It is about time we acknowledge the positive impact of girl child education in the upliftment of the family, society, and the nation. In general, women are the chief caretakers of the family. An educated woman is more confident, aware, and equipped to nurture her children, take care of family affairs, and provide financial support to the family. Her education brings about a complete overhaul of the socio-economic status of a family, society, and the nation. The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO in India is empowering girl children by providing them with nutritious and healthy meals to support their education. But, before we delve more into Akshaya Patra’s role, here are 5 reasons why we should encourage girl child education in India:
1. Improved health and hygiene — Education brings in awareness and understanding on the importance of health and hygiene. So, educated girls implement these aspects in their daily lives and ensure that their families follow it too. This cycle of change results in a healthier lifestyle.
2. Decision-making power — Education instils confidence among children and this confidence enables girls to make decisions regarding their lives, families, careers, and the like.
3. Economic empowerment — Education opens up avenues for career opportunities. An educated girl is more skilled and self-dependent to take her own responsibility. She is more equipped to make career choices and follow her goals.
4. Enhanced self-esteem — Education attaches a sort of respect for an individual. An educated woman is looked upon with respect and honour. Their abilities, confidence, and self-reliability enhances their dignity in the society and supports their identity from getting lost.
5. Socio-economic equality — Education brings women at par with men, socially and economically. This creates gender parity and socio-economic equality in the society, resulting in a better society and a prosperous nation.
Akshaya Patra empowering girl child
Akshaya Patra is a mid-day meal NGO in India providing freshly cooked, nutritious, and tasty school lunch to children of government and government-aided schools across 12 states of India. By implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, the NGO aims at supporting education and overall development of children, and this includes girl children too. And, this is evident in the below ambitions of a handful of Akshaya Patra’s girl beneficiaries:
The history of mid-day meal dates back to pre-Independence era. However, the current module of the Scheme has come into effect after the Supreme Court of India’s mandate on 28 November 2001 stating that children of government and government-aided schools must be provided with cooked meals during the lunch hour on every school day. Aside from implementing its core programme of school lunch, Akshaya Patra also started ‘Giving Every Dream A Chance’ — an initiative to hone the skills of beneficiary children for overall development. Below is a short clipping of how this initiative is aiding in strengthening dreams of girl children:
Girl child education is not an option, it is the responsibility of every family, every society, and every nation. Because, unless we educate our girls, we can neither dream of progress nor hope for prosperity! So, let’s get united and support education of girls, nationwide!