It is an added advantage for the mid-day meal programme in Uttar Pradesh, Nayagarh and Ballari as The Akshaya Patra Foundation partners with TOMS as part of the former’s ‘Beyond the Meal’ programme. Of the nearly 600,000 pairs of new shoes received from TOMS, 524,000 pairs have already been distributed to beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra Nayagarh, Ballari and Vrindavan. TOMS views that this partnership will promote self-esteem, good health and education among children. With the ‘Beyond the Meal’ programme Akshaya Patra looks forward to partner with individuals, NGOs, individuals and agencies to address blocks and explore newer ways to improve the mid-day meal programme as a whole.
Upon receiving the new pair of shoes, 11-year-old Ruchi, a beneficiary of the NGO in Uttar Pradesh said that this was the first time she received a brand new pair of shoes and which was not a used pair. Ruchi added that she felt very proud to receive something that she could call her own. As most of the beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra Nayagarh and also the beneficiaries of the mid-day meal programme in Uttar Pradesh never had a pair of shoes of their own the shoe distribution initiative will act as a great incentive for children to come to school.
The coming together of TOMS and Akshaya Patra will promote health and nutrition as regular usage of shoes will reduce foot-related diseases and it will also protect children from injuries and harsh weather conditions; and the mid-day meal from Akshaya Patra will provide nutrition among children. Altogether it will boost attendance, learning abilities and self-esteem among the children.
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