Impact of Mid-Day Meal Programme on education
When you were a child, all you wanted to do was eat and play. These activities require a lot of energy. And the main source of energy is food. Not just to eat and play, you need food even to build in energy to read and study as well.
Most of us are very fortunate to be able to eat three square meals a day and even snack in between. However, there are many children who hail from challenging socio-economic backgrounds and are less fortunate. In order to identify and reach out to such children and support their education, the Mid-Day Meal Programme was started in India.
Under Mid-Day Meal Scheme, children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools are provided with school lunches on an everyday basis. There are many organisations that implement this programme; one such organisation is The Akshaya Patra Foundation. It is recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programme.
What does Akshaya Patra do?
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India that provides school lunch to children who come from economically unstable backgrounds. It provides wholesome food that caters to both, the local palate and nutritional requirements of school children aged between 6–13 years.
As on today, it feeds 1,800,907 children on a daily basis who study in 19,039 Government schools spread across 52 locations in 12 States and 2 Union Territories.
Apart from implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme, it also runs initiatives like:
· ‘Anganwadi Feeding Programme’ which serves pregnant women, lactating mothers and children between 3 to 6 years old.
· ‘Meal plate distribution programme’ is an initiative where stainless steel plates are provided to children.
These initiatives help doubling the vision of Akshaya Patra ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ The NGO aims at feeing 5 million children in India by 2025.
Impact of the Mid-Day Meal Programme
The reason why The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been relentlessly working towards serving unlimited food for education of children is because of the impact and change it has brought about among children.
ü It helps in eliminating classroom hunger. Locally palatable meals served by the Foundation help children enjoy their meals and helps them in keeping a full stomach.
ü A full stomach means no diversion for food. They will be able to concentrate better in their classes.
ü When there is improved attention in school, their grades will improve automatically and it helps in motivating them to chase their dreams.
ü It has helped in decreasing the school drop-out rate. Mid-day meals are a potential intervention to help children come back to school every single day.
ü Due to schools serving free mid-day meals to children, there has been a significant increase in the school enrolment rates.
Many lives have changed with every meal served on a daily basis. You too can change lives and give wings to children’s dreams with your online donation. Come and be a part of The Akshaya Patra Foundation where you give every child a chance to fulfil dreams.