Indian, Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, The Fight Hunger Foundation, Action Against Hunger, Malnutrition, India

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar supports the Fight Hunger Foundation

Nowhere are more children dying of malnutrition than in India. Sachin Tendulkar and Action Against Hunger's partner, the Fight Hunger Foundation, want that to stop.

By Action Against Hunger

Feb 1 2016

One of India’s most famous sons, former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, has joined voices all over the world calling for better support for malnourished children in India. 

Statistically, very few hold a candle to Tendulkar’s achievements in the game of Cricket. In the ‘Little Master’s’ illustrious career as a batsman for India, he scored an unprecedented 100 international hundreds, a record that may never be broken.  He also holds the record for most number of runs in both ODI and Test cricket, and was the only player ever to complete more than 30,000 runs in international cricket, before his retirement from playing for India in late 2013.

These numbers show India at the pinnacle of the world. Sadly, other numbers show far more worrying ways that India is leading the way. An astonishing 1.83 million children under five die each year in India and around 50 per cent of these deaths are mainly caused by acute malnutrition.

Few people are better placed to voice their concern than Tendulkar, who as a young player witnessed the kind of hunger that is sadly still so commonplace in the country today. In the video below, Tendulkar talks about why he supports the Fight Hunger Foundation, Action Against Hunger's partner in India, with their aim for a hunger free India.

Sachin Tendulkar supports our work

 

The Fight Hunger Foundation

The Fight Hunger Foundation is working in the regions of Mudhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, combating the alarmingly high prevalence of malnutrition in these areas, especially amongst young children. 

This work recognises that early detection is key in saving the life of a malnourished child. To detect malnutrition, they use simple and effective tools such as Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) within communities by Community Health Workers to identify acutely malnourished children early, and therefore making treatment easier by being proactive in reaching those at risk.

Where treatment is needed, the Fight Hunger Foundation always work in close collaboration with communities, local partners and local health services, in order to ensure the best possible treatment for the most amount of children they can. This has led to thousands of children being successfully treated for malnutrition, like Prahlad Ramesh pictured below, giving them a strong basis to grow into healthy adults.

Prahlad was severely malnourished, weighing just 4.4kg, when he first arrived at a nutritional rehabilitation centre for life-saving treatment. Less than a month later, he was well on the road to recovery. Image: Sanjit Das

Further, the Fight Hunger Foundation sees that in order to end child hunger for good, prevention is key. Working with community health workers, as well empowering pregnant and lactating mothers to stop their children becoming ill, the Fight Hunger Foundation highlight the key weapons in the fight against malnutrition. These include good hygiene and care practices for children, education on nutrition and child and infant feeding, and the importance of breastfeeding. 

As well as this work at the local level, it use its position as India’s experts on malnutrition to strengthen public health systems, and fight for better government policy in order to fight the needless death of nearly a million children a year. Tendulkar’s voice is a vital source of support for the Fight Hunger Foundation in India, not just as a famous sportsman, but also as one of the most decorated and politically important figures in the country. On receiving the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, he became the youngest recipient to date, and the first ever sportsperson to receive the award. In 2012, Tendulkar was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India.

Sachin’s recognition is testament to the vital work carried out by the Fight Hunger Foundation in India, which shows continued growth in supporting Indians most in need. This kind of growth would not be possible without the wonderful support Action Against Hunger receive for our projects in India with the Fight Hunger Foundation, through our donors and partner businesses such as Palringo, Ed’s Easy Diner and Unearthed amongst others, who all show unwavering support for making a difference in India.

Backing like this is helping us enact sustainable change to ensure the next generation of children in India grow up to be fit and healthy. Whether we see another cricketer like Tendulkar again is impossible to say, but providing the right nutrition gives millions more Indians the opportunity to fulfil their potential, just like the ‘Little Master’ did.

To find out more about the Fight Hunger Foundation, visit their website.

 

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Images: fighthungerfoundation.org and Sanjit Das for Action Against Hunger