Dr. Arun Gupta MD FIAP
Member-Prime Minister's Council on India's Nutrition Challenges,
Regional Coordinator- IBFAN Asia,Co-Chair- IBFAN Global Council,
Chair, global Breastfeeding Initiative for Child Survival(gBICS)
Convener-Alliance Against Conflict of Interest(AACI),
BP-33, Pitampura | Delhi- 110034
Email id : arun@ibfanasia.org, arun.ibfan@gmail.com
Landline: +91-11-27343608, +91-11-42683059 | Mobile: 9899676306 | Telefax:+91-11-27343606

www.bpni.org, www.ibfanasia.org, www.worldbreastfeedingtrends.org, http://worldbreastfeedingconference.org/home.html , www.onemillioncampaign.org

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He is a pediatrician with more than 30 years of experience, having done his MD (Ped.) in 1976 and committed to building up issues around supporting women to succeed in optimal breastfeeding practices. Motivated by his strong belief, and noticing that problems started more often in health systems, he mobilized a group of pediatricians to engage into founding of the national network - named Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India(BPNI) in 1991. He gave up his lucrative private practice (owner of a 30 bedded children's hospital in Jalandhar, Punjab) and moved to Delhi in 1990, and a formal BPNI was born in 1991.

First few years he acted as a part time advisor/worker/implementer/manager/administrator etc. etc. and in 1998 he gave up his clinical assignments in Delhi, and fully moved into building the BPNI to raise it to the current heights in 16 years' time. BPNI is now recognized as a premier and a pioneer institution to support the governments and others on technical and other related issues.

He has single-handedly led this movement through BPNI to put breastfeeding on national and political agenda. Mobilized a network of more than 3500 people in the volunteer breastfeeding movement build a strong opinion on the issue of infant survival and development in the country. His contribution to building this institution has been recognized by other countries also, where he has been able to influence policy and legal frameworks.

Dr. Arun Gupta, MD (Ped), FIAP

He has led high-level campaigns through BPNI to bring in legislative reforms for this protection of mothers and children. BPNI, along with other agencies led the movement to enactment of the national legislation, 'Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles, and Infant Foods( Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1992, to protect breastfeeding was enacted in 1992, and further strengthened in 2003. In 2004, when a plan to repeal this Act was put up, he led a 3-month long fight and finally saved this Act. His few minutes' meetings with political stalwarts have yielded long lasting results for the babies and mothers. One such example is the Cable TV Network service Act was amended in 2000 including ban on advertising of baby foods and feeding bottles.

His efforts have made BPNI into a nationally recognized institution, which is sought after for example to address Parliament questions; national policies, state policies, its development and analysis, documentation, facilitation of discussions etc. He has been invited to be a member of several government committees on children.

He has extensively written to raise the voice of infants, in the Economic and Political Weekly, Editorial for Times of India, and Civil Society are a few to mention . He has been quoted extensively for the issues in national press. Apart from this he has also written and developed several academic publications on the issue. In the BPNI, development of training materials, writing technical documents, advocacy documents, analysis of data have been his strengths, which Hon'ble President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam also recognised. The Indian Academy of Pediatrics awarded him as a "Fellow" in 2001.

He is an inspiring example of developing strong and dedicated network and created a movement in India that has brought global appreciation to India.

He is internationally renowned in this area of work and currently is regional coordinator of IBFAN, the Right Livelihood recipient in 1998. Recognized by his work, in 1996, World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) awarded him, as one of the twelve special recipients of the International awards " for strong regional advocacy role for WABA and effort of protecting the Code nationally" . WABA later nominated BPNI as its regional focal point for South Asia. He has been speaking at international and regional country meetings on children. He is member of the Working group on breastfeeding and complementary feeding of the UN Sub Committee on nutrition (SCN) and he made presentations at its recent meeting in March 2007. He was recently invited to contribute a chapter in the "Project " Global obligation for the Right to Food" - he chose to write on ' "International obligations on Right to Food for infants" in which he is asking to establish an international mechanism to provide a minimum essential package (MEP) for women to enable them to successfully breastfeed.

He has made outstanding contribution to child health and survival, not in India but also in many south Asian and east Asian countries, his close association with the government actually makes health care reach many million of mothers and children. His untiring advocacy efforts and creation of a breastfeeding movement, putting breastfeeding on the national agendas contribution to national legislations and inputs into global agenda make him fit to receive the national award.
More about his work can also be seen at www.ibfanasia.orgwww.bpni.org, www.worldbreastfeedingtrends.org, www.onemillioncampaign.org

© 2017 Dr.Arun Gupta |New Delhi