A thought similar to this would run across anyone’s mind when they see a horde of young children, in their blue uniforms, run with their plates to the lunch area in the Government Higher primary school in Thalaghata, Bangalore. The impatience they exuded implied that they were all hungry. The importance of a freshly-cooked, nutritious meal served in a school, attended mostly by underprivileged children, can be derived by just visualizing the eagerness in which the children waited to fill their plates, eventually their stomachs.
“I love coming to school because I enjoy eating lunch here” said Bharath Kumar, a fifth grade student, as he relished his treat of rice with sambhar. Many other children shared a similar voice. “I come to school everyday because I don’t have to stay hungry till dinner” said 14-year-old Mallikarjuna, while he helped the school staff in serving sambhar to his other fellow students. Mallikarjuna’s mother, who works as a construction labourer after his father’s death, barely manages to fend for a single meal for the family.
The 8th grade student’s routine in school has given him a chance to aspire for a better future for him and his family.
Several such examples can be found appraising the success of the Government’s mid-day meal programme. The enthusiasm, realization and contentment with which children eat the Akshaya Patra meal complement the benefits and the success of the programme.