Strengthening Connections in Maharashtra

Some exciting news! Our Managing Trustee was awarded for the team’s nutrition support to local communities in Maharashtra by none other than Shri Narayan Rane, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and current Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise! We are elated and grateful to have been chosen to receive this community recognition in front of a packed audience of ~6,000 people! We work in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan at the moment, and are growing! We strive to support mothers and children in need with behavioural change education, nutrient dense breakfasts, micronutrient supplementation, and fun learning moments with your help!

Later, TBR had the opportunity to build awareness about millets and building nutrition security at the Indian Merchant Chambers in Mumbai.

Looking ahead, we welcome opportunities to serve healthy breakfasts to school going children under the guidance of Shri Tanaji Sawant (Minister of Health, GoM) and his dedicated team!

Strengthening Compliance with the Government

India’s Home Ministry has in recent months sharpened scrutiny of overseas funding received by local non-profits. There were 16,383 NGOs that had FCRA licences as on March 10th, and the Ministry has cancelled licences of over 6,600 NGOs in the past five years. “The FCRA law is same for everyone, be it social, educational or environmental NGO,” a Home Ministry official quoted to the Hindustan Times news agency in May, “The rules, including spending on work for which licence has been sought, designated FCRA bank account, administrative expenses and any diversion, all have to be followed.”

After intense scrutiny of our programs, documents, and accounts; we are proud to announce that our FCRA certification has been renewed by the Indian government! Our current certification expires in late Q3 this year, and the new certificate received will extend our credentials well into 2028. We humbly thank everyone who has guided and helped us; and we look forward to supporting more children in need, with our partners.

Strengthening CSR Trust with Companies

Summer in India can be harrowing, to say the least. Heat exhaustion, and dehydration run rampant. DSM Pharmaceuticals entrusted TBR to help children in Maharashtra beat the heat! The company provided its specially formulated fortified fruit juice powder, high quality protein powder, and tasty Vitamin C candies, totalling over Rs.27 lakh INR. Over 4,600 children across the State were refreshed and hydrated with this support. 

The Kelloggs Company is growing the Bright Start program through TBR as well. The breakfast program earlier supported little over 4,300 children in Maharashtra, but as of June the program has expanded to include Gujarat and to support 8,600 children! Thousands of children stand to benefit from this in the academic year. Kelloggs’ global teams also inspected Bright Start centres and spent time with the children to conduct educational activities.

Strengthening Bonds with the Rotary

TBR continues to be a partner of choice for the nutrition programs run by the different Rotary clubs in Mumbai. From April, the Rotary Club of Bombay will be supporting 500 undernourished children from the massive slum habitat situated in Dharavi. TBR will serve 90,000 breakfast meals to these children over the course of the year.

Poor nutrition in early childhood leads to lifelong consequences, which include lower cognitive development, increased chances of illnesses, and correspondingly increased medical expenses. We are working on different initiatives with an aim to increase awareness about healthy eating. Discussions are on with other Rotary clubs to support schools with breakfast and nutrition education. If your Rotary or Rotaract club would like to support a school this year, please get in touch with us!

Strengthening Communities in Gujarat

We are honoured to have the support of Yuva Pragati, USA and Sr. Nivedita Trust in Gujarat to provide supplementary nutrition to six ashramshalas (boarding schools) and nearly 900 children! The TBR team went to Rajkot and conducted a health camp. We were floored by the warmth and hospitality of the students, teachers, and the entire Sr. Nivedita team. It is so heartening to see, and hear stories from, the children and the positive impact the breakfasts have on their health and energy levels. They have also been very dutifully completing their nutrition-focused activity sheets, and the older children aim to become doctors, nurses, and police officials. We look forward to their progress!

SNDT University’s ‘Millet Mission’

SNDT University organised a 2-day conference around millets, as part of the official G20 and W20 program. The event included a scientific conference, a public forum, demonstrations and community competitions, alongside technical sessions and product sampling. The conference was opened by Dr Jagmeet Madan (President, IDA and Principal of SVT College), alongside Lt. Col. Updesh Kumar (Joint Advisor, NITI Aayog), and Padma Shri Dr. Khadar Valli (a.k.a. India’s Millet Man).

The event aimed to:

  • Build awareness and accelerate mainstreaming millets for nutrition, improved livelihoods, and ecological benefits.
  • Discuss challenges and solutions for making millets accessible to the masses to ensure nutritional as well as food security.
  • Facilitate discussions for business opportunities in innovation of millets.
  • Spread awareness about the innovative ways of inclusion of millets into mainstream and functional diets.
  • Collate structured feedback to enhance research inputs and policy through the research paper presentation and experiences shared during the conference.

TBR was invited as a panel speaker alongside the World Bank and Tata Trusts, to share insights about the role millets can play for food security considering sustainability and climate change.

‘United’ in Karjat

United Way (Mumbai) recently adopted 220 anganwadis (rural child care centres) in Karjat, Maharashtra. As part of the program, United Way partnered with TBR to provide much needed nutrition to the local children.

Parents, ASHA workers, and local volunteers learnt about preparing healthy food locally, developing strong hygiene practices, in addition to the role of healthy food habits for the long-term development of their children.

Nearly 3,500 children ages 2.5 to 6 years from Ambivalli, Kadav, Kalamb, Khandas and Mohili are receiving a TBR meal box till March, and we hope to continue supporting these children into 2022-23.

‘Poshan Dialogue’ with IIT Bombay

IIT Bombay hosted a day-long symposium to explore the opportunities for multi-sectoral collaboration and co-ordination to strengthen maternal, infant, and young child nutrition (MIYCN) in Maharashtra. The keynote address was given by Dr. Sila Deb (Addl. Commissioner, MoHFW, GoI). Other dignitaries present at the event included Mr. Bapurao Bhavane (Divisional Deputy Commissioner, WCD), Dr. Mahendra Khandagle (Mumbai Municipal Corporation), Dr. Raj Bhandari (Member, Millet Mission), Prof. Satish Agnihotri (Head, CTARA-IITB) and senior management of Save the Children, India.

The TBR team was invited for the symposium, and our work highlighted and lauded by different speakers during the sessions. The conference brought together policymakers, domain experts, practitioners, nutritional leaders, educators, youth representatives, and several partner institutions in the field of transformative nutrition to:

  • Share relevant innovative and best practices, case studies, and lessons in the field of transformative nutrition.
  • Enable health and nutrition leaders, educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders to unlock and utilize the potential of transformative pedagogies across emerging learning media online and hybrid learning to promote transformative nutrition.
  • Articulate and address key issues to advancing transformative nutrition in the current and emerging challenges posed as an outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Broaden the participants’ understanding and knowledge of the fundamental principles, themes, and concepts of IYCF, IM-SAM, MAMI, and MIYCN.
  • Sensitize participants in cutting-edge research in the nutrition sector and innovative pedagogies and technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning etc.
  • Identify areas of mutual collaboration and strengthen multi-sectoral coordination.

Millet based nutrition for Mumbai’s TB patients

India has marked 2025 as the goal for the elimination of TB in India, five years before the global goal of 2030. With Mumbai being the cornerstone of the movement, the government has requested all stakeholders – public and private – to work together to achieve this ambitious and worthy goal.

There exists a link between active TB and malnutrition, where the risk of TB increases by 14% for each unit reduction in BMI, and the risk of recurrence is 4 times higher, compared to people with normal weight.

The Central Government, through the National TB Elimination Program (NTEP) granted permission to TBR to support the city of Mumbai. With the support of Dr. Varsha Puri (City Health Officer – TB, Mumbai) and her team, TBR supports two city Wards, and is the very first in the city to provide millet-based nutrition to TB patients!

Over two hundred and fifty children, adolescents and mothers are receiving nutrition support for 6 to 8 months as they receive their treatment from the city. The TBR team conducts regular nutrition workshops for patients, provides meal boxes, prepares low-cost recipes for families, and provides basic phone counselling every month. Patients report feeling more enthusiastic about their recovery, as well as higher energy levels to do daily tasks. With your support, TBR can expand this support to all 24 Wards of Mumbai!

TBR and the International Year of Millets!

The United Nations General Assembly at its 75th session in March 2021 declared 2023 the International Year of Millets (IYM 2023). millets are an important crop for promoting sustainability, climate change adaptation, biodiversity, and food security. By supporting the cultivation and consumption of millets, we can help build a more resilient and sustainable food system that benefits both people and the planet. #IYM2023 will be an opportunity to raise awareness of, and direct policy attention to the nutritional and health benefits of millets and their suitability for cultivation under adverse and changing climatic conditions. Millets like ragi, jowar, and bajra have been a part of TBR’s food basket for years now, and IYM2023 is an ideal opportunity to advocate for their inclusion in public distribution systems to fight malnutrition and simultaneously build nutrition security. TBR has therefore partnered with the prestigious Indian Institute of Millet Research (IIMR) which is the lead government organisation for IYM2023 in India along with People to People Health Foundation (PPHF), and we look forward to building awareness together and strengthening the food system further!