Celebrate for a Cause

Golden Days of Innocent Childhood Revelries


Festival season is upon us and joy and merriment are flying thick in the air! Perhaps the pleasures of celebrating festivals are experienced best as a child. Here are five reasons why festival memories of childhood are always etched in gold:

1. Yummy special treats
Festivals mean food. Family members, particularly mothers, labour all day concocting delicious sweetmeats and special treats for the occasion. Meddling in the kitchen as a child is routine, as the tempting aromas waft out. Once prepared, the family gathers to eat together and the spotlight is often on the young ones, as elders gear up to feed the children. Gorging on these delicacies, particularly sweets, without cares like diet-consciousness which creep into the adult psyche over time, is an incomparable feeling!

2. Ganging up with the cousins
Festivals are a time for family get-togethers and this means ganging up with cousins and having a blast with them! Playing all day long with siblings and cousins – be it catch-and-cook, hide-and-seek, hopscotch, or bursting crackers, the carefree revelries add to the magic of childhood. Running around while the elders are busy catching up and having their animated conversations adds to the festive cheer in the house!

3. Receiving gifts
Who doesn’t like receiving gifts? We all do! But receiving gifts as a child is a very, very special affair. Be it that new toy that one coveted, a board game that one has wanted for long, the shiny new shoes or a gift of cash to add to the piggy bank, festival time begets all this! Covered in bright, sparkly gift-wrapping paper, these presents are remembered for a long time to come!

4. Wearing brand new clothes
Festival shopping is an eagerly-awaited event. Heading out with parents for buying brand new clothes is a blissful activity! Sifting through the new stock of clothes to choose what is best causes much distress, but once one finds the perfect frock or a t-shirt that is sure to be the new favourite, the mood turns bright indeed! Wearing these brand new clothes on the day of the festival and clicking a ton of pictures with family and friends cements the wonderful memories in time.

5. Holiday time
One of the best things about festivals is that they bring in the holidays! Whether it is a day’s holiday or a long one of two weeks, festivals mean a break from school. One can sleep for as long as one wants and watch all their favourite cartoons on television. Lazing around, playing games throughout the day, going on a family vacation for a few days – all this is permissible and doable during the festival holidays!

A time for merriment, games, devotion and lots of sweet and savoury treats – festival time is one to make wonderful memories, sharing food and drink with loved ones and getting pampered as a child. You can do your bit to add festive cheer to the lives of children across India and help them feed one wholesome, nutritious meal a day to keep them in school. Donate now!

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Engage With UsFood and Education

Developing A Hunger-Free India


India is a country of contrasts. The nation marches forward as it celebrates 70 years of independence from British rule this year, with higher economic growth and a robust agenda for development. However, the dichotomies of reality are still quite stark, as a sizable population of this beautiful country is fighting acute hunger.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) annual report released in 2015, India has 194.6 million undernourished people in the country. It also had the dubious distinction of topping the list of 10 most undernourished countries in the world. If India is to ensure that its development goals are met, the stomachs of its populace must be full and its citizens well-nourished.

The psychological and physiological effects of hunger are well-documented. Hunger affects cognition, stunts physical and mental growth, affects concentration and is also linked to aggression in adulthood. Food insecurity adversely affects economies worldwide too, with losses running into billions of US dollars. Hunger is also one of the key drivers of crime, social injustices and oppression.

Perhaps the most disturbing casualties and victims of hunger in India are the children. Not only does it lead to children dropping out of school for economic reasons, it also affects their attendance, concentration, grades, self-esteem and ability to socialise and connect with people, and ultimately, future prospects. Child labour and exploitation are grave consequences of this very problem.

On the road to making India a developed nation, it is vital that its citizens are happy and healthy. A physically and mentally strong population translates into a formidable workforce that helps a country scale dizzying new heights. Also, if the country is to secure its future, its women and children in particular, have to be looked after with greater care. With concentrated effort and commitment to the cause coming from the government as well as the people, making India hunger-free is certainly possible.

Together, we can and we will make a difference! As our spirits soar high this Independence Day, let’s unite to put an end to classroom hunger. Pledge your support to Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme now!

Jai Hind!

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