Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Importance of mid-day meal programme in India

Despite the efforts of various NGOs in India the country falls among the highest ranking nations with malnourished children according to World Bank study. Even when there is a forward trend in the country’s economy, the gap between the rich and the poor is ever increasing. This again brings back to the vicious cycle of poverty, hunger and illiteracy. This cycle affects the children of the backward economic sections the most as to earn a square meal they are forced into child labour. Education for these children becomes secondary. The rising economic gap also gives way to increased cases of malnutrition among children. Malnutrition negatively affects the physical, cognitive and social development among children. Many dedicated NGOs in India are working towards the cause of malnutrition and providing assistance to the needy at grass root level.

It has been observed that food and education are interconnected. One of the main reasons of remaining out of school or dropping out from regular schooling is financial crisis. In order to feed his or her hungry stomach the child of an economic backward section will venture out to earn a meal than go to school. Even the parents will reason out that the child becomes an extra hand to earn a living. In such a situation, food becomes an important prerequisite in the education sector. The Government of India initiated the Mid-Day Meal Scheme as a supporting pillar to educational schemes. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a NGO in India which is implementing the mid-day meal programme.

By implementing the mid-day meal programme, Akshaya Patra aims to counter classroom hunger thereby indirectly aiding in countering malnutrition too. Working in a public-private partnership model, Akshaya Patra provides free school meal to the children of Government and Government aided schools. It takes great care in providing nutritious, hygienic, and tasty meal to the children because it is aware that for many children this is the only wholesome meal for the day. The Akshaya Patra meals also cater to the local palate so that children can relish their meal to the utmost.

The mid-day meal programme acts as an incentive for parents to send their children to school with the hope that their children will at least receive a wholesome meal. In the course, the children also receive the rightful education. Akshaya Patra blog will bring across you the many positive changes that mid-day meals programme has bought into the lives of underserved children.  Akshaya Patra blog will also give you a platform to know more the programme and the various ways you can be a part of it.

Malnutrition is indeed a menacing issue faced by India and many countries but initiatives like the mid-day meal programme and public participation in such initiatives can prove to be a catalyst of change. Let’s progress together towards a healthy and educated society.

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