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Annakshetra Case - an Initiative by Centre of Development Communication, Jaipur

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Jaipur, the city where Rajputana culture is still alive, is the home of lavish parties, weddings and celebrations which lead to a lot of leftover food. While on one side these lavish parties waste tonnes of food each year, there are close to 40% Indians below poverty line who are struggling to manage two square meals a day. Owing to such a wide disparity in the society Annakshetra was born in Nov'2010.

Annakshetra is a unique initiative by Centre of Development Communication, Jaipur, formed with the aim to minimize food wastage by effective channelization of the excess food leftover in parties and temples. The process involves collection of the excess food from the parties, storage & testing of the food and distribution to:

* Poor and needy if the food is good for human consumption

* Cattles and Piggeries if the food is not fit for human consumption

During the detailed study of the project and the surveys conducted with caterers, hostels & upper middle class people, we observed that the areas of improvement included lack of a standard operating procedures and a need to increase the awareness about the program. Thereafter we defined the scope of our project as:

* Designing a Social Marketing Plan for Annakshetra and minimization of Food wastage

* Identifying the staffing needs and devising the Standard Operating Procedures involved in the Operational Framework.

We devised a social marketing plan starting from the 8Ps of marketing mix followed by the segmentation. We designed a campaign called 'Food for Thought' to spread awareness about Annakshetra and minimization of food wastage in three phases. We also implemented some of the recommendations which include below the line activation at Malls, conducting Poster making competition in two schools, designing a monthly newsletter for Annakshetra.

Owing to the lack of standardization in the process, we designed a set of Standard Operating Procedures, which could be used for rollout of Annakshetra in various cities at later stages. We also designed a staff structure proposing a 24 Hour helpdesk and developed a training module to train the staff members for manning this helpdesk. To facilitate easy tracking of records, we implemented Excel tracking sheet for maintaining records.

In the final stages, we handed over the project to the Annakshetra Program team wherein we explained them the rationale and the method to implement our recommendations. Our aim was to ensure that all the initiatives we had undertaken could be taken forward in a sustained way leading to Annakshetra becoming a 'People's Program'.

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