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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/

Tags : Mid-Day Meal ProgrammeSustainable Development GoalsThe Akshaya Patra Foundation

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