what India’s
partnering the National Nutrition                                              undernourished children need to
Mission, under the Ministry of                                                 turn the corner. The Trusts also
                                        “We believe that
Women and Child Development                                                    work with civil society
                                        improving nutrition
from January 2018. The mission                                                 organisations, including
has set a three-year beneficiary
                                        standards will help                    international NGOs and other
target of 100 million children and      improve India’s physical               development partners.
pregnant and lactating women.           and mental health                           The most intensive engagement
      Kicked off in 2017, the mission   parameters.”                           is the partnership with the
has been launched in 315 districts      — Dr Rajan Sankar, director,           government. India runs a massive
(roughly half of India).                nutrition initiative, Tata Trusts      maternal and child health
20   centre stage

       programme called Integrated Child
       Development Services (ICDS). This
       programme covers a vast network
       of over 1.4 million anganwadi
       centres, which act as support
       centres for mothers and children
       upto the age of six.
           The centres reach out to 84
       million children and 19 million
       pregnant and lactating mothers,
       and are monitored by each state
       government’s department of
       woman and child services (or its
           “ICDS reaches millions of
       beneficiaries, and working with this
       system should enable us to make a
       bigger impact,” says Dr Sankar. The
       Tata Trusts have already signed a
       memoranda of understanding with
       three state governments —
       Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and
       Rajasthan — to strengthen the
       existing ICDS network.                    amongst anganwadi workers               prerak programme is expected to
           In Maharashtra’s Palghar              through training programmes that        cover 550 districts.
       district, the Trusts will transform       will help them bring about                   Malnutrition can be fought by
       200 anganwadis into model centres         behavioural changes in the              ensuring that the food consumed
       to make them more colourful,              community. Technology is being          by children and pregnant mothers
       appealing and child-friendly. In          brought into play — the Trusts are      has adequate vitamins and
       Andhra Pradesh, the Tata Trusts           helping anganwadi workers to use        minerals. In 2016, the Tata Trusts
       have stepped in to partner the state      mobile devices that will capture real   and the Food Safety and Standards
       government in implementing its            -time data.                             Authority of India (FSSAI)
       nutrition mission across three                                                    partnered to set up the Food
       districts (see linked article). In        Mission possible                        Fortification Resource Centre
       Rajasthan, the Tata Trusts have           To support the National Nutrition       (FFRC). Advocacy and capacity
       adopted a multi-dimensional               Mission, a new initiative called        building is the route that FFRC
       approach and are working with the         Swasth Bharat Prerak Programme          takes to promote the use of
       ministries of health, water and           was kicked off a few months             fortified foods.
       sanitation, food and agriculture,         ago. Preraks are interns who will            The five foods being fortified
       rural development and women’s             be trained to work with district        in India are milk, salt, oil, wheat
       welfare to ensure that the ICDS           collectors’ offices to monitor          and rice (see linked story). Placing
       system gets the necessary                 and drive the nutrition mission.        these fortified staple foods into
       infrastructural support.                  At present 112 preraks have             India’s ICDS, school midday meals
           In all three states, the Trusts are   been trained and placed in their        and the public distribution system
       working to build better capabilities      respective districts; over time, the    will help expand the availability of
July 2018        tata trusts Horizons       21

                                       Centralised kitchens, the result of a partnership between the Tata Trusts,
                                       different state governments and the Bengaluru-based NGO Akshaya
                                       Patra, provide nutritious food to students in schools across India

key nutrients. The Trusts’ target is   snacks, to 20,000 children.                 to find ways to introduce healthy
to provide fortified food to 350            Advocacy based on data and             foods in the market. The Trusts
million people within three years,     statistics plays a big role in              have partnered with food giant
says Dr Sankar.                        increasing awareness about India’s          Mars to create nutritious food
                                       multiple nutrition problems, and            products that are both healthy and
Sure-fire way                          in getting well-wishers on board.           appealing to children. By
One sure-fire way of ensuring          The Tata Trusts have partnered              manufacturing and distributing
that children get their daily dose     with the National Institute of              such products at scale, the Trusts
of nutritious food is to work          Nutrition (NIN) to set up a                 hope to create a pull, especially in
directly with the school mid-day       Tata-NIN Centre for Excellence in           rural markets. A high protein snack
meal scheme. The Trusts support        Nutrition in Hyderabad. The                 is ready for launch.
organisations such as Akshaya Patra    centre provides data-driven                      By adopting this multi-faceted
which supply food to millions of       insights and advice to state and            approach to nutritional security
children under this scheme.            central governments.                        and working with stakeholders
    Two years ago, the Trusts set           Another institution active in          across India’s food and health
up two centralised kitchens in         nutrition is the MS Swaminathan             ecosystem, the Tata Trusts are
Maharashtra’s Palghar and Nashik       Research Foundation (MSSRF) in              working towards achieving large-
districts to supply food to            Chennai, which supports new                 scale sustainable impact on India’s
children in tribal schools.            farming systems as a path to tackle         most vulnerable population —
Managed by the Trusts, the             household food and nutrition                children, who are India’s future. n
kitchens provide hygienic and          security in rural India.
nutritious meals thrice a day, and          Yet another identified need is         By Gayatri Kamath
22   centre stage

        The way to nurture
        healthier children
        the tata trusts’ nutrition strategy
         Promoting           strengthening      advocacy with
         healthy food        platforms          stakeholders

              Promoting foods fortified with iron and vitamins

              Fortified                                                   Fortified
                oil                                                         rice
     250 million + beneficiaries                                 0.1 million + beneficiaries

                          Fortified                             Double fortified
                           milk                                      salt
               75 million + beneficiaries                50 million + beneficiaries

                          strengthening anganwadi centres

                                      Maharashtra    8,556            Andhra Pradesh
                                      3,183                           11,900
July 2018    TaTa
                                                                           a TrusTs
                                                                             TrusTs Horizons    23

        Integrated approach to improve nutrition

                Strengthening           Training anganwadi          Introducing
              anganwadi centres               workers              fortified foods

              In 3 years, the tata trusts hope to
                Reduce stunting by 30% in children under 5 years
                      Reduce anaemia prevalence by 40%

Managing kitchens that
 feed tribal children                                          Improving farming
Feeding 20,000 kids every day at                                   systems
Palghar and Nashik, Maharashtra                            Partnering the MS Swaminathan
                                                                Research Foundation

        generating data                                             Working at the
          on nutrition                                               district level
    Established the tata-NiN centre                              Training 300+ participants
        for Excellence in Nutrition                             to work as National Nutrition
                                                                        Mission fellows

                      Partnering the Ministry of Women
                           and child Development
                     The partnership plan is to reach 100 million children
                             and pregnant and lactating women
24   centre stage

                    A daily dose of
                    the tata trusts have been working with the andhra
                    Pradesh government to ensure that young mothers and
                    children get their daily recommended nutritional inputs

                        t’s a hot May morning at the                    “The services are the same but the new
                        Penumaka anganwadi centre in Guntur,       look makes a lot of difference. Children are
                        Andhra Pradesh, where over a dozen         willing to come, and mothers are motivated
                    children play happily on the colourful         to send them too,” says anganwadi
                    swings and slides in the garden. Play time     supervisor Y Sreelatha, who oversees around
                    is soon followed by study time — the           20 centres in the area.
                    children come indoors to learn numbers,             Refurbishing anganwadi centres is just
                    alphabets and simple rhymes.                   one of the roles undertaken by the Trusts
                         This anganwadi centre is special —        in their engagement with the state
                    unlike the typical dull-looking ones           government of Andhra Pradesh. The
                    elsewhere, the Penumaka unit has been          organisation, which has worked in the
                    completely refurbished by the Tata Trusts,     region since March 2017, has adopted an
                    with colourful walls, new furniture, special   integrated approach to improve nutritional
                    tables for the children and play equipment.    levels of children and mothers in three
                    The centre now acts like a child magnet        districts in the state (Nellore, Krishna and
                    after the makeover, helping it to better       Guntur), where over 400,000 children are
                    perform its primary role as a place where      attached to 11,900+ anganwadi centres.
                    children and young mothers receive
                    counselling and support for the first few      Good food is the focus
                    years of a child’s life.                       “Our focus is nutrition, not making the
                                                                   centres look nice,” says Sandesh Kotte,
                                                                   programme officer, Tata Trusts. “But when
       “Our focus is nutrition, not making the                     we did one, it received such a positive
       centres look nice. But when we did one,                     response from the government and the
       it received such a positive response                        children that we are doing this for more
                                                                   centres. We have completed the makeover of
       from the government and the children                        three anganwadis and there will be more.”
       that we are being asked to do this for                          Nutrition, a key component of the
       more centres.”                                              Integrated Child Development Services
                                                                   (ICDS) platform, is also the primary focus
July 2018      TaTa TrusTs Horizons   25

                  Mothers and their children at a
                  centre in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh

of the anganwadi centres. The Andhra            inputs they desperately need. One important
Pradesh government has reinforced this by       route has been convincing the government
launching the State Nutrition Mission to        to introduce fortified foods into two
ensure that young children and mothers get      delivery platforms that touch large number
the nutrients they need to stay healthy.        of children and mothers — the ICDS
     At the Penumaka anganwadi centre, the      network of anganwadi centres and the
children get a full meal of rice, dal, an egg   midday meals served in schools.
and milk. A few young mothers sit to feed            With the Trusts’ advocacy, the Women
their toddlers with a nutritional food called   Development and Child Welfare
Balamruthum — a thick gruel made from           Department in Andhra Pradesh has now
wheat flour, milk powder, groundnut and         introduced two fortified foods — double
sugar with added vitamins and minerals.         fortified salt (with iodine and iron) and
     There’s a pregnant mother who has          fortified milk (enhanced with vitamin A
come in for her daily nutritional input,        and D) — for its anganwadi centres.
and she gets a hot meal as well. Jacinta, the        The Trusts are now working with the
anganwadi worker for the Penumaka centre,       state government to set up a factory to
says she looks after 20 children every day.     manufacture fortified food, known in the
She also has a dozen pregnant and lactating     ICDS system as ‘take home ration’ (THR),
mothers on her books, and goes on home          for mothers of young children. THR is
visits regularly.                               based on a formula that combines multi-
     The Trusts’ core objective is to ensure    grain flours such as wheat, corn, or soybean,
that children and mothers get the nutritional   fortified with micronutrients.
26   centre stage

                        The Andhra Pradesh government has
                    branded this as Balamruthum, and has
                    been sourcing it from the neighbouring
                    state of Telangana. The Tata Trusts are
                    providing technical support to build a
                    new 100,000 tonne plant that will supply
                    Balamruthum to Andhra’s 54,000
                    anganwadi centres.
                         The Trusts are also working with rice
                    mills in Odisha and Karnataka to produce
                    fortified rice kernels. These kernels,
                    fortified with iron, folic acid and vitamin
                    B, and mixed with regular rice in a
                    specified proportion, will soon be
                    introduced in the Andhra Pradesh ICDS
                    system and the school midday meal scheme
                    in the three districts.

                    Communicating health
                    At the Penumaka centre, another anganwadi
                    worker, Sarla Kumari, counsels mothers on
                    the importance of a proper diet for their
                    toddlers. “It will make them strong and help
                                                                    Nutritional inputs at the right age are critical
                    them walk early,” she says. An anganwadi        for child growth and immunity
                    worker for 15 years now, Sarla recently
                    attended a training module on preventing
                    anemia in pregnant mothers through an          more colourful communication material for
                    iron-rich diet.                                the modules, which come with illustrations.
                         This is yet another component of the      These deal with several topics related to
                    Trusts’ engagement, ensuring that the          child health that anganwadi workers in
                    communication around nutrition is strong       rural areas regularly find themselves dealing
                    and meaningful. For this, it has started a     with — handling sick newborn babies,
                    series of training programmes to strengthen    counselling new mothers on breast feeding,
                    the knowledge and capabilities of              steps to be taken for home visits, diet
                    anganwadi workers and supervisors.             counselling for pregnant mothers, and so
                         Anusha Krishnapuram is a new              on. In Andhra Pradesh, the Tata Trusts
                    member of the 23-member Tata Trusts            plan to train over 11,000 workers through
                    team based in Vijayawada. She serves as the    the ILA method.
                    district manager for Guntur and is in charge        “It’s all about the first 1,000 days of a
                    of monitoring capability strengthening. “We    child’s life, counting from conception
                    use the incremental learning approach          onward to pre-school. We also do
                    (ILA) — there are 21 modules, and we take      community-based events that promote
                    up one module a month over three days, to      health and nutrition,” says Farida Sultana,
                    make sure that the trainees fully grasp all    who handles the anganwadi refurbishment
                    the points,” says Ms Krishnapuram.             initiative for the Trusts.
                         The Trusts have helped create new,             Apart from pregnant and young
July 2018           TaTa TrusTs Horizons    27

                                                                           The Tata Trusts are transforming anganwadi
                                                                                   centres to make them child-friendly

mothers, the Trusts work with one more         programme a more significant boost,
important segment — adolescent girls. They     though, is the launch of the Swasth Bharat
partner the state Kishori Vikasam Scheme       Prerak Programme, a joint initiative of the
which offers adolescent girls counseling on    Tata Trusts and the Union Ministry of
matters related to health and nutrition.       Women and Child Development.
                                                    Under this programme, around 500
Delivering impact                              young men and women trained by the
Measurement and monitoring are key             Trusts will be stationed in various districts
when it comes to health, and technology        across India, where they will support the
plays a big role in the Trusts’ nutritional    district collector’s office in driving the
engagement in Andhra Pradesh. To make          government’s health and nutrition
the ICDS system more robust and effective,     programme. More than 110 such preraks
the Trusts have been piloting a biometric      have been trained as of now, and one each
authentication system in the state’s           assigned to Andhra Pradesh’s 13 districts.
Prakasam district.                                  The Trusts’ work with nutrition in
     “Anganwadi workers in Prakasam have       Andhra Pradesh is one of their most
all been given mobile phones by the            intensive engagements in the country. This
government. By linking the biometric           multipronged drive against malnutrition
devices to their mobiles, we will be able to   combines a highly interactive on-ground
get accurate beneficiary data and also         approach with focused interventions in the
eliminate false beneficiaries from the         areas of support, supply, services and
system,” Mr Kotte explains.                    communication.
     The Trusts are also in discussions with        The expectation is that all this will lead
the State Ministry of Panchayati Raj to        to a sustainable impact on the health and
source and distribute health data cards,       nutrition of young children at the most
called mother-child protection cards, to all   tender stage of their lives. n
mothers enrolled in the ICDS scheme.
     What could give the nutrition             By Gayatri Kamath
28   centre stage

       Staple solutions
       Food fortification is                  idespread nutritional     oil, and minerals and vitamins — such
                                              deficiencies are a        as iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, iodine
       the main course in a                   problem across the        and zinc — to staple foods such as
                                world. In India, micronutrient          rice, wheat flour and salt.
       programme that is        deficiencies are a serious concern,          Fortification will help address
       strengthening            posing as they do serious health        the issue of micronutrient
                                risks especially for people             deficiencies in India’s population.
       nutritional safety and   considered vulnerable, including        The Tata Trusts have been a leading
       ensuring the security    women of reproductive age and           support organisation in India’s
                                children who are often                  most recent food fortification drive,
       of what we eat           underweight and anaemic.                and have been promoting it and
                                     Food fortification has proved to   working for its extensive adoption
                                be a simple and cost-effective          by the government and industry. To
                                approach that can be rolled out         make it a reality, the Tata Trusts
                                widely to ensure that millions of       have partnered with food safety
                                people get the vital building blocks    regulator Food Safety and Standards
                                for good health, immunity and           Authority of India (FSSAI) to set up
                                overall wellbeing. The process of       a Food Fortification Resource
                                fortification involves adding           Centre (FFRC).
                                vitamins A and D to milk and edible          Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO,

       ThE bEnEfITS of fooD forTIfIcATIon

       Edible oil +             Salt + Iodine + Iron                    rice + Minerals +
       Vit A & D                • Tackles anaemia and                   Vit a & B
       • Builds immunity and      iodine deficiency                     • Tackles anaemia
         bone health            • Can be used in all                      and boosts immunity
       • Easy to add              meals and sold in                     • used in anganwadi
                                  open market                             and school midday meals
       • Potential reach:
         98% of india’s         • Potential reach:                      • Potential reach:
         population               150 million                             84 million children
July 2018        TaTa TrusTs Horizons          29

FSSAI, says the role of FFRC goes
beyond enforcing standards. “We
took it upon ourselves to promote
fortification since we have the
outreach to industry,” he says. The
organisation has been active in
trying to build consensus and
confidence among policymakers,
the government and scientists.

United effort
The Trusts fund FFRC, while
development partners such as WFP
(World Food Programme), PATH
and GAIN (Global Alliance for
Improved Nutrition) and others
lend on-ground support.
    FFRC’s role ranges from policy      Fortifying milk with vitamins A and D is an easy and low-cost option
advocacy with the government to
developing the needed skills for            “Together, we have developed a         fortification is currently voluntary,
fortification, capacity-building, and   standard protocol for vitamin A            a network of around 3,000 food
training for industry, food safety      and D testing in milk,” says Vivek         safety officers are stationed across
officers and lab assistants, along      Arora, senior advisor, Tata Trusts,        the country and available to help
with creating awareness around the      and the lead resource for                  ensure adherence to standards.
need for fortification.                 fortification efforts in India. While           Fortification is a good strategy
                                                                                   to address nutritional deficiencies
                                                                                   on a large scale as it does not
                                                                                   interfere with the existing food
                                                                                   habits or purchasing power of
                                                                                   people. “It does not aim to change
                                                                                   food habits or promote
                                                                                   supplementation; so no extra effort
                                                                                   is required. It is also the easiest and
                                                                                   most cost-effective way of reaching
                                                                                   the nutrients to a large
                                                                                   population,” sayas Mr Agarwal.
                                                                                        Five staples — rice, wheat flour,
Milk + Vit a & D                         Wheat + Minerals                          edible oil, salt and milk — have
• Builds immunity and                    + Vit a & B                               been identified for this programme
  bone health                           • Tackles anaemia and                      as they are the base ingredients for
• low cost                                boosts immunity                          cooking and consumption among
                                                                                   people at all socio-economic levels.
• Potential: Can reach                  • used in anganwadi
                                          centres and school                            “These staples are vehicles for
  most of india’s urban                                                            fortification to reach the
  population                              midday meals
                                                                                   population and our focus is on
                                        • Potential: Can reach
                                                                                   fortifying them with
                                          84 million children
30   centre stage

       micronutrients,” says Mr Agarwal.           rice blended with vitamin and               state cooperative dairies.
            Edible oil reaches 98% of the          mineral pre-mix.                                 In the initial year of
       households, and is therefore a good              Fortification of wheat flour           engagement, the Trusts handhold
       vehicle to carry fat soluble vitamins       poses an even bigger challenge. The         the fortification process, from
       like A and D. Together with GAIN            simplest is milk, where fortification       conducting trials and sample
       and FFRC, the Tata Trusts have been         is done by blending a specified             testing in National Accreditation
       able to fortify 47% of the leading          dosage of concentrated liquid               Board for Testing and Calibration
       brands of edible oil in the market.         emulsion or premix to the milk,             Laboratories (NABL) accredited
            Today fortified oil reaches            ensuring that the level of added            laboratories as per FSSAI
       approximately 250 million people            vitamins is within the                      standards, to arranging the
       in India, and has the potential to          recommended dietary allowance               fortificant premix and helping
       positively impact the health of a           limits as per the food regulatory           with consumer awareness and
       much larger proportion of the               guidelines.                                 communication campaigns.
       population.“We got most traction                                                             The first to adopt was Mother
       with edible oils,” Mr Agarwal adds.         Making milk better                          Dairy, followed by the Jharkhand
            Efforts are now on to get              At 164 million tonnes, India is the         Dairy Federation with its Medha
       micro, small- and medium-sized              largest producer of milk worldwide.         brand, in May 2017. So far, 13 state
       producers across 10 Indian states to        Studies have suggested that over            milk cooperative federations have
       adopt oil fortification. FSSAI is           70% of India’s population is                taken up milk fortification,
       also considering making                     deficient in vitamin D. Further,            including Haryana, Punjab, Uttar
       fortification of packaged refined oil       over a quarter of the world’s total         Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya
       mandatory in some time.                     vitamin A deficient pre-school              Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha,
            Double fortification of salt is        children live in India, and around a        Gujarat and Karnataka.
       already being done widely. In the           third of them show clinical signs of             These cooperatives together
       case of rice fortification, the             vitamin A deficiency.                       fortify 7.2 million litres a day out of
       process is far more complex.                    Among the staples, the efforts          a combined fortifiable milk capacity
       Fortified rice kernels have to be           for milk fortification is being             of 22 million litres per day. With
       blended in a 1:100 ratio with               driven mainly by the Tata Trusts,           fortification of another 8 million
       normal rice. The kernels, which are         for which they have partnered with          litres per day planned over the next
       similar to rice grains in appearance,       the National Dairy Development              few months, about 70% of
       are reconstituted from powdered             Board (NDDB) to reach out to                cooperative milk would be fortified.

       Mother Dairy in Delhi was one of the earliest adopters in the milk fortification programme
July 2018      TaTa TrusTs Horizons    31

     In the second phase, the Trusts
plan to target private dairy
producers where the fortifiable
milk potential is around 19 million
litres per day. “We are confident
that our work with the state dairy
cooperatives will create peer
pressure on private players to
follow suit,” says Mr Arora.
     School milk fortification          starting early
through the ‘Gift Milk’ scheme is
another important initiative in this    Mother Dairy was the earliest adopter of milk fortification
direction. Under this, the state        when, in 1984, it began fortifying its coin-operated, bulk-
governments of Haryana,                 vended milk with vitamin a for sale in new Delhi. it wasn’t
Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and           surprising then that in november 2016, soon after the
Chhattisgarh have been ensuring         programme was launched, Mother Dairy was the first off the
that the flavoured milk being           block to double-fortify its bulk-vended milk with vitamins a
supplied through the ICDS and           and D. This milk is available across its 795 booths and 1,700
midday meal platforms is fortified      vending units in the Delhi region. Fortification of packaged
with vitamins A & D.                    milk began in January 2017 with the low fat variants.
                                             “Vitamin a and D deficiencies in india are a matter of
Low cost, high gain                     concern as they result in issues related to impaired vision,
The cost of milk fortification is low   osteoporosis and other health problems. such deficiencies
— less than 3 paise per litre — and     are also linked to today’s lifestyle, with very limited exposure
there is no change in flavour or        to the sun. it is therefore imperative to fortify milk,” says
taste. The bigger challenge, though,    srinivasan T, chief quality officer, Mother Dairy.
is in building consumer awareness            Despite its own stringent quality and testing processes,
about the benefits and availability     the challenge with fortified milk was in ensuring that the tests
of such milk. Hence marketing and       were accurate since the fortifying ingredients need to strictly
communication are key areas.            abide by recommended dietary allowance standards. “Quality
     Work is underway to develop        control is a critical part of fortification,” says Kajal Debnath,
generic communication around the        DGM, scientific, regulatory and nutrition affairs at Mother Dairy.
benefits of fortification to support         For this, its Central analytical lab team was trained for
the brand-specific advertising being    vitamin D analysis at the renowned CalF (Centre for analysis
developed by dairy cooperatives.        and learning in livestock and Food) lab at the national Dairy
FFRC and the Trusts have also           Development Board headquarters in anand in Gujarat. since,
started using social media to spread    2017 Mother Dairy has acquired the additional equipment
their message on fortification.         for vitamin a & D testing and analysis in-house. “The skills
     The larger and large-scale         required to analyse the results consistently are tricky, but we
benefits of food fortification will     have mastered them,” Mr Debnath adds.
take some time to realise. But the           Today, Mother Dairy produces 15,000 tonnes of fortified
efforts of the Tata Trusts in           oil annually under the Dhara brand and 3 million litres of
ensuring better health for India’s      fortified milk per day across its manufacturing locations in
citizens are already bearing fruit. n   Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, nagpur and Kolkata, making it
                                        the leading cooperative dairy in india in food fortification. n
By Vikas Kumar
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