Let's Be Well Red aims to STOP iron-deficiency anemia in India
Iron-deficiency anemia is the most prevalent nutritional disorder in the world. It is a public health crisis in India, severely impacting pregnant women, children and infants. Let's Be Well Red is fighting this crisis by building a grassroots movement of education and empowerment—through our ‘Health Scouts’ program—and through providing a solution in the form of our GudNeSs bars.
We believe the key to winning this fight is mobilizing a grassroots movement of education and empowerment, through our Health Scouts Program. Health Scouts are comprised of high school students who spread education and awareness about anemia in their local communities. They go through health literacy training and are partnered with local NGOs to give presentations on anemia and its treatment. Students not only improve their own public speaking and advocacy skills, but also make a direct and lasting impact in their communities. In 2013, the number of Health Scouts grew from 100 to 400!
In September 2012, we launched GudNeSs bars as a simple and affordable solution to combat the anemia crisis in India. GudNeSs is a palatable iron-rich nutritional bar that contains the World Health Organization daily-recommended dose of iron. The proprietary recipe uses locally sourced ingredients found in the Indian diet that are rich in iron. The bars last up to 6 months and cost a nominal 10 rupees (16 cents). To put that in perspective, one bar costs just more than a cup of tea and less than a bottle of coke . We are currently in:
- Retail stores
- Schools (working on introducing GudNeSs as a mid-day meal)
- (upcoming) Hospitals and Airlines
URBAN AND RURAL APPROACH
Almost 75% of Indians live in rural areas, while urban centers are densely packed. We recognize that each geographic location presents unique challenges; consequently, we tailor our efforts to target each region individually. In urban centers and slums, we're selling GudNeSs bars at their full retail price, and spreading awareness via 400 Health Scouts and through partnerships with local NGOs. In rural areas, we conduct anemia testing and educational camps. In addition, we've set up local women production units, where we train women how to create GudNeSs bars, sell them as a source of income, and ultimately spread our solution to their communities. Additionally, we use the revenue from sales of GudNeSs bars in urban centers to subsidize the cost of bars in slums and villages.