The main focus of Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is to provide nutritious and balanced diet to underprivileged children. ICDS had conducted ‘Nutrition Week Celebration’ and ‘Iodine Awareness Programme’ at Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, which was inaugurated by District Collector- D. Jagannathan.
Collector D. Jagannathan began his speech by stating- “It is the duty of mothers to feed their babies with nutritious diet for the babies to lead a hale and healthy life,” He went on to add- “Every one should know that nurturing a child in a healthy manner is not an easy task, but it is necessary to make children not only good students but also healthy children, for which they need a nutritious and balanced diet”.
Interestingly, The Akshaya Patra Foundation shares similar sentiment, and is actively working towards achieving Millennium Development Goals. With the vision of “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”, Akshaya Patra is working towards eliminating child hunger and increasing literacy quotient among the children of the underprivileged section. Set foot in June 2000, by feeding 1500 children in 5 schools of Bangalore, as a part of the mid-day meal program; today it has reached a commendable 1.3 million children across India. Currently, Akshaya Patra operates in 19 locations, across 9 states of India, and covers 9,075 schools to provide freshly cooked meal to the children on all school days. It was a milestone achievement for Akshaya Patra, as the Foundation served its billionth meal in August 2012. It aims to reach out to 5 million children by 2020.
Speaking on the occasion of celebrating the billionth meal, the founding member of Akshaya Patra, Mohan Das Pai maintained that “this organization is the only one of its kind that does not want to exist in future because it envisions a future that does not require it.” This not only inspired the audience but also reinstated the mission in a more profound manner.