This World Hunger Day, here’s what we truly hope – win over hunger and all forms of hunger! As a NGO involved in providing mid-day meals to school children, we are not only targeting at eliminating classroom hunger, but we are aiming at enriching children with nutrition-rich meals – the only way to tackle hunger, hidden hunger, and malnutrition.
Facts and figures based on FAO, WFP, Global Hunger Index, Livemint, and The Wire
Childhood is a memoir of sweet recollections. It kindles in one, inestimable joy that lives forever in our hearts. It plays a pivotal role in an individual’s development and how they grow up as social beings. If there is something called a ‘complete’ childhood, then it should comprise of innocence, enjoyment and self exploration. But most of all, it should comprise of food in plenty, a school to study and friends to have a sense of belongingness. These serve as the perfect ingredients for a happy and much desired childhood!
Now the begged question, why food?
Firstly, because it keeps the child alive! Secondly, “hunger makes a thief of any man” and finally, it prevents them from attending school. Hunger forces them into labour, depriving them of education, their right as defined by The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Above all, it stands between them and their classrooms.
Second important question, why school?
School is children’s second home. It is their seat of education. Education builds a strong foundation in children’s lives. It helps break chains of poverty that is inextricably linked to their future, their empowerment, their economic growth. Education offers them a ticket to their dreams which are as diverse as stars of the constellation.
Third, why sense of belongingness?
Belongingness because, it is a child’s inherent, intrinsic desire to belong. The child desires to be an element of something important, something fascinating, and larger than selves. That sense of belongingness comes from a friend that the school helps in finding. After all, what is childhood without the sweet bonds of friendship? It is impossible to fathom the joy children feel amidst their friends. For them, it is the perfect feeling to know that they have precisely the right person/people around to live their childhood. Be it lunch time or school itself, nothing is complete without that friend!
Why are we saying all this to you?
We say so, because we at Akshaya Patra believe in the maxim, ‘feed the children’. Why we believe so, because that is our only answer to the question, ‘how to end world hunger?’ Our wholesome, lip-smacking mid-day meals attract millions to their school doors. The very thought of a meal is enough motivation for our beneficiaries to attend school, receive education, cultivate friendship and say bye-bye to classroom hunger.
Hence, this World Hunger Day, let’s celebrate childhood through our meals. Let’s feed the children in need who have every right to a healthy childhood. Let’s all come together as a community and endeavour to find ways on how to end world hunger. We should do so with utmost priority because every hungry child must be fed and education should be accessible to every child. Hunger must not be a threat to childhood because only when there will be no hungry bellies, childhood will be complete and lessons will be read in unison!