Akshaya Patra’s role in children’s development
The vision statement of Akshaya Patra states: ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ In June 2000, the Akshaya Patra Foundation was founded with the objective of ensuring that no child missed schooling for want of food.
Over the last 17 years, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been playing a pivotal role in the emotional, social and physical development of young school-going children. In fact, these have a direct effect on their overall development while growing up into an adult. That is why it’s important to understand the need to invest in young children.
Young children are like sponges when learning. Hence, these formative years are very important. A major role is played in ensuring children get the best by many a charity for children that facilitate learning.
While the Foundation ensures adequate nutritious food, it also does some other work too that ensure the holistic development of children:
a. It holds after-class tuitions for children to ensure even those children who may not have anyone to guide them at home too are on a par with other children.
b. It also holds community health camps. This ensures that children, their families and the whole community get access to the best in healthcare.
c. It conducts health check-up camps which helps provide treatments on time to the needy, especially children.
d. The Foundation organises life-skills programmes that makes the deprived children fit enough to have a fair shot at success and can compete in this highly-competitive world, and
e. The Foundation also has scholarship programmes for children from families that are economically challenged which allows them to afford the best of books and study materials.
Referring to a few studies, former US President Obama had said in an address in 2013 that early childhood education had a great impact on life’s outcomes. This is a universal truth and hence even the deprived children should get adequate quality education. One can donate for education in India to ensure these children are able to go to school and are able to study like normal children.
The approach to building a strong foundation for a child’s emotional, social, physical and mental development, which will prepare them for a lifetime can be used during the schooling. Socializing with people other than one’s family in a safe environment is an essential foundational element and a school provides the right environment. This is facilitated by the mid-day meals provided by Akshaya Patra which makes children stay on in school and gain most out of the opportunity.
One can sponsor a child and ensure they are able to play a part in the whole process of a child’s development. One can do their mite by donating to education of children from deprived sections of the society. One can contribute to ensure that at a least child can get good education without having to worry about hunger while concentrating on the studies.