The Dance of Hunger!

Do you know what it feels like to be starving? Have you felt the cramps in your stomach when it’s empty? Whether or not, you have experienced this, lakhs of children across India live this reality each day! Akshaya Patra, an NGO is striving committedly to alter this reality for these children.

Dance of hunger

When was the last time you did not receive or eat your meal on time? When was the last time you got those hunger cramps in your stomach? When was the last time you really had to go out of your way to get some food? How did you feel when your stomach was empty?

All these questions may either seem relevant to you or it may be completely irrelevant to you. But, the point is, lakhs of children across India wake up to hunger and go back to sleep in hunger! These children are living each day without the assurance of something as basic as food. At a tender age, their mind and heart revolve around the worry of ‘Will I get something to eat today?’ At a time when they should be playing, making friends, attending school, exploring and learning new things, their childhood is spent in looking for ways to quieten the hunger pangs. So, are we doing anything to liberate these children from this grim situation?

Read more: https://medium.com/@akshayapatraindia/the-dance-of-hunger-e720b9136a37

Eliminating Hunger is a Crucial Step for India

The Global Hunger Index (a tool designed to measure global hunger) released by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) shows that India ranks 97 out of 118 countries – ‘Serious’ hunger. As many as 43 countries are under the ‘Serious’ category whereas 45 countries are low. For India to tackle the hunger problem by feeding the hungry, the current policies have schemes have to be more stringent and accessible to people in need.

While the government and many NGOs are working towards feeding the children with wholesome meals, there is a need for us to act together as a society. Given the number of children who require food in our country, Akshaya Patra, a children’s NGO based out of Bengaluru, is providing healthy meals to over 1.6 million school children in 11 states in India. The Foundation is also focusing on reaching out to 5 million children by 2020.

making-hunger-a-history-1

Why should we focus on children’s food demands?

Children are the future. Considering the magnitude of hunger problem in India, many NGOs are setting up initiatives to eliminate hunger especially among children – they are stunted, poorly nourished and do not receive one square meal a day. Going by the GHI score, 38.7% of children below five years are stunted – it means that the weight is not appropriate for their height (they are too thin). In 1992, this score was 61.9. That’s a difference of 23.2% in the last 24 years.

With an initiative like ‘Food for Education,’ by Akshaya Patra, the advantages are doubled to make hunger a history – the child is educated and also, he or she is completely nourished with nutritious meals.

Inclusive development and addressing issues using this method is more important for India. That is, simultaneously focus on development of education, citizens’ rights, health care, housing facilities, job opportunities and so on. However, when one issue is looked down as least important, it multiples and becomes far more challenging.

Here’s what you can do to eliminate hunger in India

It has been proved over and again that India has sufficient resources to eliminate hunger. However, the existing challenges are a drawback. Distribution of food among families with low-income, building infrastructure to reach certain towns and villages, educating the farmers, ensuring fair-trade are some of the challenges.

Akshaya Patra’s school lunch programme benefits children from many small towns and villages to consume a square meal on every school day. Today, the organisation reaches out to 13,210 schools to feed the children. Keeping hygiene and quality in mind, mid-day meals are freshly prepared and are delivered to schools during lunch time.

You can get involved in this cause too! Contribute to the cause by sponsoring a child’s mid-day meals for an entire year. Also, you can learn how Akshaya Patra operates its Mid-Day Meal Programme by visiting our blog.

Akshaya Patra Feeds to End Child Hunger

The Akshaya Patra Foundation which was established in the year 2000 has had an amazing, enriching journey over the past 15 years. Started with just feeding 1,500 children across 5 schools in Bengaluru, Akshaya Patra today feeds over 1.4 million children across 24 locations and 10 states of India. The organisation was conceptualized with the idea that children should not have to choose between education and nutrition. The Foundation’s vision is that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’ and the mission is to feed 5 million children by 2020. Through its Mid-Day Meal Programme, the organisation works to end classroom hunger in India, and feed and educate underserved children.

Feed the hungry children

In many cases, children do not have the opportunity to attend school since they are forced to help their parents earn enough money for a single meal every day. With the mid-day meals provided by The Akshaya Patra Foundation, children have an incentive to attend school and get educated at the same time. Parents too are more eager to allow their children to attend school as Akshaya Patra assures their child with a daily, nutritious meal and eases the burden on parents to provide for their young ones.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation with the support of all its well-wishers aims to eliminate classroom hunger in India, and give children the opportunity to achieve their goals. For any organization, people support is important. To support this Foundation, make an online donation and help us to feed more children.