Every day of school is synonymous with fun, friends and free unlimited food for children. They looked forward to coming to school because they get to meet their friends, narrate experiences of the previous day and sit together to eat their mid-day meals. With the on-going chaos caused by the COVID pandemic, schools, colleges and offices are shut down indefinitely. Children who were dependent on one source of wholesome meal a day were left without a wholesome source of nutrition to fight the virus.
Earlier during school, the sound of the delivery van brought on a 1000-watt smile on the faces of children. But, with schools closed down for a while, the delivery vans are left in their memories of children till schools reopen. If it was not for the COVID pandemic, children would have begun a new academic year and The Akshaya Patra Foundation would have continued implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme to feed children.
How did Akshaya Patra tackle this situation?
The COVID-19 virus could not stop The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in India that was synonymous with feeding school meals. In continuation of up-keeping the health of children and to engage them with school-related learning activities amid the pandemic, the Foundation started distributing Happiness Bags to its beneficiaries in Bengaluru, as a part of its feeding programme.
How would Happiness Bags help?
Each Box distributed to its beneficiaries:
• Ensures children continue to receive wholesome meals in the prevailing crisis.
• Boosts immunity and health of children.
• Ensures that basic hygiene requirements are addressed.
• Engages children in activities that support their continuous learning amid the lockdown.
Every Happiness Box supports the well-being of children by providing them with immunity, adequate nutrition, hygiene kit and learning materials.
• Nutrition – Adequate and right nutrition helps in giving children the energy required for proper physical and cognitive development.
• Immunity – Turmeric is known to boost immunity. Immunity boosters like sambar and turmeric powders help in improving resistance to diseases.
• Hygiene – Basic hygiene products like toothpaste, toothbrush and soap are provided to the beneficiaries. For girl children, a pack of sanitary napkins is provided as well.
• Education – To keep their minds active during the lockdown, an activity book, pencils or pens, crayon or colouring set and Classmate notebooks are packed in the box distributed to every child.
By supporting their food and education, we at Akshaya Patra look forward to bringing out the best in children because they are the ones who decide the future of our nation. This is why this initiative is of utmost importance. We are present in 52 locations spread across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India. The pandemic has given us a strong reason to reach out to all the children we would have reached otherwise. Children hailing from challenging socio-economic backgrounds require your support. Pledge to feed a child with Akshaya Patra’s Happiness Box initiative. Every little child has the right to food and education, even amid the crisis hour. All we need to do is give the right resources to strengthen them and their cognitive abilities.
Provide Happiness Bags to help children become physically stronger and intellectually sharper