Stand up for Someone’s Rights Today

By Mahesh Chandak

India-Africa ESH and Human Rights Lead at Monsanto

We are well into the 21st century and the world continues to face grave challenges such as abject poverty, economic discrimination and lack of education. Basic necessities such as food and shelter are out of reach for many millions of people in the world. With human population inching towards the 9 billion mark by 2050, the difficulty of overcoming these challenges is only going to exacerbate.

We might have a roof over our heads and food on our plates, but does this mean we turn a blind eye towards the woes of others? About 795 million people in the world do not get enough food to lead healthy lives. They make up over 10% of the world’s population! At Monsanto, we consider this to be of primary concern. Our agricultural lands can only grow so much using traditional farming practices; which is why Monsanto works tirelessly with farmers to maximise their yield and help them feed a hungry world.

Our commitment to food and nutrition does not end here. As a part of our corporate social responsibility, we partner with several NGOs to improve the lives of individuals and the society at large. Here are some examples of our hugely successful partnerships:

Akshaya Patra

We’ve partnered with Akshaya Patra to complement the Government’s mid-day meal program by supporting school children across UP, Orissa, Gujarat, Karnataka & Rajasthan. The objective was to provide students with nutritious mid-day meals at various schools across these states. In addition to this, hygiene kits containing basic toiletries such as combs, nail cutters, soaps, toothpastes, toothbrushes, oil etc. were distributed to the school children.

The result speaks for itself!

Monsanto and Akshaya Patra

Jaldhaara Foundation

Jaldhaara Foundation is an initiative of WaterHealth international which aims to increase the availability of clean and safe drinking water. We partnered with Jaldhaara to launch the first of its five “WaterHealth Center” (WHCs) at Huzurabad town of Karimnagar district. We then launched two more WaterHealth Centres in Shamshabad & Mriyalaguda towns in Rangareddy District. `Together with the first centre, the population impacted is significant.

Monsanto and Jaldhaara

Room to Read

Another significant partnership we’re proud of is with Room to Read, a leading non-profit focused on girls’ education and children’s literacy in Asia and Africa. Together with Room to Read, we established eleven high-impact primary school libraries throughout Maharashtra. The project aims to provide access to quality reading material which helps imbibe the healthy habit of reading in students. Teachers are also trained on the effective use of the library to improve learning levels of children by introducing them to the joys of reading.

Monsanto and Room to Read

Our goals are tall – but not impossible

At Monsanto, we have set ambitious goals for ourselves – contribute to ending world hunger, provide access to sanitation and clean drinking water, improve education levels of children in primary government schools and help farmers adopt sustainable agricultural practices. We will continue to work towards achieving our goals. On this Human Rights Day, we hope to inspire you as well.

We spend most of our days focused on our lives – working jobs, studying courses, caring for our loved ones. Let us take a moment to think about those who’re less privileged than us. We may live in different regions, speak different languages, eat different food and celebrate different festivals; but before all else, we’re all human beings. We must all work towards ensuring everyone can enjoy the basic rights each one of us deserves. Today, let us stand up for someone’s rights.

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