ABC’s AM program reports on Food Ladder’s impact in India

KIM LANDERS: Despite India’s rapid economic development, malnutrition still affects one third of the country’s children.

Poor sanitation and diet are to blame, but now one Australian charity is working to solve that.

South Asia correspondent James Bennett reports.

JAMES BENNETT: In impoverished Bahadurgarh, one hour from central New Delhi, there are no toilets and electricity is limited.

As AM is shown through the community by Bharti Sarkar, she explains that most get by on just a few dollars a day, and simply can’t afford to feed their children much except the Indian staples of lentils and rice.

BHARTI SARKAR (translated): The lentils have become really expensive and the vegetable seller only comes in the evening with old vegetables, so we don’t really get to have them.

JAMES BENNETT: Today though, there is something more nutritious – spinach, grown on rooftops nearby in a series of cheap, urban friendly shade houses built by Australian NGO Food Ladder.

The group’s director Kelly McJannett says the hydroponic system’s simplicity makes it easy to build close to communities otherwise bereft of healthy food.

KELLY MCJANNETT: A solution that could be rolled out to any disadvantaged community anywhere in the world that used hydroponic technology in small scale very replicable systems.

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