Malnutrition a National Problem, Says Ratan Tata - The New Indian Express

Malnutrition a National Problem, Says Ratan Tata

Published: 30th November 2013 08:51 AM

Last Updated: 30th November 2013 08:51 AM

It is unfortunate that only a small portion of what the government provides reaches the needy sections of the population, chairman emeritus of the Tata group Ratan Tata has said.

He was speaking at the launch of The Indian Impact, an initiative conceived by a group of Wharton Business School alumni to minimise the incidence of malnutrition through an online platform.

Interacting with an audience which comprised mostly schoolchildren from across the city, Tata said that the responsibility of the fortunate was to think about those not so fortunate. He termed malnutrition not just a rural problem but a national problem, and called for creation of awareness to start with to tackle the problem.

He said corporates had the responsibility to give back to the society they belonged to and help fill the gaps of inadequacies in the sector by working hand in hand with the government.

Answering queries from the children, he said, “We often confuse hunger with malnutrition. The government needs to make sure that food is available to all. Fill the deficiencies of nutrition for mothers and children. These should be subsidised,” he said and claimed that the Tata group spent around 4 per cent of its net profits on philanthropy.

On the future of the nation, he said the country today had an enormous responsibility of providing the future generations with food, nutrition, education and jobs. “What fuels my optimism is my belief that India can be a real economic power and has tremendous potential. The next generation is going to build a prosperous and never-seen India,” he said, and remarked, “I regret that I am not 20 years younger.”

The Indian Impact president Ridhima Parvataneni said that in a country where 42 per cent of the children suffer from malnutrition leading to about 1,500 child deaths every day, The Impact India would help easily locate a nearest Anganwadi centre or support innovative NGO projects that are successfully reducing malnutrition in the interior villages and urban slums of the country.

The website lets one instantly identify details of an Anganwadi centre in a particular area, directs one to a short checklist of essential items mission over there and lets one donate to the Anganwadi.

GMR group chairman GM Rao, Google India director (operations) Arijit Saket and ISB dean Ajit Rangnekar were present.

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