NGO in India striving to improve child nutrition - Akshaya Patra
A major objective Akshaya Patra intends to achieve through the implementation of its mid day meal programme is significantly increasing child nutrition.
Eliminating malnutrition is a matter of utmost urgency in India. UNICEF statistics state that 1 in 3 of the world's malnourished children lives in India.
Mid day meals act as incentive for children to seek and continue an education, instead of turning to labor to earn enough for a day’s meal. They also positively affect academic performance, socialization and health in children.
For the mid day meal to be an efficient source of nourishment, it needs to satisfy a growing child’s daily dietary requirements. Dry rations cannot be provided to children as they have a low nutritional impact.
Freshly cooked meals comprising of healthy ingredients are essential to provide energy, protein, carbohydrates, fats and maintain all other nutrition levels adequately.
Owing to its high nutritional value, sambar for children in the south and dal for north Indian children is prepared as part of Akshaya Patra midday meals. Vegetables like sweet pumpkin, green beans, potato, okra, tomato, carrot, drum stick and so on are added to the sambar or sabzi. It is served with steamed rice or roti and curd. It’s worth as a powerhouse for nutrition meets the government norms of required nutritional value in mid-day meals.
An automated process of cooking in Akshaya Patra kitchens ensures efficiency and sanitation from preparation till delivery of meals to the children. Children are provided meals that are not only tasty and hot, but also very hygienic.
Around 78.2 % of parents across all locations feel that their child’s health had improved after the implementation of Akshaya Patra mid day meals at school.
With their gratified appetites, energized schoolchildren can focus on academics and progress without hunger holding them back. The promise of tasty, wholesome meals brings them back to school every day, allowing them to complete their education.
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