Food is one of the essentials needed to survive on this earth. However, all of us are not lucky enough to receive a sufficient supply due to many reasons. It is shocking to know that about 870 million people in the world struggle for a square meal every day due to extreme poverty.
When we talk about hunger children always come at the forefront as they are the worst affected. Lack of food or nutrition during the early stages of growth can lead to several health problems and sometimes even to death. Here are some statistics on children and hunger:
- Malnutrition kills about 3.1 million children every year
- About 100 million children (one out of six) in developing countries fall below the recommended weight
- One in four children in the world is stunted
- About 66 million primary school children go hungry to school
Measures have been taken to bring these numbers down and works by The World Food Programme (WFP), the largest anti-hunger agency of the UN in the world, have been quite inspiring. Interestingly, the agency feeds 80 million people in 75 countries every year.
From the past 54 years, the agency has been trying constantly to eliminate hunger and provide children an opportunity to attend school. For this purpose, WFP supplies nutritious school meals to over 20 million children across the world.
The initiative has helped bring children back to school and bring hopes in millions of families. These meals, in a way, have also provided underprivileged children all the nutrition needed for growth. The school meal programme has also given an opportunity to utilise the local resources and increase their demand.
Who else help school children in India – an overview:
A 2013 report on school feeding programmes across 169 countries released by the World Food Project ranked India 12th among lower middle income countries. During that time, India was feeding 114 million school children every day.
Some of the organisations which have helped improve lives of school children in India include:
- The Akshaya Patra Foundation: The NGO, at present feeds freshly cooked nutritious mid-day meals to over 1.4 million school children in 10 states.
- Annamrita: The NGO feeds 1.2 million meals in eight states in India.
- Nanhi Kali: The NGO helps provide education to girls
- Smile Foundation: is dedicated to empower underprivileged children, youth and women.
These organisations have helped feed the hungry, provide education and empowerment and brought hope to millions of school children. However, there is a long way to go in eliminating classroom hunger altogether or providing education to all.
But, it is very much achievable. Just keep the good works going and soon ‘child hunger is gone’ will be a beautiful truth.