Battling Classroom Hunger For India’s Children
In India, poverty and hunger drive turmoil, and education indirectly suffers the damage. Recently, statistics of the Global Hunger Index (GHI) rated India’s hunger status as ‘serious’. With a score of 28.5, over 15% of India’s population is undernourished. Shridhar Venkat, CEO of the Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in India says, “It’s our duty to realise their potential, help them chase their dreams and lead wholesome lives.”
Had the snag of hunger been eliminated, possibly, the circumstances wouldn’t look as gloomy. Just like worries, hunger is also connected with other hardships. Typically, hunger clutches our bodies, our ability to perform and our prospects for the future. Malnutrition, underdeveloped physical growth and child labour – these are results of hunger and poverty. Ultimately, education is put at stake.
The disturbing thing about poverty and hunger is their effects on children. The babyhood of lakhs of children in India, is deprived of innocence, of school memories and jovial meals with family.
Hence, it’s quite unfortunate that monetary constraints invade their lives and keep them from pursuing their education. The Government of India also runs a Mid-Day Meal Scheme which is a great initiative towards this cause. NGOs like the Akshaya Patra Foundation execute this scheme and aim to implement it across the country.
A healthy and nutritious school meal on a daily basis provides parents the enticement to send their children to school rather than labour sites.
The Mid Day Meal Programme by Akshaya Patra in Bangalore, has immensely increased the school attendance and enrolment. It has also been observed that children are able to concentrate better and the socioeconomic boundaries have almost blurred, as children sit together to eat their tasty meal.
The initiative of ‘unlimited food for education’ and all of us allied with it, at Akshaya Patra, look forward to find us by our side, to keep the flare of education burning in youthful minds, lit by vigorous, healthy meals.