Are Mid-Day Meals Playing a Role in a Student’s Academics?

In the last five decades, literacy has evolved and shaped India in many facets – be it industrialisation, per capita or even the standard of living, literacy takes the credit. When you examine the literacy graph of India and compare numbers, the gradual developments bring a smile – thanks to the government benefits and donations for education in India. While there are many factors that play a role in achieving 100% literacy rate, a children’s NGO, Akshaya Patra, is focusing on enabling a student’s academic performance through food for education initiative – the Mid-Day Meal Programme.

mid-day-meal-is-a-promise

Implemented in 2000, Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme (food for education initiative) is now the world’s largest NGO-run feeding initiative based out of Bengaluru in Karnataka. Every day, over 1.6 million children are benefitted through this programme which prepares and delivers fresh-nutritious food to 13,260 schools at lunch time.

Here’s a quick look at two main factors that affect a student’s academic performance:

food-for-education

Learning facilities and environment: It’s rather difficult to expect a child to learn in a classroom without sufficient study materials (text books, notepads, pen, and etcetera) and grasp lessons. It’s more problematic if the school is set up in a noisy surrounding and the exchange between teacher and students is put to a stop. While the government is making continuous efforts to provide provisions to children and build better infrastructure, many NGOs, with the help of education donations, have sprung to lend help to the government in ensuring children excel in their academics.

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Socio-economic status: In many scholarly articles and research studies, it has been proved over and again that the socio-economic status of a family is an integral criterion for student’s performance – this includes the family members’ occupation and revenue which defines the economic condition. Akshaya Patra enables many families by providing a resource to their children – mid-day meals – which in turn lessens the strain of feeding a stomach in the house. To ensure the child does not have to bear the responsibilities of earning, the Foundation through its programme encourages every child to attend school and also be assured to eat healthy meals.

Why are Mid-Day Meals a boon to children?

It is a resource that stabilises education.  But along with it come nutrition, good health and well-being, academic achievement and quality performance.  Akshaya Patra, with its dynamic initiative to provide food for education, has reached the milestone of serving more than 2 billion meals in the last 16 years. This milestone is a greater encouragement for the Foundation to continue its mission.

Yes, mid-day meals are a boon to children and for the nation. Here’s why:

– More children enrol in schools
– Promotes socialisation among children
– Reduces classroom hunger
– Enhances a student’s performance (academic, sports and cultural)

A quick thought for the mind: Post-independence, India faced many challenges in the field of Growth and Development. However, through numerous benefit schemes and opportunities, we as nation, are witnessing change in every field. Akshaya Patra’s initiative too intends change.

We believe every child deserves a fair chance and there is nothing more important than imparting education. Donate for education in India by joining Akshaya Patra in making every school a model of literacy development.

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Fuelling her dreams with Akshaya Patra meals

Mid-Day Meal Beneficiary-Hyderabad

Monica Devi is a student of the Zilla Parishad High School in Patancheru, Hyderabad. She is also a beneficiary of the Akshaya Patra mid-day meal programme.

Monica has not had an easy life. In fact, she’s had a harder life than most. When she was just seven years old her father left Monica’s mother and their two children to fend for themselves. Monica’s mother struggled to make a living for their small family by getting employed as a housekeeper at a multinational company, while the grandmother looked after the children.

Despite these hardships Monica has done well for herself at school, making sure she places amongst the top rankers of the class. Her brother is also making headway at an industrial training course in Hyderabad.

Monica is focused on succeeding in life, and even makes sure that she attends tuition after class. To add to this she also spends her free time reading to keep focused.

So where does she get all this energy from? The Akshaya Patra mid-day meal certainly helps provide her with the daily nutrition and energy she needs to study hard, assimilate information and strive on towards her goals. Monica is especially pleased that Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal is provided to so many children in her school. Her favourite dishes on the weekly menu are the aloo (potato) and brinjal (eggplant) curry. “Just before lunch, my friends and I can’t stop thinking about the meal,” says Monica.

It’s a pleasure to see young children like Monica relishing Akshaya Patra’s healthy, tasty meals, and using it to fuel their ambitions for the future.

 

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The deliverer of healthy food

The Akshaya Patra Blue Buses play an integral role in facilitating the work of the Foundation. It is with these iconic vehicles that the tasty, fresh Akshaya Patra food is delivered to over 1.4 million school children across India every day.
There are totally more than 500 Blue Buses in the Akshaya Patra fleet. The buses are all designed to look the same, making them an easily recognised sight on the streets. Each of these buses has been specially modified with the fabricated racks in a honeycomb structure to ensure that the vessels containing the food are packed in a stable manner, with the optimum utilisation of space.

Akshaya- Patra- Vehicle-Donation

The Akshaya Patra buses are also properly insulated to make sure that the food retains its heat till the very last bus reaches the last school. Quality in every aspect of Akshaya Patra’s operations process is crucial. Therefore, the buses are regularly cleaned through steam sterilisation and random checks are undertaken. To top this off, the Foundation has also ensured that every aspect of the bus in connection with the food is of the prescribed food grade.
These buses that have been so carefully designed by The Akshaya Patra Foundation are a beacon of hope to underserved children all over India. If you would like to contribute a vehicle to the Foundation, click here.

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Akshaya Patra Hyderabad School Kids