Saturday, November 15, 2014

How do we end Classroom Hunger?

Let us ensure them a nutritious meal (Image source: Akshay Patra)

The best hour in school is the lunch hour. No matter how old you are or how meager your tiffin is, you can’t wait for the lunch hour to arrive. I can still remember the hunger that raged, the curses we threw at our teachers who lingered to finish that extra portion that might come for exam. It was the golden hour for us all in school.

Now years has passed and while I pack the lunch for my son, I remember my school lunch hours. I feel bad that while I will eat hot food at home, my son would have to be content with the cold food that would be there in his tiffin.

But then, he is lucky to have that serving of food. There are millions of kids who live without having proper food elsewhere in the world, who would do anything to earn a plate of food. When government schools started to serve free food to all kids at school, the attendance increased, because many a kid began to get at least a square meal once in a day. There was no other scheme that was popular than this scheme.

The happiness that I get when I am able to feed my family with hot, homely food when their hunger is raging is the best benefit that I earned from having learned to cook.

The lunch box that I send for my son mostly come back un-eaten. Mostly because he is a slow eater and also because he likes hot food. If  the school provided, fresh and healthy food, many students like my son would not have to brave classroom hunger and wait until the final bell sets them free. The bell sound ends their hunger too. I have seen kids rushing to nearby cafeterias after school to calm their raging hunger.

I have seen kids belonging to the lower economic sections of the society rejoice the opportunity to have to go to school. Most of the government schools provide mid-day meal, an alluring prospect for many of these kids.

When hunger pangs disappear, knowledge starts to enter the brain. Hunger causes distraction and lack of spirits in children.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Bangalore, India. The organisation strives to fight issues like hunger and malnutrition in India. By implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in the Government schools and Government aided schools, Akshaya Patra aims to fight not only hunger but also to bring children to school.

Akshaya Patra and Blogadda have teamed up for a worldwide blogging competition, to help end classroom hunger!

Participants must send in blogs of at least 300 words on the theme 'How do we eliminate classroom hunger? Imagine what India would be like if no child goes hungry and an entire generation is educated! 

For every blog entry Blogadda will feed one Akshaya Patra beneficiary for a whole year. The top five blog posts will be featured in an exclusive series on the Akshaya Patra official blog, and promoted via social media.

So fellow bloggers, let us join this campaign and help end classroom hunger.

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