ITC announces 2nd phase of 'Balposhan' project to combat malnutrition in children in Gujarat

Diversified conglomerate ITC Limited today announced the second phase of its CSR project "Balposhal" in order to address child malnutrition in India with a special focus on children below five years.

This project will be implemented in 85 villages of Valsad district of Gujarat in collaboration with NUTRIHUB, ICAR-Indian Institute of Millets Research, and MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child, the company said in a statement.

The cornerstone of this effort is the Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) model, a proven approach that empowers community volunteers to identify and treat malnourished children before their conditions worsen, it said.

By integrating treatment with comprehensive long-term interventions, Balposhan aims to not only alleviate acute malnutrition but also improve overall public health and food security sustainably. The comprehensive strategy encompasses community mobilisation, nutritional rehabilitation, structured maternal education and innovative tools like ‘Balvikas kits’ for early childhood development.

The NutriHub team has developed nutrient-dense, millet-based supplementary foods such as Millet Nutri Bar, Millet Khakra Cookies and Millet Khichdi Mix tailored to the specific needs of malnourished children as part of the food-based nutritional intervention. These innovative products will play a crucial role in the holistic approach adopted by Balposhan.

 "We are indeed delighted to launch Phase 2 of Balposhan, our CSR initiative dedicated to combatting child malnutrition. As we celebrate International Year of Millets 2023, we are committed to drive impactful change in the nutritional landscape of the nation in collaboration with NUTRIHUB, ICAR-IIMR and MAMTA," said Hemant Malik, Divisional Chief Executive - Foods, ITC Ltd.

In the first phase of Balposhan project, ITC engaged with 1,000 beneficiaries including children under five years, their mothers, as well as pregnant women in Valsad district, Gujarat. The initiative helped raise awareness about the negative impact of malnutrition's on children under five years of age, particularly within the crucial first 1,000 days of their lives.

 This initiative is a part of ITC's Mission Millet campaign aimed at contributing to various on-going government initiatives of reducing the risks of nutritional deficiencies and also by encouraging the cultivation and consumption of millets, in India.
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