Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh in his Independence Day speech remarked that as a nation we have achieved a lot during the 65 years introspecting about what remains to be done. In his speech he said “Our children are the biggest strength of our country. If our children are provided with good education and are healthy, then our future would be bright.”
He also mentioned, “This is the reason why we have paid special attention to the needs of children in our policies and programmes.”
The education of children has been made mandatory by law. In the year 2006-07, only 93 per cent of children in the age group 6-14 years were getting admission in schools. Today almost all children in this age group are being admitted to schools.
He also stated, “More than 51,000 new schools have been opened in the country and about 7 lakh teachers appointed in them in just the last 2 years. Now we will focus on improving the quality of education. In the next few months we will put in place a system of continuous assessment of the benefit our children are getting from teaching. Participation of the community and parents would be ensured so that they can be satisfied with the quality of teaching. The Mid-day-meal scheme provides nutritious meals in schools for about 12 crore children everyday. This is the biggest scheme of its kind in the world.”
Malnutrition in children is a big challenge for us. We have taken steps in many dimensions to deal with this problem.
In the last 8 years, the number of mothers and children benefiting from the ICDS has doubled. The process of making the ICDS more effective is in its last stages and will be completed in the next 1 or 2 months.”
On this note Akshaya Patra applauds, indeed because of the Public- Private Partnership between the Central & state government and NGOs, Organization such as Akshaya Patra has effectively implemented Mid day meal Scheme in 19 locations of 9 states across the country reaching 13 lakh children every day. However malnutrition and hunger is still prevalent and children are still out of the school to earn their daily bread. We need to gear up and reach more children. With right resources we will be able to achieve our mission; to reach 50 lakh children every day with Akshaya Patra’s hot nutritious meal by year 2020.
Akshaya Patra depends on government subsidies and grain allotment for 57% of its cost and the rest however is raised from corporate and individuals from all over the world.
Read Prime Minister’s Independence speech 2012 (Full version)