AstraZeneca and Akshaya Patra Provide Nutrition Kits to Pregnant and Lactating Women in Karnataka


Karnataka: AstraZeneca India Private Limited, the services arm of AstraZeneca, a leading science-led biopharmaceutical company, recently collaborated with The Akshaya Patra Foundation for the distribution of 5,000 Shakti Kits in two districts – Yadgir and Raichur – in Karnataka.

The Bengaluru-based NGO’s Shakti Kits aim is to support anaemic pregnant and lactating women with necessary nutritional supplements. These kits consist of wheat, green gram dal, ragi, soy protein concentrate, peanuts and sugar, all enriched with the added vitamins and minerals. These kits are also specially designed to extend the nutritional benefits towards infants.

“We are grateful to AstraZeneca for their support in our initiative towards eliminating child malnutrition. Our aim is to ward off this malady right at the grassroot – even before a child is born. This collaboration will help us provide the necessary nutritional value needed for pregnant and lactating women to maintain their health and give birth to the healthy future for this country. This donation will ensure equal healthcare opportunities for all,” said Sundeep Talwar, CMO, The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF). 

AstraZeneca India Private Limited has donated INR 41,25,000 towards the Akshaya Patra Foundation’s initiative in line with its goal to provide access to nutrition and healthcare for all sections of the society. Each Shakti Kit is worth INR 825 and includes iron-rich ayurvedic supplements, three-ply face masks and malt-based protein mix.

The kits also consist of a particular health supplement for infants which would help the beneficiaries fight concerns surrounding malnutrition including vitamin deficiency.

Acknowledging the collaboration, Siva Padmanabhan, Managing Director, AstraZeneca India Private Limited said, “At AstraZeneca, we truly believe our future depends on healthy people, a healthy society and a healthy planet. We believe that these elements are interconnected, and that together it is our responsibility to build a sustainable future. And this is possible only through cross-sectoral partnerships, with organisations like The Akshaya Patra Foundation. Their fervour towards this cause, and our shared vision made this partnership more meaningful and enriching. With this collaboration, we are one step closer towards reaching the collective goal of ending hunger and child malnutrition in India.” 

This initiative is one of the many such CSR projects being run by The Akshaya Patra Foundation in Karnataka. Apart from providing mid-day meals to government school children, the NGO is also running its pilot digital education programme in the State by donating android tablets to underprivileged students in a bid to bridge the digital divide created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to The National Family Health Survey 2019-20, Karnataka has approximately 97,000 pregnant women per month, out of which 43,211 women were found to be anaemic.

Lauding the joint endeavour, Dr Shalini Rajneesh, I.A.S, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports, Government of Karnataka, said, “The Akshaya Patra Foundation is doing a tremendous job in helping all sections of the society grow stronger and healthier together. Their efforts towards eradicating hunger and child malnutrition are already getting positive results and this collaboration will extend support towards the noble cause of providing nutritious food to expecting mothers, particularly in the aspirational Districts of Yadgir and Raichur. We are happy that Akshaya Patra Foundation is empowered on the Akanksha platform.”

A collaborative approach to this partnership can also allow the access of these Shakti Kits to pregnant and lactating women in other parts of the country.