Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Akshaya Patra Mid Day Meal Making School a Joyful Place

“Good faculty, affiliated board or curriculum, ranks of the graduated batch, management, fee structure, extra-curricular activities and courses, school ranking” are the most general lookouts while enquiring and selecting a school. But, these need not be the only criteria. Surprising it might sound but Chatrapathi Shivaji School, Sandur Taluk, Bellary district of Karnataka scored more than a neighbouring school just for the fact that the lunch served here is better. Indeed remarkable.

Chatrapathi Shivaji High School was established in 1950 and is a Government-aided school. The Primary and Higher Primary section was introduced later. There are 453 students in the Primary and Higher Primary section and they all come from humble backgrounds. Their parents work as labourers in the agriculture and factory set-ups.

Of the mentioned strength, a considerable 150 are Lambani children. Even though they have to walk 5 kilometres extra, these children chose Chatrapathi Shivaji School, over a neighbourhood school solely because of the quality of the lunch provided. These students are Akshaya Patra mid-day meal beneficiaries. Akshaya Patra is providing mid-day meal to this school for past 6 years. The children say, “The sweet given in the mid-day meal is our favourite.” The meal is always served hot and fresh and this is the chief reason the children love of the meal. It is a routine practice that before serving the food to the children, the teachers will taste it. So, if someday there is any feedback the teachers inform the route boys. The teachers requested for more variety in the meal.

Bosappa, Principal of Chatrapathi Shivaji School says, “I have seen the kitchen facility of Akshaya Patra and also had a chance to see how the food is cooked.” He said mid-day meal was provided during the summer vacation too due to the drought situation that prevailed in Bellary. When asked, “Do these children only come to eat the mid-day meal during their vacation?” He said, “During the vacation these children come to school in the morning and play till afternoon. At noon they have their meal and then go back home.”

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