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Changing Lives Of Children Through Nutrition And Education
Nutrition intake, access to education, social interactions, etc., during childhood play a crucial in the development of children into healthy, responsible citizens of the future. However, many children who grow up in low-income backgrounds frequently lack access to healthy food, hygienic conditions, safe housing, healthcare and education—all essentials for survival. School feeding programmes can serve as an effective intervention to address some of these issues, thus paving way to change the lives of children and their families through nutrition and education.
A school feeding programme enhances health and stimulates the development of children and improves their attendance and concentration, thus boosting their academic performance.
School feeding programmes are in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 - Zero Hunger which calls for an end to hunger, increased access to safe and nutritious food and elimination of all forms of malnutrition, SDG 4 – Quality Education which calls for eliminating gender disparities in education and ensuring equal access to all levels of education.
School feeding ...
... and nutrition programmes can significantly impact a child's physical development and health, especially in developing nations where school lunch is often the child's first meal of the day.
In India, the Central Government runs the PM POSHAN Abhiyaan (earlier known as the Mid-Day Meal Programme). The primary objective of this programme is to improve the nutritional status of underprivileged children studying in government and government-aided schools.
This programme also encourages children to attend school regularly and helps them improve their academic performance. Additionally, this programme also decreases the dropout rates. As children’s one meal is assured, parents to worry less about their nutritional intake.
Since children are a very important part of every nation, it is imperative that their overall development is given due importance, especially if the objective is a sustainable future for the nation in the long run. The PM POSHAN Abhiyaan grooms the current generation of children for a global world by supporting their nutrition and education.
In India, there is a provision for the involvement of NGOs in the implementation of the flagship school feeding programme. The Akshaya Patra Foundation, for instance, is the centre’s implementing partner for the PM POSHAN Abhiyaan. The NGO has been serving mid-day meals to children since 2000.
Over 2 million children are served hot and nutritious school meals every day in 15 states and 2 UTs as of today. The Foundation has positively impacted the lives of millions until now with the support of the government and its patrons, and aims to serve 3 million children by 2025. Akshaya Patra continuously strives to improve the quality of lives of children and contribute to a positive spiral of health, development and school attendance.
In the end, children are the leaders of the future, so it is imperative that we empower them by providing them with nutritious food and quality education through interventions such as the PM POSHAN Abhiyaan.
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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