How can child empowerment happen in India? Where exactly should it begin? Our children have the right to food which is important to keep them healthy and here’s where their empowerment should start from. Despite that India’s food production has increased almost two times in the last two decades, we are unable to provide food to a large section of people.
Our industrial and food production advances unfortunately have not helped us feed all the children. Hidden hunger is a reality in India for many. Some statistics from the UNICEF are alarming. FAO in ‘The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2015” reports that 194.6 million people are undernourished in India. Also 44% of children below the age of five are underweight. Malnourished children have a higher risk of death from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria.
Other undernourished children, who survive, grow up in an environment of depravity and lack of education. They are more prone to adopt anti-social ways of living their life since they are desperate to provide for themselves and their family. Thus, child empowerment in India cannot happen without entitling the right to food to the children. They need nutritious meals every single day so they are able to grow up in a healthier and a more progressive environment.
Feed The Future Now is a national campaign, started by The Akshaya Patra Foundation, that is aimed at feeding the children and providing them with means to empower themselves. The campaign directs its focus towards child empowerment in India by serving mid-day meals to school children. That way, the children get their right to food and are motivated to attend schools every day.
This indeed is the need of the hour for various reasons. First, India ranks at 97 out of 118 countries on the Global Hunger Index on the basis of three indicators – prevalence of wasting and stunting in children under five years, under five child mortality rate, and the proportion of undernourished in the population. By this measure India is home to a quarter of the undernourished population in the world.
This needs to stop and it begins from feeding the children. When organisations come together to help a cause such as Feed The Future Now, the government is able to get the required resources to ensure every child is well fed. Children who are nourished and educated are able to channelise their energy towards creative pursuits. Feeding the children is really akin to feeding the future because educated children make for responsible adults. Right to food is fundamental to their development as well as the progress of the society.
Join us to feed the children today.