Premji’s organisation to help Odisha fight malnutrition

Bhubaneswar, Dec 21 (IANS) The Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives (APPI) on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Odisha government for eradication of malnutrition among women and children in the state.

The APPI would spend Rs.300 crore for eradication of malnutrition in the state over a period of eight to 10 years.

“It is an honour to have Premji work with us to reduce malnutrition in our state. Both of us reaffirm our commitment to the cause of saving the lives of children and improving the health of women,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after signing the MoU here.

“Through Azim Premji philanthropic initiatives, the state intends to benefit from the expertise and core competence of Wipro in technological innovation and consulting over and above the nutrition sensitive programmes covered under this partnership,” he added.

Patnaik also requested Premji to extend his support in the field of education and continue his collaboration with the state by widening the scope of engagement through APPI in the field of nutrition and governance.

The reduction of malnutrition initiative is first of its kind in the country, where APPI will extend its support to a state government.

“In terms of their commitment to our support for reducing the problem of malnutrition in Odisha, I think that commitment will be going very far in terms of the success of this project,” Premji said.

He expressed his happiness over the state government’s appointing nodal officers in each of the four key departments which have to work with APPI.

APPI will work collaboratively with the state government to improve the ICDS system, set up departmental convergence mechanisms and increasing the technical, knowledge, resource and management capacity of the various administrative systems, said sources.

The initiative will address the challenges and systemic bottlenecks to improve coverage of nutrition services and practices across all districts.

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