NGO in Rajasthan Feeds a Child with Rs 950 for an Entire Year

NGO in Rajasthan

The sum of Rs 950 has a different a meaning for every person. For a few it’s the amount with which they can buy their favourite outfit or go to their liked place for dinner. But for many children, it is a source of hope, a hope that they will be able to relish a nutritious and delicious food for the entire year.

Though it sounds difficult, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been making it possible for over 1.6 million children. The food served is prepared according to the guidelines set by the Government. The food is nutritious and delicious at the same time. While the food gives them the freedom to choose education over work, it also gives them the ability to make their decisions and aspire to pursue a career of their choice. By choosing education over work, they also get enough time to participate in sports activities and other activities of their choice.

Akshaya Patra is among the major NGOs in Rajasthan and it ensuring good health for all its beneficiaries. The menu varies every day so as to ensure that the children don’t lose interest in food. To gain the best out of seasonal vegetables, the dishes are changed depending on the seasons.

The Foundation will soon be launching its fifth kitchen in Ajmer. The existing four kitchens are located in Jaipur, Baran, Nathdwara and Jodhpur. About 1,70,723 children from 2,672 schools are currently benefiting from the initiative across the state.

Your contribution of just Rs 950 can ensure that the children are able to relish a wholesome meal served by the Foundation on every school day. They will be encouraged to prioritise studies over work. With a full stomach meal, they will be able to concentrate on studies. This will in turn lead the country towards positive development.

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10 Ingredients that make Mid-Day Meal a Healthy Eat!

The 21st century has made us more food conscious than ever. We take interest in understanding the importance of healthy food, nutrition intake, and calories and so on. To simplify the food theories, we have even created food pyramids and graphs based on age groups. Today, we all know what kind of food is acceptable for children and what isn’t.

As an NGO, Akshaya Patra aims to feed the children the right amount of mid-day meals with sufficient nutritional values. We believe mid-day meal benefits every child. Before we share our little secret on keeping children healthy, here’s a bit of history on Nutrition. The word ‘Nutrition’ means ‘nourishment’ and first originated in Latin during early 15th century. Centuries later, when hunger was identified as an issue, a prefix Mal which means ‘bad’ was used to describe poor nutritional levels – malnutrition.

For Akshaya Patra, it is important that children receive the right amount of nutrients in their food. Here’s a list of ingredients used in mid-day meals along with their nutrition value:

nutritional-value-of-mdm

 

To break the cycle of hunger among children, a country must do a lot – introduce nutritional school lunch programmes, ensure initiatives are reaching the target group, prioritise education, stabilise low-income families with subsidies and health care benefits, and many more. Akshaya Patra’s menu of mid-day meals is such that it covers the basics of nutrition intake and calories, making it one of the best diets for children!

Besides clothing and shelter, food is one of the basic needs for humans. We have reached a point in time where most of us are able to afford these basic needs however, lack of food among children continues to be a persistent issue. Let’s act to ensure children receive the two most important elements that can help them grow – food and education. Sponsor a child by donating Rs 950 and be assured that he or she will receive wholesome mid-day meals for an entire academic year!

The Significance of Good Nutrition for Education

All of us know that eating healthy is essential for the proper development of mind and body.  The importance of good nutrition especially becomes more crucial when we think about children.  Children require good nutrition for the proper physical growth, working of organs and cognitive plus neurological development.  In addition to these, a healthy diet also helps in socio-economic development and healthy growth of children.

Joy of Children

On the other hand, lack of getting adequate nutrition for a long period can lead to growth issues in children. Previous research has linked poverty and malnutrition to smaller brain volumes, social withdrawal, poor writing-reading skills and delayed physical growth in children.  It is worrying to know that around 159 million children across the world under age five were stunted (not growing taller according to age) and another 50 million were wasted (not gaining enough weight for height) in 2014. Stunting can delay motor development, impair cognitive function and affect academic performance.  Similarly, wasting in children, an aftereffect of severe food shortage, can even lead to death.

Similarly, nutrition has a direct link with education. Nutrition and education, in a way, are very closely related.  Good nutrition can help improve behaviour, learning, school attendance and concentration. Nutrition for children includes micronutrients like vitamins, minerals and macronutrients like carbohydrates, protein and fat.  A deficiency of any of these nutrients can lead to adverse health outcomes including death. Iron deficiency can impede cognitive development; vitamin A deficiency weakens immunity and increases death risk from diarrhoea, measles and malaria.  Iodine deficiency can damage the brain and lead to mental retardation. Zinc deficiency can leave a negative impact on growth and immunity.

Nutrition n education

It was in an effort to tackle all these problems the idea of school lunch programmes was born. The main aim was to help improve the nutritional status of children. But the school lunch programmes have also helped hold children back to school.  Apart from these, school lunch programmes also help support local farmers and provide food security to children during crisis. Currently several countries across the world including Brazil, Italy, USA, Australia, France, Greece,  Kenya,  Korea, Finland, Japan, India and Spain have school lunch programmes.

In India, apart from The Government of India, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a NGO also serves mid-day meals in schools. The organisation serves freshly cooked nutritious meals to over 1.4 million children every day.

Now we know how nutrition influences education and the role of school lunch programmes in providing nutrition for children. Next is what we can do to improve lives of millions of undernourished children around us.  Yes, there are lots of options – including volunteering, fundraising or donating to the charity organisations who work for the welfare of these school children.

One can get involved today and help transform the world into a better place for children.