Home / Environment / Smile Foundation’s goodwill ambassador Chef Vikas Khanna leads a tree plantation drive in support of Tropicana’s Gift A Tree initiative

Smile Foundation’s goodwill ambassador Chef Vikas Khanna leads a tree plantation drive in support of Tropicana’s Gift A Tree initiative

To mark the special occasion, Chef Vikas Khanna planted trees with 250 children from Smile Foundation and unveiled his new book for children – ‘A Tree Named Ganga’

New Delhi, 16th November 2017: Tropicana, PepsiCo’s flagship nutrition brand, along with Smile Foundation, a national level development organization, and Michelin star Chef Vikas Khanna, today conducted a tree plantation drive as part of the Tropicana ‘Gift A Tree’ initiative. Tropicana ‘Gift A Tree’ is a commitment from Tropicana to gift back to nature, with trees that are a life essential. Michelin star Chef Vikas Khanna joined in to support the initiative by leading a group of 250 children from Smile Foundation to plant saplings in the city. He also launched his children’s book, his 28th so far, called ‘A Tree Named Ganga’.

While at the event, Chef Vikas Khanna addressed an enthusiastic group of children from Smile Foundation; educating them about the importance of planting trees and being one with nature. Donning his role as an author, he engaged with the children as he spoke about the importance of trees in our lives. Drawing references from his newly launched book, he encouraged them to imbibe one of the most important virtues of trees – the virtue of giving, and made them promise to become responsible young guardians of nature.

He commented, “For me trees have always been an inspiration as they teach us to give without expecting anything in return. So I’m happy to join Tropicana’s ‘Gift A Tree’ initiative that embodies a powerful thought of gifting back to nature. I’m excited to share this experience of planting trees with children from Smile Foundation who are our future generation. Through the story of ‘A Tree Named Ganga’, I’ve made an honest effort to help children understand the value of staying humble and the essence of giving.”

Tropicana’s Gift A Tree initiative aims to spread awareness about the importance of planting trees. The brand partnered with the ‘Rally for Rivers’ and grow-trees.com, and has pledged to plant over 25,000 trees. In the words of Vineet Sharma, Brand Manager – Tropicana, PepsiCo India, said, “Tropicana is closely linked to nature as all our products are made from the fruits of nature. We are delighted to have found like-minded partners in Chef Vikas Khanna and Smile Foundation, who are equally inspired by nature and believe in the spirit of ‘giving’. With Tropicana ‘Gift A Tree, we are taking a small step to gift trees back to nature and encouraging people to do the same.”

The event saw Chef Vikas Khanna plant trees with 250 children at Smile Foundation’s Aarohan – Mission Education Centre in Malviya Nagar, New Delhi. Children from Delhi International School and Health & Care Society – a Mission Education center of Smile Foundation, also joined on this occasion. The children were seen having a great time interacting with their favourite chef at the event.

While at the event, Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation commented, “Children are the future of our country. With their unprejudiced minds and unique way of seeing the world, they are a powerful resource to initiate social transformation. If we sensitize them about environmental issues from an early age, they develop positive habits that will make a lifelong difference to the environment. I am thankful to PepsiCo for this wonderful initiative and look forward to taking the message forward on a larger level.”

During the recent festive season, Tropicana had also introduced a special gift pack, part of the sales from which were contributed towards the initiative.

About PepsiCo India:
PepsiCo entered India in 1989 and has grown to become one of the largest MNC food and beverage businesses in India. PepsiCo India has been consistently investing in the country and has built an expansive beverage and snack food business supported by 62 plants across foods and beverages. PepsiCo India’s diverse portfolio includes iconic brands like Pepsi, Lay’s, Kurkure, Tropicana 100%, Gatorade and Quaker. PepsiCo’s growth in India has been guided by “Performance with Purpose”- our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world is what enables PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. In 2009, PepsiCo India achieved a significant milestone, by becoming the first business to achieve ‘Positive Water Balance’ in the beverage world, a fact verified by Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd. The company has been Water Positive since then. For more information, please visit www.pepsicoindia.co.in

About Tropicana:
Tropicana is the #1 brand in packaged 100% Juice* in the world. Launched in India in 2004, Tropicana is offers 100% Juices and juice-based drinks. Tropicana selects the best fruit to manufacture high-quality juices and original products, pioneer innovative processes and explore new markets for its products. It is committed to fostering healthy lifestyles by ensuring that its products are naturally nutritious and provide the daily benefits that one needs.

*Source 2011 Euromonitor International Limited; *100% Juice excludes Nectars (25-99% juice content) and Juice Drinks (upto 24% juice content).

About Smile Foundation:
Smile Foundation is a national level development organisation directly benefitting over 400,000 children and their families every year, through more than 200 live welfare projects on education, healthcare, livelihood and women empowerment, in over 950 remote villages and slums across 25 states of India.
Education is both the means as well as the end to a better life: the means because it empowers an individual to earn his/her livelihood and the end because it increases one’s awareness on a range of issues – from healthcare to appropriate social behavior to understanding one’s rights – and in the process help him/her evolve as a better citizen.

Doubtless, education is the most powerful catalyst for social transformation. But child education cannot be done in isolation. A child will go to school only if the family, particularly the mother, is assured of healthcare and empowered. Moreover, when an elder sibling is relevantly skilled to be employable and begins earning, the journey of empowerment continues beyond the present generation.

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