Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust won the award in the category of ‘Most Committed NGO’ at the 9th. Edition Corporate Social Responsibility Summit and Awards 2023 organized by UBS Forums at Bengaluru on 6th December 2023.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has undergone significant developments, with companies
expanding their CSR activities and the government introducing new regulations and guidelines topromote CSR. Focusing on sustainable development, social entrepreneurship, impact assessment,and COVID-19 relief measures, CSR has not only become an essential aspect of the business
landscape but also benefits society and improves the company’s reputation and brand image. This summit brought together senior corporate decision makers, CSR professionals, implementing agencies, NGOs, and policy makers to share insights and best practices deployed on what more can be done.
Among several featured speakers, our very own Mr. Sai Prasad Ivaturi – Trustee and CFO of Sri
Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust spoke about the Morning Nutrition Program undertaken by the
Annapoorna Trust, which feeds needy school-going children across 23 States and 4 Union Territories.
Mr. Sai Prasad Ivaturi addressed the gathering by broaching topics of specific cases on Nutrition, Food Security, and Hidden Hunger management. He spoke about how the team of Annapoorna visited a school almost 10 years ago where they noticed children fainting and falling during the morning assembly and on probing further, they found that the children were coming to school on empty stomachs. Their parents were simply not feeding them as they did not have time. He mentioned that when Annapoorna Trust started providing Morning Nutrition in that school, it was welcomed with much enthusiasm. In no time, the other schools in the area too requested the same.
“It all started with 1 school of 50 children and today we are reaching out with free morning nutrition to over 30,00,000 government school children in 23 States and 4 Union Territories,” he said. He further elaborated on the several positive effects of this intervention like how the children who used to be late to school earlier were now coming early, eager to taste the delicious health drink. Further, he mentioned their focus on studies, academic performances, and health parameters; enrolments have largely improved. “Morning nutrition has, in a way, revolutionized a lot of things. The teachers were earlier demotivated and thinking about how to teach the empty stomachs. Ever since morning nutrition started, children very enthusiastically came early and said, ‘Teacher, we are already here.’ The rate of dropouts has reduced as well,” he said.
Mr. Sai Prasad Ivaturi informed about the new talks which are on with the Government of Karnataka, where Annapoorna Trust is already feeding about 5,00,000 children, and will scale up to provide to all the 55,00,000 children across the state in government schools and mentioned that this is the biggest project undertaken by the Trust in the last 10 years. He said, “With that, our number will increase to 80,00,000 children. This will get us to be the largest Morning Nutrition intervention in India and in the world.”
He explained that the SaiSure Multi Nutrient Health mix, formulations being very well researched and perfected over the last 5 years, is delicious and given to children by mixing it with milk as a healthy nutrition drink, well received by the children. He also mentioned about the fortified Ragi Health mix, a tasty and familiar food of this region with all the vital nutrients – vitamins and minerals which are provided to children in Telangana and Karnataka.
He stated the fact that a lot of people are not suffering from hunger per se in India but suffering from malnutrition. “Children say they had chai or tea for breakfast. Chai is not a breakfast. By having chai, their hunger is essentially taken care of but not nutrition,” he said and further stated this is where Annapoorna Trust’s Morning Nutrition is the silver bullet for the problem of malnutrition.
He mentioned the MoU with Karnataka facilitates providing morning nutrition to the children along with milk being given by the government through the Ksheera Bhagya scheme; “The children earlier did not like the taste of plain milk, but the fortification is making a difference. They are enjoying the taste,” he said. He informed where milk is not provided in other states, Annapoorna Trust provides milk powder along with the health mix.
Presenting several slides at the gathering, he said, the Govt. of Karnataka, in its brochure, sees Annapoorna Morning Nutrition Program as an intervention for anaemia in pregnant women and for malnutrition in children. He also mentioned that the Trust has received validation from various bodies of the govt. including a high-level executive committee headed by Dr. Devi Shetty, which has given unequivocal thumbs up to the high nutrient value of SaiSure and certifications by various healthcare bodies like Cloud Nine, Indian Academy of Paediatrics, Scientific Committee for Nutrition (SCN), and so on. He also emphasized how the Social Audit report (SAN Audit) speaks about Annapoorna, which implies that for approximately every 1 Rupee invested, 1.89 Rupees of social value is created each year in terms of ensuring that no child goes to school hungry; improved academic performance and attendance, better health for the children and the community at large.
Speaking about the impact assessment, he elaborated on various parameters on which measurements are taken before and after, and results such as baseline improvements in weights, haemoglobin, and improvement in attendance were seen. “These are some of the areas in which we are delivering to citizens of the next generation,” he said. He further added that Annapoorna caters to 4 SDGs and has various MoU’s in place with most of the governments, permission letters from specific areas of different states and UT, 150 corporate partners, and organizations with regular funding, recognitions, and awards along the way including UNSDG award & rated by Goodera’s as top 16 Best Nonprofits For Empowering the World Through Education.
He emphasized that the morning nutrition intervention is very scalable from the individual to the corporate level and mentioned it costs Rs.2 without milk and Rs. 6 with milk, and hence scalable and sustainable. He highlighted the visit of our honourable President, Smt. Draupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Sri. Narendra Modi, early this year to Sathya Sai Grama and their immense support for our organization and its activities in the three verticals of nutrition, education, and healthcare, which has become an Indian and International Program.
He further mentioned the Trust has well-educated professionals from HP, Oracle, Times of India, Tesco, and so on who have exited from corporate life to pursue this higher thought of serving the needy and find a lot of fulfillment in their work. He concluded his talk by saying, the Trust will continue to work until no child goes to school hungry, ever!