Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust

Annapoorna SaiSure – addressing malnutrition in school-going children in India

Lead Organization

Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust

Chikkaballapur, State of Karnataka, India

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Project Summary

Research indicates that, in India, health problems due to malnutrition in school-going children are a common key cause of low school enrollment, high absenteeism, early dropout and poor classroom performance. Encouraged by the improvements in health and performance by providing free nutritious breakfast daily to thousands of school students over the past 4 years, we seek to scale our program to provide for free a protein-based health mix every morning to 4.3 million Government school children across Karnataka state and Puducherry Union Territory . To realize and sustain our project, we will leverage our past learning and the latest technologies, environment-friendly practices, a continuous monitoring and evaluation framework, our growing country-wide volunteer base, outreach to the local community and guidance from our academic mentors. Our program expansion will help improve the health and performance of millions of under-privileged malnourished diverse school children and become a platform to connect hitherto neglected communities.

Problem Statement

India is home to 131 million children attending 1.1 million Government schools. About 55% of these children (72 million) are underweight and 25% of these children (33 million) are extremely thin and have stunted growth which hinders their physical and mental development leading to poor health, school performance, and a high risk of disease and reduced earnings in the future.The key cause for child malnutrition is economic inequality. Many children hail from poor and displaced tribal families that have a hand-to-mouth existence and don't get proper nutrition. Despite state Governments introducing schemes such as a midday meal to address this problem, a lot still needs to be done. There is an urgent need for a solution that can address malnutrition in a way that can scale rapidly and in a cost-effective and environment-friendly manner to millions of Government school students spread across widespread geographies and remote locations. Since an empty stomach enables maximum absorption of key nutrients, breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. Children who regularly have breakfast have higher intelligence quotient, better cognitive skills and higher chances of completing school. Further, due to Government initiatives to ensure basic literacy even in the remotest part of the country, Government schools exist in every village and are equipped with a kitchen and staff for providing midday meals. We have realized that this existing infrastructure can be leveraged, and the required nutrients can be delivered via a morning meal that can be served in the school itself.

Solution Overview

Annapoorna wants to address the nutrition gap in 4.3 million Government students in Karnataka state and Puducherry Union Territory over the next 5 years via a FREE morning meal at schools based on a new health mix 'SaiSure' which has the following characteristics:a.Its formulas are developed with highest medical standards and safety as the priority, with scientific inputs from a panel of specialist doctors, nutritionists and experts in public health. It has proteins, vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients essential for the growth and healthy life of children. b.It is manufactured in facilities approved by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), India’s top food safety and standards regulatory body.c.Pilot studies on SaiSure have shown improved health parameters of recipients.d.Instead of being cooked, it can be added to hot milk provided by the Government at schools and immediately served. Thus, it is easy to use and has a low carbon footprint. It is extremely cost-effective and the cost per student per day is 0.02 USD compared to other commercially available health mixes. These factors allow a rapid scale-up and expansion to new regions.e.The packaging of SaiSure is recyclable and environment friendly.Since SaiSure is nutrient-rich morning meal and provided free of cost, we expect improvements in the health and classroom performance of 9 million school children. To measure the impact, we will monitor and evaluate the basic health parameters of students before and periodically after the start of our program.

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