Bill Gates, Indian gov't set up new fund to improve nutrition of children, women

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NEW DELHI, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The government of India and the "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation" on Monday jointly set up a new Fund for improving nutritional outcomes of agricultural crops and ensuring a better diet for women and children, official sources said.

Signed between India's Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Smriti Irani and Bill Gates in New Delhi, the "Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh (BPKK)", which means "Indian Nutrition Agro Fund", aims at ensuring calorie rich diet for women, expectant mothers and children, intake of proteins in the form of pulses to eradicate protein hunger in women and children, eradicate hidden hunger due to deficiency of micro nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B, Iron and Zinc, and also ensure clean drinking water supply.

The Fund would also be used in spreading nutrition literacy in every village, particularly in mothers with children less than 100 days old.

On the occasion, the country's eminent agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan said that lack of proper nutrition among children affected not only the physical development of the child growing into adulthood, but also brain development.

He urged the Ministry of Women and Child Development to create a band of community hunger fighters who will be trained to deal with hunger among women, expectant mothers and children by following this action programme.

Addressing those present on the occasion, Bill Gates said that if there was one problem that his Foundation wanted to solve in India, it was the problem of malnutrition among women, expectant mothers and children.

"Solving this problem will bring about a dramatic change in the development of India and help the country to attain the sustainable development goals (SDGs)," Gates said. Enditem

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