The Breakfast Revolution: eliminating malnutrition in India

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NEW YORK – The epidemic of malnutrition continues to haunt India. One in two children in India is malnourished, while 9 in 10 adolescent girls are anemic, according to studies. Last year, India lost 500,000 children to malnutrition.

The Breakfast Revolution (TBR), an organization that started out in Mumbai, India, and recently launched as a 501c3 charity in the U.S., aims to eliminate malnutrition in India.

“Now is an exciting time for us – we have growing scientific evidence that our program works. Let us join hands to strengthen India’s national resource and future assets – its children,” said Arun Bhansali, a New Jersey-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, and the chairman of The Breakfast Revolution Inc. in a statement.

TBR was founded as a nonprofit organization in 2014 with a vision to end malnutrition in India by running malnutrition treatment programs for schools, anganwadis, hospitals, NGOs and orphanages in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.

At the heart of the program are innovative ‘snacks’ that provide 100 percent of the vitamins and minerals a child lacks in his or her diet, along with as much vegetarian protein as there is in two or three eggs. These power-packed snacks are tasty and cost only $0.10 to $0.15 per meal, the organization said in a press release.

In addition to these meals, TBR’s program includes health check-ups, de-worming and nutritional education to improve hygiene and food choices at home.

Through an innovative program based on nutrition science and behavior change communication, TBR is able to make a significant impact on the health and well-being of malnourished individuals.

Over the last three years, TBR has served more than five million meals to 50,000 malnourished children and women and more than 70 percent of the children on the program have shown significant improvement in their health within six months, it said.

According to physician and TBR co-founder, Pankaj Jethwani, “this is a drop in the ocean as malnutrition affects millions. Our single priority is to reach 1 million children by 2022 and provide them their fundamental right to nutrition.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated that poverty, lack of education and malnutrition are the greatest challenges for India right now and he plans to eliminate them by 2022.

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