Business school grad Ridhima Parvathaneni has put up a fight against numbers; numbers that indicate the alarming rate of malnutrition
Despite shuttling between two states, Ridhima ensures that she wraps up work by Saturday night in order to let her hair down on Sunday. During the week, 22-year-old Satya Ridhima Parvathaneni is preoccupied with something unusual for a ‘work hard, party hard’ youngster — a dream to reduce the number of malnourished children in the city through The Indian Impact. The site www.theindianimpact.com the first and only online platform which aims to reduce the alarming number of malnutrition in India.
The malnutrition rate is 42 percent among children in India.
As many as 1500 children die everyday due to lack of a balanced diet
Anyone who’s interested to help can approach the nearest Angandwadi centre.
To locate the Angandwadi centre in your area, type the locality name in the Theindianimpact.com
More than food, children need plates, bowls, glasses and mats and in some cases a proper building itself.
Indian Impact’s volunteers in the area monitor and ensure the donations are put to right use.
Volunteers can join online through the website and their FB page
Indian Impact also supports three other NGOs — Sneha, The Anganwadi Project and Spandan
The Indian Impact doesn’t just put our lists of nutritional value of foods, or give nutrition tips; shows facts and figures and gives us ideas of how each of us can contribute to reduce the rate of malnutrition. Through the website, citizens and corporations will be able to easily locate and improve Anganwadi Centres or support innovative NGO projects that are successfully reducing malnutrition in the interior villages and high-risk zones of India. The website doesn’t collect money or accept funds. Ridhima’s fight is against the 42 percent children of the country who are malnourished.
“We are going to be a platform to help the haves provide to the have-nots. Unlike other institutions or groups, we are not collecting funds or objects to be donated. Neither are we adopting villages. Our area of work is the Anganwadi centres and their needs and while we are working with them, we only put up the needs of the centres and let individuals, corporate do the needful,” explains Ridhima.
A graduate from Wharton Business School, Ridhima is also involved with the family’s logistic business, which is into shipping containers. But she’s equally driven by her passion. Ridhima stresses, “ The Indian Impact originated in March 2013 on the Wharton Business School campus when I read an article about India’s malnutrition emergency. I worked with a group of likeminded students and set about starting this site.”
A few months old in her venture, Ridhima is glad some of the people of her age who didn’t know about the malnutrition rate and Anganwadi centres are opening their minds to the problem and are willing to be a part of the solution as well. “The solution comes in the help of knowledge and a willingness to extend a helping hand. There is enough money to be channelized; what we lack is dedicated manpower,” she explains.
Grand daughter of the late Union minister P. Upendra, Ridhima says she got her inspiration to do good to society from her grandfather.
Ridhima wants to expand their family business and wants to see their logistic company Seaways among the top 5 in the world. “Indian logistic companies have a great chance to expand and I am going to do just that with Seaways. My mother and father have always let me do what I want. So, when I said I wanted to work on Indian Impact, they were happy but mom was a little worried about time management and juggling of duties. But I said to her “‘In Wharton we learn all of it,’” she laughs.
Coming back to the topic of Indian Impact, Ridhima questions, “If 1500 children die everyday where will the country get their future teachers, writers, doctors, engineers etc from? Malnutrition is a very basic problem which if addressed on time can save a lot of children and provide them with good health.”
Based purely on statistic studies and field work, the volunteers of Indian Impact have some stunning revelations. “It isn’t the lack of food that troubles the Anganwadi Centres, it is lack of infrastructure. Infrastructure as basic as eating plates, mats to sit and glasses to drink water from,” she reveals. When these needs were put on the site , the centres received help within no timethe centres are monitored by local youth . “A young shopkeeper in Malkajgiri is our most active volunteer. He has been doing a remarkable job and also encouraging others to help.”
Doesn’t she miss being a carefree 22-year-old hanging out with friends at coffee shops and malls? “Which 22-year-old does only that now? I feel the youth is quite motivated and has each chalked out a plan for themselves. Everyone is on the go because goals are set. Catching up with friends over the weekend is a great way to relax and a good stress buster,” she says.
If only we go beyond our comfort zones we can test our potentials, says Ridhima who reveals that she sets her goals in a very balanced time frame. “There is no point setting a big goal in a smaller time frame and pushing yourself and others beyond control. The system is fragile so it needs to be handled with care.”
Shuttling between Chennai and Hyderabad to manage their family business Ridhima says she can do all that because she has age on her side. “Time has to be managed when the goals are set. That is why I have decided to also steal time from my schedule and find time for horse riding and fencing. The only two sports which I love to pursue. More power to her ilk.