“We Believe Proper Nutrition, Good Dietary Habits, And An Active Lifestyle Are Integral To Maintaining Good Health.” Sanjay Khajuria, Senior Vice-President- Corporate Affairs, Nestlé India
Articulating more about Project Jagriti Sanjay Khajuria, Senior Vice-President- Corporate Affairs, Nestlé India talks to Manali of BW Businessworld about its reach across states and its purpose to create an enabling environment for the best health outcomes
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Nutrition is a health issue and is of vital importance when it comes to children and women (especially pregnant and lactating) in India. According to National Health Statistics, around 36 per cent of children under age 5 are underweight and over 50 per cent pregnant women aged 15-49 are found to be anaemic in the country. With alarming numbers like these, Nestlé India’s Project Jagriti aims at reaching out to 10, 00,000 beneficiaries directly and 31, 30,000 indirectly through community events. Articulating more about this programme Sanjay Khajuria, Senior Vice-President- Corporate Affairs, Nestlé India talks to Manali of BW Businessworld about its reach across states and its purpose to create an enabling environment for the best health outcomes.
Q1. Tell us more about Nestle’s initiative Project Jagriti. What has been the success rate so far in terms of numbers on ground? Any other ongoing programmes?
Project JAGRITI is an initiative which aims to reach out to the vulnerable populations in the communities to support Universal Health Coverage. Improved maternal, child and adolescent health form the key objectives of the Global and National health strategy in an attempt to support the development and welfare of the communities. We support to strengthen and promote breastfeeding, immunization, institutional delivery, adolescent nutrition, and hygiene. The aim is to encourage people to live healthier lives by creating awareness about the importance of nutrition and hygiene practices.
Since nutrition is a major public health concern, Project JAGRITI is aimed at helping encourage good nutrition and breastfeeding practices, improving nutrition and health at key life stages – adolescence to caregivers. The project has recently completed three years and touches the lives of 4.6 million across 15 districts of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi.
Recognizing that education is a powerful tool to realise the value of nutrition early in life, the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme is another flagship initiative aimed at raising awareness regarding good nutritional practices and cooking methods alongside physical fitness among adolescents.
Q2. The recent EAT-Lancet commission recommended an ideal diet to be both nutritious and healthy as well as sustainable without compromising on planet’s health, how well does Nestle focusses on the sustainable part of diets under its programmes?
We are committed to a healthier future. From constantly improving the nutritional profile of our products to creating awareness on healthy lifestyle, we believe that good and adequate nutrition is essential to build a strong foundation for an individual. Both Project JAGRITI and Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme are initiatives aimed to contribute towards a healthier society.
Q3. How important is it for common people to know about a nutritious diet which is sustainable also? Do you teach people its importance as a part of programmes?
We believe that proper nutrition, good dietary habits, and an active lifestyle are integral to maintaining good health. Good nutrition is especially important due to the biological, psychosocial and cognitive changes that begin during puberty and continue throughout adolescence, directly impacting nutritional status and needs. Therefore, adopting a healthy lifestyle during these critical years of development ensures healthy living and lesser health issues.
Q4. Indians usually do not diversify their grain intake other than rice and wheat in their diets, high cost is not always a deterrent, it is found that people often do not know better, do you teach people especially women the importance of tweaking their diets and choose healthy diets?
Project JAGRITI focuses on creating peer mentor support groups for counselling on healthy nutrition for pregnant and lactating women. The modules cover sessions on healthy cooking methods for improving food quality, role of nutrition in the promotion of maternal health, nutritional needs during pregnancies and common nutritional related problem and its solutions
Q5. What kind of environmental and sustainability efforts does Nestle undertakes at its production and packaging levels?
We are constantly working on packaging optimization at a production level. Within our factories, we are also continuously improving operational efficiencies, minimizing consumption of natural resources and reducing water, energy and specific direct greenhouse gas emissions while maximizing production volumes.