Every day too many men and women across the globe struggle to feed their children a nutritious meal. In a world where we produce enough food to feed everyone, 795 million people – one in nine – still go to bed on an empty stomach each night. Even more – one in three – suffer from some form of malnutrition.
Guided by our ethos, eradicating hunger and malnutrition is one of the focus areas for us. Not only the consequences of not enough – or the wrong – food cause suffering and poor health, they also slow progress in many other areas of development like education and employment.
While the global community adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals to improve people’s lives by 2030 in 2015, we started working on the ‘Goal 2 – Zero Hunger’ way back in 2005.
In 2004, we started finding out reasons for non-availability of adequate manpower in nearby areas of our Alwar plant. The research was heart breaking as it showed that children from nearby villages did not go to school and were engaged in farms and other jobs to support family’s income. Adequate food, even twice a day was a big challenge for the family. Children were weak and malnourished and going to school was not even considered by the family. Over time we realized that providing food could be the answer to this puzzle. We tied up with the government of Rajasthan to provide mid-day meal in government schools.
A humble beginning that started with serving just 1500 children across 5 schools grew to serving over 70,000 students across 700+ schools daily in the district. The fresh, hygienic and nutritious food is prepared in the state-of-the-art kitchen in accordance with government-approved diet charts. Spread over an area of 4 acre, the kitchen employs staff of over 160 people including cooks, helpers and drivers along with a fleet of 30 vans to ensure hassle-free and timely delivery of the meals every day. Ownership of the entire mid-day meal value chain from procurement of food materials to food preparation, storage and transportation to school, gives the company complete control over the quality and hygiene of the meals. This goes in line with Havells philosophy of providing the best quality in all company offerings.
This program has brought significant impact in the lives of school children who barely eat single meal in a day, which in turn has resulted in increased attendance & enrolment and a reduction in Drop-out rates in Govt Schools where mid-day meals are being provided. Another impact of this project has been an increase in enrolment of girl child and reduced discrimination, casteism and inequality amongst society. On April 1, 2022, surprise inspection was conducted by the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), wherein he took feedback from the students about the quality of the food being served. The response was overwhelmingly positive.