VEDANTA KHUSHI

"KHUSHI" is an AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, launched by Vedanta Resources plc, with a focus to sensitize people towards care for the underprivileged and deprived children – their Nutrition – Education – Health and overall development. Join Khushi on facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/vedantakhushi and send motivational stories at khushi.creatinghappiness@gmail.com . LET US MAKE INDIA A CHILD MALNOURISHED FREE NATION..

Vedanta Khushi : Join “Khushi”, Raise Your Voice towards Child Care



Vedanta's “Khushi” campaign is a mission driven by the vision of Mr. Anil Agarwal, Chairman – Vedanta Group’s that “no child in India should remain malnourished and be deprived of education and primary health. Let India be a child malnourished free nation.”  Join "Khushi" and raise your voice and concern towards child care in India.

India,  a  country  with  largest  child  population, largest malnourished children, largest child deaths, and largest street children in the world, put our  minds  and  thoughts  in  a  thinking-hat  mode.  For once, we felt apprehensive about building India for a bright and progressive future. It was sure, government, NGOs, corporates alone cannot bring this problem to a solution and common masses need to align and join on such national missions.

This is where we decided to launch an awareness campaign “Khushi”, which was aimed to spread the message of care for the underprivileged children and building a life of dignity for them.  The message was clear that about 50% of India’s child population needs attention – attention towards their nutrition, education and good health. The message was also clear that without the involvement of similar minds, India would never be able to make it to a developed nation. 

On this thought, on 10th April 2012, Vedanta Group launched “Khushi”, on blog and on the Facebook.  We also decided to make “Khushi” a 100% non-funding campaign that would strongly engage with people and spread awareness to encourage them to take individual steps and initiatives towards child care.

Where the blog, www.khushi-creatinghappiness.blogspot.in, became a platform for   encouraging   people  by  uploading  success  stories,  articles  and  statistics;  the  Facebook  group, www.facebook.com.groups/vedantakhushi, became  a  platform for on-line discussions and debates and spreading  awareness. By now, on “Khushi” group, about 60 debates have been carried out on a number of issues like girls’ education, infrastructure in schools, problem of street children, beggary, quality of education, rehabilitation, disparities in urban and rural education, sending underprivileged children back to school,  malnutrition, corporal punishments to children, child labour making crackers,  effects of TV advertising on children, portray of Indian Children in Cinema,  mobile phone and their effects on Children,  Safety of Children etc.

The debates have also become a platform for knowledge sharing and a guiding factor for proposed actions. Taking forward the outcomes from debates, Vedanta adopted 112 schools  in Rajasthan for completely changing their infrastructure, study material and other facilities. 

To further strengthen the objective of “Khushi”, 75 child care centres have been adopted in Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh. These centres have about 2500 deprived and underprivileged children.  These children are provided daily nutritious breakfast, lunch, books and primary health check-ups. 

Vedanta “Khushi” also spent days with the street children to understand their issues and problems. Accordingly, workshops were conducted to inculcate the importance of education, health and hygiene, nutrition and behaviour change.

Recently, Vedanta’s “Khushi” came together with NDTV for the girl child campaign – Our Girls Our Pride.  The campaign ambassador was the gorgeous bollywood film actress Ms.  Priyanka Chopra.   Ms.  Krishna Poonia, the Padamshree, and the ace international athlete also became joined “Khushi” campaign.

Today,  when we are about to complete 2 years in this mission (10th April 2014), we are quite pleased that we are able to communicate our message clearly to a number of opinion makers which include journalists, professors, engineers, social  workers,  bureaucrats,  students,  doctors,  management graduates, entrepreneurs, etc.  

Vedanta “Khushi” has become a global mission and there has been increasing interest from Indians living in different parts of the world. People are engaged and spreading message of child care through direct engagement with people and also through their social media presence. 

One thing we could successfully bring forward through "Khushi" has been change in the behaviour of people towards deprived children.

Vedanta “Khushi” is growing every day and so changing the society.

Vedanta as a group has worked so far with 14,000 child care centres in India – in the state of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Chattisgarh, and Odisha, reaching out to more than 500,000 deprived and underprivileged children, since 2008.

Taking cognizance of the issue, Government of India has sanctioned Rs. 129,000 crore in the current plan to be spent under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) within 3 years.

Vedanta “Khushi”, that says all about Child Care

Vedanta “Khushi” is a mission driven by the vision of Mr. Anil Agarwal, Chairman – Vedanta Group’s that “no child in India should remain malnourished and be deprived of education and primary health. Let India be a child malnourished free nation.”

Scribbling  some  figures  on  the  net  and  in  certain reports of Indian Economic  Survey,  UNICEF, UNDP, etc. a not so much usual fact came forward and  that was the child population in India, the growing number of deprived or  underprivileged  children  in  India,  the number of street children in India,  the number of child deaths in India, and the number of children who dropout from schools every year in India.

India,  a  country  with  largest  child  population, largest malnourished children, largest child deaths, and largest street children in the world, put our  minds  and  thoughts  in  a  thinking-hat  mode.  For once, we felt apprehensive about building India for a bright and progressive future. It was sure, government, NGOs, corporates alone cannot bring this problem to a solution and common masses need to align and join on such national missions.

This is where we decided to launch an awareness campaign “Khushi”, which was aimed to spread the message of care for the underprivileged children and building a life of dignity for them.  The message was clear that about 50% of India’s child population needs attention – attention towards their nutrition, education and good health. The message was also clear that without the involvement of similar minds, India would never be able to make it to a developed nation.

With this thought, on 10th April 2012, Vedanta Group designed “Khushi”, an in-house campaign on social media - on blog and on the Facebook.  We also decided to make “Khushi” a 100% non-funding campaign that would strongly engage with people and spread awareness to encourage them to take individual steps and initiatives. Where the blog, www.khushi-creatinghappiness.blogspot.in, became a platform for encouraging   people  by  uploading  success  stories,  articles  and  statistics;  the  Facebook became  a  platform for on-line discussions and debates and spreading  awareness. By now, on “Khushi” group, about 60 debates have been carried out on a number of issues like girls’ education, infrastructure in schools, problem of street children, beggary, quality of education, rehabilitation, disparities in urban and rural education, sending underprivileged children back to school,  malnutrition, corporal punishments to children, child labour making crackers,  effects of TV advertising on children, portray of Indian Children in Cinema,  mobile phone and their effects on Children,  Safety of Children etc.

The debates became a platform for knowledge sharing and a guiding factor for proposed actions. Taking forward the outcomes, 150 schools have bee adopted in Rajasthan for completely changing their infrastructure, study material and other facilities.

Vedanta “Khushi” also spent days with the street children to understand their issues and problems. Accordingly, workshops were conducted to inculcate the importance of education, health and hygiene, nutrition and behaviour change.

To further strengthen the objective of “Khushi”, 75 child care centres have been adopted in Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh. These centres have about 2500 deprived and underprivileged children.  These children are provided daily nutritious breakfast, lunch, books and primary health check-ups.

Recently, Vedanta’s “Khushi” came together with NDTV for the girl child campaign – Our Girls Our Pride.  The campaign ambassador was the gorgeous Bollywood film actress Ms.  Priyanka Chopra.   Ms.  Krishna Poonia, the Padamshree, and the ace international athlete also became joined “Khushi” campaign.

Today,  when we are about to complete 2 years in this mission (10th April 2014), we are quite pleased that we are able to communicate our message clearly to a number of opinion makers which include journalists, professors, engineers, social  workers,  bureaucrats,  students,  doctors,  management graduates, entrepreneurs, etc. 

Vedanta “Khushi” has become a global mission and there has been increasing interest from Indians living in different parts of the world. People are engaged and spreading message of child care through direct engagement with people and also through their social media presence.

One thing we could successfully bring forward through "Khushi" has been change in the behaviour of people towards deprived children.

Vedanta “Khushi” is growing every day and so changing the society.

Vedanta as a group has worked so far with 14,000 child care centres in India – in the state of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Chattisgarh, and Odisha, reaching out to more than 500,000 deprived and underprivileged children, since 2008.

Taking cognizance of the issue, Government of India has sanctioned Rs. 129,000 crore in the current plan to be spent under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) within 3 years.



Vedanta Khushi : ET Article : The National Fight Against Malnutrition

Veena S Rao 
10th March 2014

The periodic public outcry over India’s malnutrition and hunger has curiously stopped despite repeated reports confirming the alarming situation. However, a welcome development is that political parties have raised the issue in the run up to the polls, recognizing nutrition as a determinant of development.

The perception among nutrition experts and NGOs has changed. The ICDS is no longer seen as a vehicle to tackle malnutrition. Rightly, the focus has shifted to an inter -sectoral approach, but the discourse gets stuck at this point. Without a national programme with an inter -sectoral template, no one including the government seems to know how exactly to intervene inter- sectorally. Many institutions are unable to address the problem on the ground, without a design or format to guide them. 

National programmes with a well defined structure such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Midday Meal Programme or the National Rural Health Mission provide a fulcrum for NGOs to offer support without complication. The absence of a national programme to fight malnutrition denies such a platform, and results in an information void on what interventions are essential, and how best to undertake them. Hence, apart from organizing occasional conferences and “advocacy”, mostly on isolated themes, there is no concerted strategy on the ground to effectively address malnutrition afflicting people across age groups.

Public awareness and information on social and development issues is generated through strong national programmes. They become the strongest advocacy tools, taking the message to the grassroots, notably health, education and women empowerment programmes.

Information and awareness on malnutrition has no such medium, leading to the vacuum in information at the grassroots within families, communities, PRIs and field staff of NGOs and government on critical issues: preventing child under-nutrition, proper maternal nutritional care to ensure adequate weight gain during pregnancy and prevent low birth-weight babies (first casualties to neonatal mortality) and nutritional care of adolescent girls (the most undernourished in the world), who are future mothers. 

Lack of information and awareness cascades further into the absence of capacity creation at all levels and stages of the participation/implementation process and, more importantly, in the absence of demand for nutritional services from the afflicted population. This is why there are hardly any think tanks, research or capacity-building institutions at state or district levels. Also, there are no journals or information in local languages on the subject to educate people, and not even vernacular equivalents for terms like “body mass index” or “chronic energy deficiency”. 

Neither is there an enabling environment for a united and vocal nutrition lobby with strong leadership to influence government. There is negligible presence of public health/nutrition in research institutions in state capitals and none at all in district/ block institutions, where the action really lies. Besides, the nutrition lobby is disunited, often deflecting attention from the urgency of addressing malnutrition holistically. A strong, united nutrition lobby, providing innovation and working models, could have influenced the government to announce a national programme to address malnutrition. 

There is despondency about the governance environment to address malnutrition: lack of information and capacity among stakeholders, particularly the community, lack of demand and ostracism of the private sector that has a mandate to address malnutrition under new CSR norms. Old schemes and the army of Anganwadi workers are also a baggage for government. Instead of innovation, the creaking Anganwadi is being saddled with more activities, but sinking under the malaise of contractors, commissions and corruption. 

A comprehensive strategy to address malnutrition is perfectly doable. The Karnataka Nutrition Mission has piloted this, based on inter-generational, inter -sectoral interventions, bridging the dietary calorie-protein micronutrient gap, initiating grassroots awareness programmes and rigorous real-time monitoring, with encouraging results. Political parties must give top priority in their election manifestos to fight India’s malnutrition through a strong national programme. 

The writer is a former civil servant