Everyone in need of help often wait for miracles to happen but Jayalakshmi, who hails from a remote part of Vishakhapatnam, goes to the nearby Anganwadi to get her share of, what she calls, marvel – a hope that shines brightly at her in the form of the Akshaya Patra meals supplied at the Anganwadi. She goes there everyday with her 10-month-old toddler to eat freshly cooked, nutritious and a hearty meal which on a few bad days is the only option she has to fill her stomach. The meal that she savors is a part of the Akshaya Patra Foundation’s mid-day meal programme for pregnant women and lactating mothers at Government-run Anganwadis.
Jayalakshmi’s family ponders below the breadline. Her husband Mallapparaju works at a construction site and earns less than a few hundreds every week. Until a few years ago, Jayalakshmi accompanied Mallapparaju at work so that the family could afford at least one complete meal a day. But now the lactating mother has to resort to some menial job as domestic help to add a few more pennies to the pound her husband earns. Her elder daughter Vishala, who is 4 years old, goes to the same Government-run kindergarten where she is being prepared to step into school.
Like they say, “the inevitable consequence of poverty is dependence”. Jayalakshmi sees reality in this thought as she is completely aware of her and her family’s dependence on the Akshaya Patra meal every day. She knows what is best for her children and for herself, which is within reach and in plenty. She trusts the goodness in each Akshaya Patra meal and the benefit it bears on her family. For Jayalakshmi the availability of a humble meal is certainly a miracle making its way everyday into her life.