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UNICEF@70, Gujarat

AHMEDABAD, 16 December, 2016: Envisaging to celebrate UNICEF’s successful partnership with Amul and focus on future partnerships opportunities, UNICEF Gujarat Field Office celebrated UNICEF@70 with more than 100 partners from government, academia, CSR Foundations and civil society organizations here today.

The event provided an opportunity to reminiscence the partnership with Amul which helped India to become self-sufficient in milk production. Besides, the dairy cooperative is presently producing UNICEF certified, Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and supplying milk to Government of Gujarat under the Doodh Sanjeevani Yojana, which aims to improve child health in Gujarat.

Throwing light on the long term partnership with UNICEF, Dr. K Rathnam, Managing Director, Amul Dairy said,” Amul too shares, along with UNICEF, its 70 years of establishment. UNICEF in partnership with Amul has been instrumental in various policies like the prestigious white revolution, and which has helped India in winning the title of number one milk producing country in the world.”

Speaking on partnership for sustainable development, Foroogh Foyouzat, Chief of Field Services, UNICEF India said, “Partnerships are the key to sustainable development. The success story of Amul, of how from being a humble dairy cooperative, it expanded into the largest milk producer of the world, would not have been written, if not for its partnership with UNICEF and various other organizations,”

Sharing the role of partners in ensuring Swachh Gujarat in rural areas, Dr. Jayanti. S. Ravi (IAS), Commissioner & Principal Secretary, Rural Development, said, “While we have achieved a lot in these 70 years, our work is not complete. The process of change is not just supply driven. We have to engage with the community, understand their problems and concerns. We at the government do not have the means and time to invest on each individual concern. This is where our partnerships comes to play an important role towards addressing social development issues.”

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Laxmi Bhawani, Chief, UNICEF Gujarat, said, “UNICEF partnerships in Gujarat have a history of over 60 years, right from 1954 which have evolved over the time contributing to the outcomes for children. One of them was with Amul, which helped in making India self-sufficient in milk production. We are proud to be part of multi-stakeholder partnership that helped in creating Open Defecation Free districts in Gujarat. It has been possible by coming together of international agency, academia, CSR and community level SHG networks under the leadership of state government.”

Earlier, in 1954, UNICEF had signed an agreement with the Government of India to fund the Aarey and Anand milk processing plants. In return free and subsidized milk were to be provided to needy children in the area. Within a decade, India had thirteen UNICEF assisted milk processing plants.

The inaugural sessions followed with a panel discussion on “partnership for sustainable development” in which UNICEF partners deliberated on role of academia, government, CSO and CSR foundations in forging long term associations. Panel discussion witnessed participation of Prof. Ankur Sarin from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), Rajesh Bhat, Secretary CRC-G Network, Neeraj Lal, Chairman CII Panel on CSR, Prof. Tara Nair, Gujarat Institute of Development Research(GIDR), Ahmedabad, Rajit Kumar, Director In-Charge, ICDS and Veena Bandyopadhyay, PPE Specialist, UNICEF Gujarat.