The progress of a society can be gauged by the way it takes care of its children. Simply because children will grow up to be the caretakers of the society in the near future. Heeding to this, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO in India, initiated a campaign called ‘Feed The Future Now’ – a social movement based on the principle that ‘every child deserves a nutritious diet, a fulfilling education, and a bright future’. The Foundation is taking forward this campaign with steadfast support from GlaxoSmithKline, PepsiCo, Nestle, Reliance Fresh, Viacom18, Facebook, Big FM PVR Cinemas and The Lalit Group of Hotels. Each of the partner corporates has pledged their support in unison to build a better future for children.
The ‘Feed The Future Now’ campaign aims to garner mass support by creating a common platform where any and every one can participate from the public sector, private sector, media and the civil society. The campaign intends to bring about a sustainable change by spreading awareness, promoting policy advocacy, and actively acting upon fulfilling the need of nutrition and education of children.
The significance of caring for the present generation
They say, ‘future is dependent in the way we deal with our present’. So, the way we treat our children today will decide the future of our society and the nation, thus making, caring for the present generation a matter of utmost importance.
Break the poverty-hunger-illiteracy cycle – This vicious cycle that has been a constant barrier to the progress of our society can be dealt only when we can create a pool of a healthy and educated generation. For instance, if we have one million children in our country and we provide nutrition and education to all of them, we will create a future generation of healthy and educated citizens. This generation will result in another abled generation and the chain will continue. Eventually, we will be able to create a new reality – the ‘economic independence-food-literacy’ cycle.
Assets for the society – It is a simple phenomenon. As a child if I hadn’t received healthy food and education, then I would have turned out to be a dependent individual. But, since I had received care and schooling, today I am independent and am able to take care of my family. Now imagine the same by holding 3-million children in mind. What would you like them to become – assets or liabilities?
Future decision-makers – Two decades away and India will be home to one of the youngest and largest working-age populations in the world. And, it is self-explanatory that only a healthy and educated generation can potentially take responsibility of their families and the society on their shoulders. So, it becomes imperative that we provide nutritious food and schooling to our children.
Storehouse of creativity and innovation – The minds of children are a wonderland of new ideas and creativity. Their thoughts, approach, and understanding of the world have a sense of newness. And, if their talents and skills are tapped in the right way, the world will be a much wonderful place to live. But, this is possible when children are nourished with food and education, and when they are given the avenue to explore their hidden talents.
In conclusion, the growth and development of the current young population rest upon us. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is providing us a platform to influence the present and create a desirable future. So, as a way forward, let’s take full advantage of this opportunity and feed the children.