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Fighting India’s malnutrition with spirulina

June 17, 2016
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

After graduating from college, Mr. Mahesh began to grow spirulina at his farm and supply it to 110 children at an orphanage.

After graduating from college, Mr. Mahesh began to grow spirulina at his farm and supply it to 110 children at an orphanage.

Shilpa Baburaj writes in the Times of India that, as a student at PES Institute of Technology (PESIT) in Bengaluru, India, Mahesh RV was disturbed by the condition of undernourished kids. His concern gave birth to the entrepreneurial idea of growing spirulina as a dietary supplement.

Today, the 26-year-old is into full-time cultivation of the super food. He undertook the venture at the age of 21 after realizing that despite being one of the largest exporters of spirulina for over a decade, India was still battling malnutrition.

“I have always felt that the educated should take up the responsibility of solving the country’s pressing problems. After understanding the ill-effects of malnutrition and its long-term implications on one’s IQ and mental ability, I decided to dedicate my life to fight the menace,” he said. “I knew that spirulina has proven scientific benefits and a miraculous ability to fight malnutrition. One gram of spirulina granules is equivalent to 1kg of fruits and vegetables.”

After graduating from college, Mr. Mahesh began to grow spirulina at his farm in Tumakuru and started supplying it to 110 children at an orphanage. He networked with the Department of Women and Child Development to improve the nutritional status of malnourished children, and expectant and lactating mothers. “Under the Bala Poshna scheme announced in the 2016-17 state budget, spirulina will be provided as nutritional supplement to 25,000 kids suffering from acute malnutrition,” he said.

He started the Spirulina Foundation in 2010 to supply the nutritional supplement to orphanages and slum kids in DH Halli. The foundation lent a helping hand to the victims of the Uttarakhand and Nepal floods in 2013 and 2015, respectively.

His foundation focuses on creating awareness of spirulina at both community and individual levels by engaging villagers and locals in project implementation. In 2014, Mr. Mahesh was selected among the country’s top 100 impact innovators by the Action for India forum.

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