Nita Ambani, wife to well-known business magnate Mukesh Ambani, founded Reliance Foundation back in 2010, as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of the conglomerate Reliance Industries. Since its inception, the Foundation has taken up several activities and has initiated a multitude of programs that has aided and positively impacted the livelihood of those in the many villages that the organization has taken under its wing. Rural transformation has been at the forefront of the many initiatives set up by RF, which has brought about a tremendous change in many rural parts of the country.
Extension of Malnutrition Programme-
In 2015, Reliance Foundation had committed to try and eradicate malnutrition amongst children by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Rajmata Jijau Mother-Child Health Nutrition Mission and State Department of Women & Child Development. This agreement involved the Foundation working in 8 districts to fight the menace of malnutrition. Last week, Reliance Foundation announced that it would extend its involvement with this ongoing programme and also increased the number of districts in which they would operate from 8 to 16. This extension was signed in the presence of state Minister for Rural Development Pankaja Munde and Reliance Foundation CEO Jagannatha Kumar.
What the Programme Involves-
As per Nita Mukesh Ambani’s directives, the Foundation has focused its attention on prevailing problems of women and children healthcare in rural areas. Therefore, it was imperative that certain activities were undertaken promptly to resolve those issues. Consequently, the Malnutrition programme involved establishment of several small kitchens known as Reliance Nutrition Gardens (RNGs), which has covered areas in the districts of Thane, Palghar, Pune, Jalgaon, Osmanabad, Yavatmal, Parbhani and Wardha.
Now, after its extension, the MoU would also cover the following districts- Beed, Jalna, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Gondiya, Solapur, Nandurbar and Chandrapur. The endeavor has helped strengthen the agenda of Sustainable Development Goals in the Central Government’s National Action Plan for Children 2016 targeting “improved nutrition”.
Reliance Nutrition Gardens-
The RNGs are organic kitchen gardens that are created in order to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables which helps in improving the nutritional parameters amongst the people living in the rural areas. It is a low cost, scientifically modified form of growing food that is sustainable and cost effective. This initiative has proven effective in helping over 100,000 children who were provided with fresh fruits and vegetables through 7,300 nutrition gardens set up in Aanganwadis.
“The encouraging results of the first phase have motivated the state government to expand the program in eight new districts with RF as our knowledge partner. We want to ensure that every child in Aanganwadis gets access to fresh fruits and vegetables across the state,” said Munde.
“The concept of RNGs have had a huge positive impact on communities associated with us. RF is proud to partner with the Maharashtra government to tackle the issue of malnutrition among children in Aanganwadis and strengthen the centre’s agenda of nutrition in the National Action Plan for Children 2016,” said Kumar.
Nita Ambani has ensured that Reliance Foundation would carry out such programs in order to provide solutions for several prevailing issues. The organization has been active consistently and shall continue to be part of the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries.