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Celebrate for a Cause

Lead the Path to Progress this Republic Day

republic day

Celebrated every year on 26th January, Republic Day is a moment of pride for all Indians. It is a reflection of the power of complete democracy as well as the importance of fundamental rights in inclusive progress of the entire nation. Akshaya Patra, a mid-day meal NGO has been working towards promoting right to nutrition and education of children for 21 years.

We have come a long way since 26th January 1950 when the Constitution of India came into effect making India an independent republic with a democratic government. During these 73 years, the country has made innumerable progresses and is now considered among the most influential countries in the world. Republic Day reiterates the importance of fundamental rights and the responsibility of each citizen that comes with it for the betterment of the country. The Preamble of the Indian Constitution clearly states ‘equality’ as one of its objectives along with justice, liberty, and fraternity. It promotes a system of equal rights, freedom and opportunities for all without any discrimination against any section of the society.

To further the objective of ‘equality’, many individuals and organisations have been relentlessly working with ‘less provided for’ sections of the society. Their efforts do not end at providing immediate support, but in creating a foundation for sustainable progress and upliftment thereon. Such initiatives highlight the role of NGO in India and the significant impact these organisations create at the grass root level, making inclusive progress a possibility. Among such organisations is The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO nourishing school children with nutritious mid-day meals for the past 21 years.

Currently, Akshaya Patra has a beneficiary of 18,00,907 children studying in 19,039 government schools and government-aided schools across 58 locations in 13 States and 1 Union Territory of India. The Foundation is cognisant of the role of NGO in India and its role in specific with regards to upholding the right to nutrition and education of children. It is well-aware of how mid-day meal has been instrumental in bringing children from challenging backgrounds to school and helping them continue their education. Hence, it strives to ensure that each child receives their share of wholesome school meals that supports academic learning, performance in sports and co-curricular activities, and promotes holistic development. The meals also improve regularity in attendance and reduces drop-out rate – key factors contributing to uninterrupted schooling.

Every child, whether from privileged background or challenging background, is a storehouse of talents, dreams and aspirations. All they need is an opportunity to share, explore, and hone their creativity, ideas and talents. This makes schools the nurturing ground and an essential part of a child’s growth and development. And mid-day meal is a great incentive for ‘less provided for’ families to send their children to school with the assurance that their children will receive at least one full meal for the day. In order to benefit more children, Akshaya Patra seeks your support. This Republic Day, take action to ensure ‘every child is at school’ so that they grow up to be empowered citizens of the country. You can make a difference by either opting to donate to charity, engaging as a CSR partner, or conducting a fundraiser.

Children are the future decision makers, but only empowered children can contribute to the progress of the country. So, it becomes important to acknowledge the significance of health and education and make it accessible to children so that they grow up to be able, competent, and skilled adults. On this 73rd Republic Day, lead the way to progress by enabling and empowering children with adequate nutrition and rightful education. Your one step towards creating a change will uphold the fundamental rights of every child and soon manifest in the most desirable way.

We would love to hear from you, so please use the below comment section to share your thoughts and feedbacks.

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Discussion Room

5 Sustainable Development Goals Addressed by Akshaya Patra

Sustainable Development Goals

We all strive for better opportunities, better environment, and a better life. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are directed towards the same factors, but on a global level. There are 17 interlinked goals that addresses global concerns and the solutions for these will form the basis for a better and sustainable future for all. The UN SDGs consider all the countries equally responsible to contribute their bit towards achieving these goals. Hence, not only government bodies, but several non-governmental organisations and businesses in India and around the world work towards contributing directly or indirectly to these 17 goals in their own capacities.

5 UN SDGs Addressed by Akshaya Patra
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO in India is one such organisation that has been working in alignment with the UN SDGs. For the past 21 years, Akshaya Patra has been providing freshly cooked, nutritious, and locally palatable meals to school children on each school day as a part of the Mid-Day Meal Programme. Currently, Akshaya Patra feeds 18,00,907 children every day in 19,039 government schools and government-aided schools in 58 locations across 13 States and 1 Union Territory.

Akshaya Patra’s efforts are aligned with the below UN SDGs:

Goal 4: Quality Education – The Mid-Day Meal Programme is a potential intervention in bringing children to school. It acts like an incentive for children belonging to socio-economically challenging backgrounds to come to school. Impact studies reveal that mid-day meals increase school enrolment, regularises attendance, decreases drop-out rate and promotes continuity in school education. Mid-day meals enhance concentration levels and improves performance of children in academics and other school activities. This shows mid-day meals further the efforts to achieve the goal of quality education.

Goal 2: Zero Hunger – A hungry stomach can only think of food. Hence a hungry child who is out-of-school looks for ways to get food and an at school hungry child gets distracted by the hunger growls during classes. Over the years, the Mid-Day Meal Programme has proved to be a potential intervention to address the mentioned situations. It has been observed that most parents send their children to school with the hope that the children will receive at least one full meal a day. Children whose stomachs are full with nutritious meals focus better and perform well at school. This makes mid-day meals vital in directly addressing hunger among children.

• Goal 3: Good Health & Well-being – Nutrition has a direct implication on our health. It is an essential factor, especially for children during their growing years. To ensure children receive their daily share of nutrition, Akshaya Patra adheres to the dietary norms stated by the Central Mid-Day Meal Scheme, follows a cyclic menu, and serves freshly prepared, locally palatable meals on each school day. Regular consumption of nutritious mid-day meals significantly contributes to good health in schoolchildren.

• Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth – Akshaya Patra’s service has a long-term impact. Mid-day meal promotes education, and education empowers children to become resourceful and skilled adults in the future. This directly creates an ecosystem of decent work and economic growth across all sections of the society.

• Goal 1: No Poverty – The success of Goal 8 leads to inclusive progress and promotes equality in the society. This enables people to provide for themselves, thereby alleviating poverty in a sustainable way.

Thus, we see that the mid-day meal service and efforts of Akshaya Patra has direct and indirect implication on the UN SDGs.

Support Akshaya Patra to make further progress
The Mid-Day Meal Programme is a crucial intervention to make sure children belonging to socio-economically challenging backgrounds receive proper nutrition, education, and a platform to develop their talents. So, when you donate to NGO, it potentially transforms lives of children for the better. You have today, choose to make a difference!

Source: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

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