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Food and Education

Human Rights Day: Dreaming of an equal world

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The post-World War II world was one that had learnt many painful and valuable lessons from the mistakes of the past.

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations, in a bid to promote equality and assert the rights of individuals across the globe, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). To mark this occasion, Human Rights Day is observed around the world.

There are 30 Articles describing the rights that constitute the UDHR – civil,  economic, political, cultural, social – that humanity is entitled to. As its Preamble states, ‘this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education  to promote respect for these rights and freedoms  and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.’

Among the 30 Articles, all of exceeding importance, Article 25 recognises the right to a standard of living that ensures the health and well-being, which includes food, housing, clothing, medical care, among other necessities. This is followed by Article 26, which recognises the right to education. Akshaya Patra, with its philosophy of ‘unlimited food for education’, has been striving to ensure that the children of India aren’t deprived of these rights. Classroom hunger is a menace that keeps children from availing these basic rights and thus, affects their future prospects and hampers the realisation of their aspirations.

With one wholesome, nutritious meal a day, over 1.6 million children across 12 states in India have an incentive to attend school, concentrate in class and dare to dream big. Many among these beneficiaries wish to be IAS officers,  doctors, architects, soldiers, engineers – all due to the promise of one meal that is shared with schoolmates belonging to diverse religious, social and cultural backgrounds. Thus, the Foundation’s mid-day meal initiative also fosters social inclusion.

To join Akshaya Patra in the fight against classroom hunger and secure children with the right to food and education, donate here.

 

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Discussion RoomFood and Education

Literacy – A Tool to Word the Roadmap for Development

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International Literacy Day, observed on September 8 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), commemorates its 50-year anniversary in 2016. This day recognises the importance of literacy and promotes it through engagement on national and international levels. It is being celebrated under the banner ‘Reading the Past, Writing the Future’ this year.

According to the 2011 census, India’s literacy rate was 74.04% (82 .14% among males and 65.46% among females). The nation has made strides in literacy rate, with active efforts from the Government and organisations like The Akshaya Patra Foundation through its initiatives like food for education, but there is still a long way to go. The cause of literacy must certainly be on the top of the agenda for social improvement, as high rates of literacy benefit the individual and society in numerous ways. Here are some of them:

Brighter career prospects
Being able to read and write enhances the promise of a brighter future and financial security. Literacy fuels the pursuit of education, which is a prerequisite if one has to make a mark in society and bring about a revolution.

Boosts confidence and creates better self-image 
The ability to read and write instills confidence in people. The very act of being able to understand the written word and express oneself in writing is empowering, both socially and psychologically.

Increases social and political awareness  
Literacy is one of the key cornerstones of a society that is conscious of its strengths and limitations and mindful of important happenings in the nation and the world. This enhances the public sense of social responsibility, powered by greater awareness.

Helps in discovering the joy of books, new worlds and new ideas 
Perhaps the most magical part about being able to read and write is the pleasure of being able to become lost in books. Discovering new worlds, ideas, stories and philosophies expands one’s worldview and makes them appreciate the staggering diversity of thought and culture in the world.

A keystone to nation-building and economic progress 
Literate, well-educated adults make it possible for a country to reach the summit of economic progress. This kind of development is inclusive, with equal growth opportunities for people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Literacy can also help combat gender inequality – a major concern that needs to be addressed throughout the world.

Let’s come together to educate the children of India. While this would help them in their personal growth, it will also take the country towards positive development. Donate for education in India today to support the cause.

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