When I was thirteen it hit me that Meal was not just a necessity, but the love of my life. I would eat at any given possible chance. As I grew older, my age increased my love for it. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, I chose to pursue Food and Nutrition as my field of study and my profession because that quite literally kept me around and about food all the time.
With time came the wisdom that this love could not be blind and it was of prime importance to not just eat but to eat right. I learned that exposure to good nourishment helps build healthy eating patterns which can have an impact on one’s life right from birth.
I tried understanding more about child hunger and got to know some really disturbing statistics. The United Nations Children Fund states that nearly 165 million children in India are stunted (shorter than normal in height) as a consequence of undernourishment and the infections that come with it.
Also, as per UNICEF, 1/3 of the malnourished children in the world are from India. Such children fail to attain their maximum academic/extracurricular potential due to frequent absenteeism, leading to more school dropouts, thus forming a vicious cycle, where neither the child nor the elders know what to do. Shocking, isn’t it?
It was then that I tried researching about these hazards and came to know about Annamrita and the noble cause they work for based on the idea that the roots of eradicating the insecurity and scarcity of food lie in education for poor students about the vicious cycle malnutrition can give birth to if it exists right from childhood.
This only got me more intrigued about what they try to do. This children NGO project aims to come to the rescue here and liberate children from this vicious cycle of malnourishment and inefficiency. By providing children with mid day meal, they ensure that the interest of the child can be focused where it is required and the child is not hampered from receiving quality nutrition and education.
By providing 1.2 million mid day meals every day through 20 kitchens across the country, Annamrita aims to aid greater and timely consumption of all essential nutrients, so the students are better prepared and more focused on quality education and physically better nourished for daily school activities.
I feel this project makes a child’s life and education better, with one meal at a time.
After all, the gut is where the strut comes from, right?
ABOUT THE BLOGGER:
Priyankaa G is a Mumbai based Nutritionist who is working to help the cause of Food Security and Health Management. She is an active blogger and volunteer in Climate Change and Animal Welfare activities with a zest to work towards a healthier, happier world