Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Saving 1.2 million Kids

Monday / 27 June :

Shri Amitabh Kant , CEO -NITI Aayog , holds a consultation meeting with experts , Ministries and State departments on ,

" National Nutrition Policy  / India's Malnutrition : A Call for Action "

Tuesday / 28 June :

UNICEF releases a report which says, in India , 1.2 million kids ( under age 5 ) died in 2015 , due to " preventable " causes

Even though the eventual manifestation could well be pneumonia / diarrhea / sepsis etc , the root cause is starvation ( - although , to remain politically correct , UNICEF uses the term " malnutrition " ! )

That is 3288 kids daily - 137 kids per hour !

This need not come as a shock , despite the fact that the Integrated Child Development Scheme - ICDS - was launched in India , as far back as 1975

In 2013 , a CAG report had criticized the Women and Child Development Ministry ( which is piloting the ICDS ), for diverting ICDS funds !

CAG further pointed out that the State Governments had diverted Rs 57.82 crore from ICDS to other activities !

Finding faults will not save these kids !

There are 74 millions of them in the age group of 3-6

Of these , 54 million go to schools , where , I presume they get some nutrition thru Mid-Day meals , even with all the associated deficiencies and corruption scandals !

That leaves 20 million who do not go to school , hopelessly malnourished

How can we ensure that they get some nutritious food everyday ?

If there is a will , there is a way - the following way :


    India's own " Energy Bar "  ( a Chikki ) , made of a protein-rich mixture of Peanuts + Jagerry ( 50 gms )

    Call it NEUTRA-KID ( - may be our Food Research Institute can come up with a better product )


    Eco friendly paper wrapper and paper boxes


    FSSAI approved units located in Food Parks planned by Smt Harsimrat Kaur , Minister for Food

    1000 Food Processing Units , each producing 20,000 NEUTRA-KID bars per day and delivering to 100 nearby
    post offices ( for 20 million kids )


    1.45 lakh post offices of India Post . May be they can pick-up / collect their daily consignments from Units


     *  Each NEUTRA-KID bar wrapper will have a bar-code ( till such time inserting RFID sensors become a reality )

     *  Bar code will carry all normal instructions + Delivery Destination ( Post Office )

     *  Each NEUTRA-KID bar will pass thru a Bar Code Reader on the Assembly Line , before dispatch

     *  Info collected thru this reader will get transmitted to the Central Server of concerned Ministries

     *  After taking his / her weight and entering in a online Database , hosted on the Central Server of
         the concerned Ministries, each targeted child will get registered at the nearest Post Office

     *  Each registered child will be issued a blue tooth enabled Smart phone, duly pre-installed with a Mobile App
        called " BANMALI " ( Banish Malnutrition in India ) , in which Child's data / Aadhar No will be entered

     *  Every day , the concerned child ( and parent ) will visit the post office to collect the NEUTRA-KID bar

     *  Before handing over bar, child will be weighed on a weighing machine and the weight entered in BANMALI

         The weight record graph will appear on the screen of the PC located at the Post Office ( Blue Tooth )

     *  This record will also get transmitted ( of course , automatically ) to the COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTRE where
         the concerned child is " registered " ( this will be compulsory in order to be eligible for this Scheme )

     *  Every time , a child is taken for his/her monthly HEALTH CHECK UP ( also compulsory in order to receive
        next month's NEUTRA-KID bars ) , concerned doctor will examine the child and enter his findings in BANMALI

        Doctor will be required to enter medicines prescribed as also , increase / decrease in the QUOTA of NEUTRA-
        KID bars recommended for the next month

       All of these data will get relayed to the Central Servers of the concerned Ministries

As to the roles to be played by various agencies involved , I conceptualize as follows :


#  Preparation of overall Policy and Procedures

#  Laying down of targets for each agency

#  Preparing and Monitoring Project Implementation

#  Making available funds to various agencies ( Rs 5 per bar = Rs 10 cr per day for 20 million kids )

#  Creating / hosting IT Infrastructure and disbursement of hardware / software / weighing scales / phones etc

#  Publishing on its web site , " Targets Vs Actual Achievement " graphs , every quarter


#  Laying down Nutrition Specifications for NEUTRA-KID bars

#  Selecting / approving Food Processing Units

#  Place purchase orders using Auction process / making payments thru UPI ( Universal Payment Interface )

#  Ensuring timely delivery to 1.45 lakh post offices

#  Ensuring Quality through SGS


#  After thorough scrutiny / verification , to register under-nourished kids . Central Database will ensure that
    there is no duplication ( same child registering at more than one post office )

#  Receive / Store / Distribute the NEUTRA-KID bars to registered kids , as per direction of doctor at Community
    Health Centre

#  Enter all data in BANMALI mobile app of each child and sync it with post office server , connected to Central

#  At the end of the day , enter DAILY TRANSACTION DATA ( Receipts / Disbursement / Balance ) in server


#  Resident doctor to examine each registered ( and eligible ) child , once a month and prescribe ( into BANMALI )
    medicines / next month's bar-quota

    Medicines to be handed out ( Free ) , on the spot ( no visit to chemist )

#  All these data to be entered into BANMALI ( and then synced with server of Health Centre )

    In turn , all these data will get transmitted to Central Servers of concerned Ministries

If there is a way to physically move the COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE CENTRES into the premises of nearby Post Office , that would save a lot of hassle to the parents / kids

You will notice that my proposal tightly integrates ALL the concerned Agencies through internet enabled hardware and a SINGLE / COMMON software database , which not only prevents any " Benefit Leakages " but broadcasts actual " Achievements " ( Weight gain / Reduced Mortality ) , instantaneously / automatically / transparently

I hope the concerned Ministers and Secretaries and Shri Amitabh Kant , will debate my proposal

It is quite likely that they may improve upon it


30  June  2016

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs