The First Edition of the NSF Nutrition Conclave Wraps up with a Blueprint to Combat Malnutrition

The First Edition of the NSF Nutrition Conclave Wraps up with a Blueprint to Combat MalnutritionBengaluru, 27  March 2024: Emphasizing effective strategies to break the cycle of malnutrition, the Nourishing Schools Foundation (NSF), in collaboration with Mount Carmel College, Autonomous, Bengaluru- Department of Home Science organized the first edition of the Nourishing Schools Foundation Nutrition Conclave. The Conclave, organized at Mount Carmel College, Autonomous, Bengaluru, was inaugurated in the esteemed presence of Ms. Veena S. Rao, Director, Auro Centre for Public Nutrition, Public Health and Public Policy and Former Advisor, Karnataka Nutrition Mission and Dr. K. Madan Gopal, Former Senior Consultant, NITI Aayog, as Special Guests.

The agenda of the Conclave focused on the need to enhance collaborative efforts between stakeholders and industry leaders in developing strategies to combat malnutrition. It included extensive panel discussions on various subjects, such as the significant role of empowering children in eradicating malnutrition, the integration of nutrition education through school curricula, the importance of impact assessment in combating malnutrition, and the transformative power of CSR in school nutrition-based initiatives.

Noting the success of the first edition of the Conclave, Ms. Archana Sinha, Co-founder and CEO of the Nourishing Schools Foundation (NSF), said, “We are immensely grateful to have hosted the first edition of NSF Nutrition Conclave 2024 – bringing together the country’s most distinguished changemakers in the nutrition and education sector under one roof. This Conclave was an effort to amplify conversations around malnutrition. We are grateful to Mount Carmel College, Autonomous for collaborating with us to organize this event. As we move closer towards India’s SDG target of eradicating malnutrition by 2030, NSF envisions further collaborative initiatives to accelerate the country’s battle against chronic hunger.”

Stressing the urgency of addressing good nutrition in the country, Ms. S. Veena Rao, Director of Auro Center for Public Health, Public Nutrition, Public Policy, Bangalore, and Former Advisor, Karnataka Nutrition Mission, Government of Karnataka, said, “A strong nation must have strong human capital. Much has been said about India’s demographic dividend, that 67.3% of our population is between 15-59 years of age, and that this demographic advantage will continue for another three decades. But we also know that at least fifty percent of this demographic dividend is afflicted by poor nutritional status, poor health, and morbidity, and will not be able to achieve its complete physical and cognitive potential. Students constitute our present and future demographic dividend and can become critical agents of change. They must be nurtured into becoming India’s strong human capital, especially those from less privileged sections of society. I wish Nourishing Schools Foundation great success towards achieving their goals.”

Highlighting the need for such insightful platforms, Dr K Madan Gopal, Former Senior Consultant, NITI Aayog, GOI, noted, “India has achieved remarkable strides in the battle against malnutrition, particularly in safeguarding the health of children and women, thanks to decades of dedicated policy initiatives. The convening of this Nutrition Conclave, drawing together prominent figures from diverse sectors, underscores the critical need to intensify our policy-driven efforts. As we zero in on our national aspiration to eliminate malnutrition within the coming decade, we must harness our collective resolve. This gathering symbolizes not just a meeting of minds but a united front against chronic hunger and undernutrition. Together, we stand at the cusp of transformative change, poised to secure a nourished and vibrant future for our nation.”

The Nutrition Conclave 2024 serves as a significant stride forward as it united the domain experts, policymakers, educators, and young advocates to explore strategies to combat malnutrition. Chronic malnutrition remains one of the most pivotal challenges – with over 36% of children under five years of age stunted in India. With this in consideration, NSF has been a frontrunner in positively impacting the nutrition of adolescents and has impacted over 60,000 schoolchildren across over 230 schools in over 4 states. NSF further aims to continue raising awareness about and implementing targeted interventions to improve nutritional outcomes and overall public health.

 

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