"One thing that will help India in a big way is to get rid of malnutrition"

Bill Gates

Last evening, I was at the LiveMint Visionaries event in Delhi where Bill Gates, the legendary entrepreneur turned social crusader spoke about “Technology for Social Inclusion”. It was a very enlightened and yet informal conversation between him and Rishad Premji, the gen-next Wipro Chairman.

“Nip it in the bud” is what I heard when Bill spoke about India's malnutrition.  He declared - “One thing that will help India in a big way is the elimination of malnutrition as it stunts the growth of children and curtails their IQ level”.

Lead vs Lag Indicators : 

Malnutrition is a lead indicator while learning outcomes are lag indicators. Bill's argument was that if the focus increases on improving children's nutrition (reducing malnutrition, in other words), the spend on improving learning outcomes would go down automatically due to improved health indicators including IQ of these well-nourished children. 

Inexplicably, this simple thinking is missed in the entire impact strategies across the globe. Often, The focus is at the tail-end of things instead of attacking the root. After all, spending a third on Education and another third towards WASH might not be the smartest thing to do. Worrying about women's health and early childcare might be the true mantra to focus on! 

In short, nip it in the bud might be the way forward when we are rallying resources from the giver community And directing them to impact the society in multiple ways.

I walked away glad that the weekend trip across the city to this by invite only conversation was truly worth it!   It set me thinking on some of my own strategies and priorities at Drstikona. 

Sujatha Kshirsagar

Co-Founder and CEO at Drstikona