Human security

IISC to set up research lab to study children’s food security, aims to end hunger in the classroom

The Indian Institute of Science (IISC) in Bangalore will soon have a one-of-a-kind laboratory that will conduct in-depth studies in areas such as child food security, community participation for social welfare, elimination malnutrition, policy development and advocacy to fight hunger. The laboratory is set up in collaboration with the Akshay Patra Foundation and will be called “The Akshaya Patra Research Lab”.

The goal is to develop an epicenter of knowledge with think tanks to strengthen global advocacy efforts and end hunger and malnutrition in classrooms. Some of the lab’s long-term plans include: Evaluating the impact of midday meals and developing a socio-human model to build scenarios that can have a positive social impact on a larger scale.

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Established under the IISC’s Center for Society and Policy (CSP), the partnership has so far resulted in an evidence-based research study and published articles on the analysis of vaccine hesitation; Impact analysis of Covid-19 on a child’s education and nutrition, psychological study of schoolchildren, water-food-energy link and assessment of the human security crisis.

Professor Anjula Gurtoo, President of the Center for Society and Policy, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, said: “At IISC, we are constantly striving for excellence in research and innovation to ensure good – social being of India. The partnership with the Akshaya Patra Foundation gives us another opportunity to serve the country by using research-based methods to eradicate hunger in the grassroots classrooms. The young team of some of our brightest doctoral students, professors and project associates is dedicated to developing and advocating for food security policies for children. The timing could not have been more precise given the multiple impact of the pandemic on health and nutrition. “

Speaking about the need to scale up research efforts on infant nutrition, Shridhar Venkat, CEO of the Akshaya Patra Foundation, said, “The pandemic has not only changed the way children learn and play, but also the way they consumed nutritious meals. Although we are continuously working to provide access to nutrition, there is an urgent need to step up our efforts and advance the cause of ending hunger. “

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He added, “Our R&D efforts have grown stronger over the years, and through this academic partnership with IISC, we are delighted to expand it further. Together, we look forward to creating a country where the path to achieving a hunger-free India: where children don’t need to work before they eat, where children don’t need to earn before learning. . It is therefore more imperative than ever to focus on research. “

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