Akshaya Patra Uses Fortified Rice
Beginning August 2010, Akshaya Patra's kitchens in Rajasthan will introduce efforts to use fortified rice in its rice-based meals. This fortfied rice contains iron, one of the most essential micronutrients required for a growing child. Micronutrients such as iron, although required by the body in small amounts, are crucial to the healthy development and well-being of a child. Therefore, rice-fortification, one of the most effective ways of addressing micronutrient malnutrition*, will greatly benefit the 185,000 children in Rajasthan currently being served meals by Akshaya Patra.
"Akshaya Patra believes that no child in India should be deprived of education because of hunger. Fortifying our rice-based meals with iron-enriched Ultra Rice to prevent iron deficiency in children furthers our commitment to their future and will ensure that they have the best chance to grow and thrive," said Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice Chairman of Akshaya Patra. Mr. Dasa first learned about Ultra Rice in 2009 at the prestigious Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2009 Annual Meeting, where Ultra Rice was highlighted.
Mr. Ravindra Chamaria, Chairman & Managing Director, Infinity Infotech Parks Limited, Kolkata, and Advisory Board Member of the Akshaya Patra Foundation, took the initiative with PATH at the 2009 CGI Conference to introduce its fortified rice in the meals served by the Akshaya Patra Foundation. They are also Partners in this fortification initiative.
The Government-supplied rice served by Akshaya Patra’s Rajasthan kitchens will be fortified with iron-enriched Ultra Rice® grains to bridge gaps in dietary intake. Ultra Rice grains resemble milled rice in size, shape and color but contain additional vitamins and minerals that retain their micronutrient content while being rinsed washed and boiled in water. Ultra Rice is a cost-effective and culturally appropriate rice fortification technology developed by PATH, a global health nonprofit organization based in Seattle. PATH works on an international scale with communities across around the world to provide solutions that break cycles of poor health.
"PATH has long admired the work of Akshaya Patra and is deeply honored to enable the delivery of fortified rice to the school children they serve in Rajasthan. We look forward to demonstrating the impact of our partnership and hope to continue our joint work with Akshaya Patra to feed children's potential throughout India," said Dipika Matthias, director of PATH's Ultra Rice Project.
®Ultra Rice is a registered trademark in the United States of Bon Dente International, Inc.
*Copenhagen Consensus 2008 Outcomes. Copenhagen Consensus website. Available at: https://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/Default.aspx?ID=953.