The power of the people manifested itself to win India freedom from an oppressive colonial power in 1947 and January 26, 1950, cemented its position in history as a republic. We, the people of India, are the ones who made this Republic; who continue to make this Republic.
Every revolution in the world started with We, the people. The will of the ordinary man fused with that of his/her fellow citizens to form a force. This force, against oppression, against the denial of basic rights, became a movement and permeated the collective conscience of the people. It instigated them to rise in revolt against the forces that kept them from their right to liberty, justice, equality and a decent life.
The preamble of the Constitution of India talks about ‘EQUALITY of status and of opportunity’. One of the important means to ensure this equality is by making education and its fruits available to the children of this great nation, who are brimming with potential. Making this a reality is full of challenges. A study conducted by UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) jointly with Global Education Monitoring Report in 2016, found that 47 million children dropped out of school by Std X. It also revealed that India has the third highest number of out-of-primary school children at 2.9 million, who have never attended school. One of the biggest roadblocks to education in the country is poverty, the study found.
Although the statistics of children attending schools in India is a little worrying, however, there is room for improvement. Our national development plans need to focus on the root cause that is poverty, which has forced many children quit education to support their family. Child labour is one such plague which is a direct outcome of poverty and due to this social and economic differences often families prefer earning instead of educating their children. A proper meal is all that these children look for every day and we as a society need to fight hunger and provide better opportunities to the young minds.
Role of NGOs and role of a social worker is crucial in today’s generation as they help us reach the ground level. We as a part of the society can build a system where children are fed properly and given equal opportunities irrespective if their background. The mid-day meals provided by Akshaya Patra works as an encouragement for all these children who might come from a challenging background but has high hopes and big dreams to achieve.
Akshaya Patra works in partnership with the Central and State governments of India to implement its Mid-Day Meal Programme, the largest of its kind in the world operated by an NGO.
With over 1.6 million beneficiaries in 12 Indian states, the Foundation’s ‘Unlimited Food for Education’ philosophy has fed the dreams of numerous children over the years. Its immediate mission is to feed 5 million children by 2020 every day, with a nutritious school lunch cooked in its ISO-certified, state-of-the-art kitchens.
Let this Republic Day celebration be towards the fulfilment of the dreams of India’s young hearts and minds. Pledge to feed the children and help the nation take a leap towards progress by contributing to a bright future lit with success and education.