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Child Right's Day - How Has It Changed Lives Of Children In India?
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Children are the future. But how hopeful the future will be, depends on how we take care of our children.
Every morning, we see so many children rushing to school, playing in the park, enjoying a sumptuous meal with their family, buying toys at stores, and the like. What we don’t see are those children who are deprived of this basic happiness. Yes, behind the reality of educated, healthy, nourished, and well-taken care of children are those children who are struggling as labourers, are suffering from malnourishment, are deprived of education, and are shut off from basic care. To address these concerns and uphold rights of children, 20th November is celebrated annually as Child Rights Day in India by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. This Day is also observed as the Universal Children Day or International Child Rights Day across the world.
This day is observed with the objective to create awareness and garner support to protect and make child rights in India and the world accessible to all children. Conferences, programmes and various events are conducted at global and national levels to reassess and take necessary steps to protect and care for children during their childhood. Not just at bureaucratic level, this day is observed by several child-centric NGOs too. These NGOs create awareness about their respective fields of work towards protection and development of children. One such NGO is The Akshaya Patra Foundation that implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in India.
Upholding the basic rights of children for food and education, Akshaya Patra strives to provide ‘unlimited food for education’ with the vision that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’. Established in 2000, this NGO currently provides nutritious and healthy meals to more than 1.76 million children in 40 locations of 12 states. Over the years, it has been observed that this meal has impacted the lives of children in multiple ways. Regular consumption of mid-day meal has:
• Improved the nutrition levels and health of children;
• Regularised school attendance;
• Increased school enrolment and decreased drop-out rate;
• Improved level of concentration in classroom;
• Improved academic performance; and
• Boosted morale of children making them more confident of a better future.
The Mid-Day Meal Programme is an important intervention to feed the hungry children thereby countering classroom hunger and promoting better learning.
On the occasion of Child Rights Day, Akshaya Patra wants to reiterate that if we really want to be proud of being the youngest nation in the world i.e. of having the largest population in the working age group, then we must make the children of the country resourceful. It is the children who possess the spirit and power to make India a prosperous and developed nation. Hence, by nurturing children with wholesome food and making education accessible to them, we can transform their life for the better and also eliminate the vicious cycle of poverty-hunger-illiteracy.
As citizens, it is not just our duty but our responsibility to protect and uphold child rights in India. And, we can do that by ensuring proper care, nutrition, and schooling of millions of not-so-privileged children. Let us together make Child Rights Day meaningful and impactful by changing lives of children across the country.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a mid-day meal NGO in India serving more than 1.76 million children across 12 states of India. This NGO is working towards ensuring every child has access to healthy meals and rightful education.
I'm a social volunteer, lives in Bengaluru. I do work for NGOs to make society better. Currently I'm working for The Akshaya Patra Foundation. It's an NGO in India which provides wholesome nutritious mid-day meals to government school children to end classroom hunger. https://www.akshayapatra.org/
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