Bengaluru, January 6, 2021: The economic impact of the pandemic pushed millions, especially children, into severe hunger and malnutrition. The underprivileged and migrant communities were worst hit and lacked access to basic livelihood, and consequently, food and shelter. To provide food and other essentials, Himalaya, an Indian multinational that produces healthcare and wellness products with Ayurvedic ingredients, teamed up with The Akshaya Patra Foundation and reached out to communities in Bellary, Karnataka. The company sponsored 7,146 ‘Happiness Kits’ or dry ration kits and has contributed approximately Rs 4 Crore for the Mid-Day Meal Program since 2016. Through this donation, over 36,300 children have benefitted, and 80 lakh mid-day meals have been served. Incidentally, the largest school feeding programme is run by The Akshaya Patra Foundation.
Commenting on the initiative, Jayashree Ullal, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer, The Himalaya Drug Company, shares, “Himalaya has always had a strong will to undertake community service. In collaboration with Akshaya Patra, Himalaya aims to bring joy into the lives of children through the distribution of Happiness Kits. We hope these kits provide children and their families the much-needed nourishment to stay healthy and safe. Our aim is to provide essential nutrition for the overall growth and development of children. Our partnership with Akshaya Patra is a significant step towards making a sustainable impact on the development of underprivileged communities through initiatives in health, education, and hygiene.”
Shridhar Venkat, CEO, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, said, “We are grateful to Himalaya for their generous contribution towards the noble goal of reaching nutritious mid-day meals to millions of children over the years. A recent study shows that India lags in the Human Development Index and has a severely malnourished population. COVID-19 has only exacerbated the situation. With donors such as Himalaya, we are confident of making significant progress in eliminating hunger and malnutrition by 2025, the year we will achieve a landmark milestone of having served five billion meals. Such acts of kindness from donors help us sustain our mission.”
Himalaya supports a plethora of causes and few of these are enumerated below:
Conservation & Sustainability
Himalaya has been committed to preventing the loss of biodiversity and preserving nature. The Company has planted 800,000 saplings through numerous plantation drives, with the help of its partners – Society for Environment and Biodiversity Conservation (SEBC) and SYNJUK (Ka Synjuk Ki Hima Arliang Wah Umiam Mawphlang Welfare Society). Himalaya works closely with the local communities to reinforce secondary sources of income by planting indigenous species which also ensure a survival rate of 75 per cent.
Health & Hygiene
Himalaya provided COVID-19 support through the distribution of hygiene kits and food support to over 50,000 individuals, including tribal communities, transgenders, migrant workers, and other distraught communities. The Company also helped in feeding over 3,000 strays during this trying time.
Empowering People with Disabilities & Diseases
Himalaya supported around 330 individuals by providing them with customised artificial limbs and wheelchairs as part of the first phase of the Himalaya Fresh Start Foundation. Some individuals also received soft skills training in livelihood programmes to help them discover financial independence through sustainable employment opportunities.
Himalaya’s campaign, Muskaan, works towards spreading smiles in the lives of children born with cleft lip and palate defects. So far, the Company has impacted the lives of 2,945 children by supporting cleft palate surgeries.
Himalaya successfully supported the surgery of 23 children suffering from congenital heart disease, as part of its Saving Little Hearts campaign.
Empowering the Farmer Community – Kisaan Mitra
Himalaya helped marginalised farmers in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra by buying back herbs at a predetermined price, irrespective of market fluctuations. The seeds, packaging materials, and transportation for herbs were provided by Himalaya.