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  Social Responsibility

Published on: Oct. 5, 2020, 1:02 p.m.
Valliappa Foundation’s Anadhanam makes a start in solving global hunger
  • Anadhanam aims to address malnutrition and hunger through technologies to reduce global food waste and enhance redistribution efforts

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India

With India accounting fornearly one in every four of the 795 million people in the world who go hungry, the Anadhanam digital platform marked the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction on 29 September. 

“An average of 40 kg of food is being wasted per person per year, and we rank 102 on the World Hunger Index, among 117 countries,” says Chocko Valliappa, vice chairperson of the Salem-based Sona College of Technology and managing trustee of the Valliappa Foundation in Bengaluru. “Even our neighbours rank ahead of us: Sri Lanka is at 66 and Bangladesh at 88.”

Valliappa, a serial technology and social entrepreneur, has come up with this innovative and modern approach in his aim to solve the problem of global hunger in a scenario where every tenth person lives in poverty, earning less than $1.90 a day.

“Anadhanam has a central map of ‘hunger hotspots’ and BPL (below poverty line), and provides a central database of national volunteers through web and mobile applications to NGOs,” he explains. “It is also capable of effectively creating cause-driven campaigns and events to spread awareness and raise funding. We can also use it to facilitate implementing food nutrition and security policy efforts for both international and national government agencies.”

The platform will connect NGOs and government agencies – all stakeholders in the movement to recycle surplus food – with the sources of commercial and retail food waste which, at last count, is nearly 1.3 billion tonnes, valued at $1 trillion, annually – and growing.

According to United Nations estimates, Valliappa points out, this wastage is a whopping one-third of the total amount of food produced, and could feed more than four times the number of people who go hungry every year.

Created by the Valliappa Foundation to provide a robust technology backbone that can amplify the efforts of private NGOs and institutions, as government agencies, the platform will also help government agencies quantify efforts geographically and support NGO efforts, connecting them effectively to one another and to other agencies. 

India alone has more than 25 national NGOs and numerous regional agencies working in the area of food recovery and redistribution. Anadhanam will help their collective efforts become much more effective and seamless.

NGOs in this space can use the digital platform to conduct their operations – identification of spots, collection, logistics and volunteering – seamlessly in one place, connecting their employees and stakeholders. The application will also let food donors alert NGOs about excess availability of food.

“Our vision is to help accelerate global efforts in feeding the hungry through food waste recovery and redistribution,” Valliappa adds.

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