Many of us remember how hungry we felt during our class hours. The hunger pangs would instil a frustration that we could not show it out anywhere or on anyone. Our parents would coax us to eat a healthy breakfast before we started to school, but our chirpy little mind would not listen to them or think that we could get hungry very soon. But. Today as grown up adults, we thank our parents for packing extra food in our lunch boxes – this would fill our stomachs and we would still have energy stored in our bodies that would help us stay alert in class and play in the school ground till either our parents or someone picked us up. Thinking about how fortunate we were?
There are children who are lesser fortunate than us whose parents find it difficult to even feed them with 1 square meal a day. These people and children belong from challenging socio-economic backgrounds who need some support to feed their children. This is why there are many NGOs that provide services to help such people lead a regular life without having to go through many difficulties.
One such NGO in Delhi is The Akshaya Patra Foundation that works for the cause of Food for Education of children. It has been working towards this cause since 2000. It started by feeding 1500 children and has grown exponentially to feed 18,02,517 children. It implements the Mid-Day Meal Programme and serves to 16,856 schools spread across 12 States and 2 Union Territories in India.
How does the Akshaya Patra, Delhi unit help school children?
The Akshaya Patra Foundation serves mid-day meals to school children that are wholesome and high in nutritional content. Each location serves local cuisine that is palatable to children. The Delhi kitchen of the Foundation serves ajwain puri, aloo chole, rice, kadhi, jeera rice, rajma kadhi, cookies, fruits and many more in a cyclical order where the menu changes every month. This way the kitchen ensures that children enjoy their meals without having to eat the same food every single day.
The use of nutrient-rich ingredients that make the mid-day meal wholesome include whole wheat, legumes, green leaves, vegetables, fresh fruits and more. These nutritious ingredients help in improving concentration abilities of children, improve their immunity, increase brain functions and help them stay full for a longer duration.
How can you help children with the Mid-Day Meal Programme?
You can help children when you donate to NGOs like Akshaya Patra which is the largest implementer of the MDM Programme in India. By donating towards feeding them with healthy and wholesome meals, you are contributing toward their overall development that includes physical and cognitive development. Apart from adding goodwill to your action, you can also save on taxes under section 80G of the Income Tax Act 1961.