When other people felt pity towards skinny limbs, hollow eyes and distended bellies, 21-year-old Mahesh RV, an engineering graduate, dreamed of doing something big. He always wanted to study to eradicate issues his country faces. A PESIT student, he was disturbed by the growing rate of undernourished children and this gave him the idea of growing spirulina and making it available for the people in need.
“I have always felt that the educated should take up the responsibility of solving the country’s pressing problems. After understanding the ill-effects of malnutrition and its long-term implications on one’s IQ and mental ability, I decided to dedicate my life to fight the menace,” said Mahesh. “I knew that spirulina has proven scientific benefits and a miraculous ability to fight malnutrition. One gram of spirulina granules is equivalent to 1kg of fruits and vegetables.”
Today, 26-year-old Mahesh is in full-time cultivation of Spirulina. After graduating, he started growing Spirulina in his farm in Tumakuru and supplying it to 110 children in an orphanage. Then he flourished and got in link with the Department of Women & Child Development to improve the nutritional status of malnourished children, and expectant and lactating mothers.
“Under the Bala Poshna scheme announced in the 2016-17 state budget, spirulina will be provided as nutritional supplement to 25,000 kids suffering from acute malnutrition.”
Mahesh has his own foundations as well. JSW Foundation, Biocon Foundation and Scania India on board all work together to reach children suffering from malnutrition as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. He was also selected as the country’s top 100 impact innovators by the Action for India forum in 2014.
I started the Spirulina Foundation in 2010. It supplies the nutritional supplement to orphanages and slum kids in DH Halli.
The foundation lent a helping hand to the victims of the Uttarakhand and Nepal floods in 2013 and 2015 respectively. It focuses on creating awareness about Spirulina at both community and individual levels by engaging villagers and locals in project implementation.