A Collaboration of Corporates to Nourish and Nurture Children

Before I begin to write anything, I want you to watch this video:

Well, to put it simply, each child and I mean it literally; each child possesses a dream, a dream to achieve something, a dream to change their present to something better, a dream that someday their dream will come true. But, their dreams will turn into reality only when they have access to something as basic as a healthy food and the opportunity to attend school. And, it is no hidden fact that millions of children are denied these basic necessities!

So, why have I italicised healthy?  Because it is important to understand that food may be the answer to hunger but healthy food is the only answer to ‘hidden hunger’. Yes, hidden hunger is a form of hunger that arises due to micro-nutrients deficiency in the diet. For instance, if a child eats a plate full of rice and potato, his stomach will get filled and he will no longer feel hungry. But, his diet lacks essential micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals found in fruits, vegetables, pulses, and dairy and farm products. And, if the child continues to have such a diet, eventually he will suffer from hidden hunger resulting in ill health, impaired physical and cognitive development, and early death.

What’s the role of Corporates?

Corporate partners

Nine established and renowned corporate giants: GlaxoSmithKline, PepsiCo, Nestle, Reliance Fresh, Viacom18, Facebook, Big FM PVR Cinemas and The Lalit Group of Hotels have in unison extended their wholehearted support for The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s ‘Feed the Future Now’ campaign. This campaign is aimed at garnering support from all sectors of the society – public, private, and civil; hence, it has provided an open platform for people from all walks of life to come out in full support of the issue called ‘hidden hunger’ so that together we can address it and solve it. Over the 17 years of service as mid-day meal NGO, Akshaya Patra has witnessed the impact of nutritious meals in the overall development of children which explains its motive behind the ‘Feed the Future Now’ campaign. And, the Corporates have pledged their support for the campaign from their respective realms of businesses.

Agreeing to the fact that children are the future and we have to take care of their health and education, renowned celebrities namely Shankar Mahadevan, Vivek Oberoi, Sanjeev Kapoor, and Sonali Bendre have joined hands with Akshaya Patra in this initiative. In support of the campaign, Vivek Oberoi was quoted saying, “We, as a country has had so many achievements at the global platform but hidden hunger still remains an obstacle to sustaining education and achieving one’s full potential. ‘Feed the Future Now’ aims to combat this issue and I am glad to pledge support to its mission of nourishing the future of India so that kids get a holistic upbringing, just like we all did.”

What can you and I do?

  • You and I can rev up the ‘Feed the Future Now’ campaign by opting to donate for children.
  • You and I can sponsor a school’s meal for the entire year.
  • You and I urge our friends and associates to contribute to this campaign.
  • You and I can suggest our workplaces to get involved with this campaign as part of Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • You and I can support this campaign by sharing our pledge for it on our social media platforms.
  • You and I can create our own micro-campaign and donate the proceeds towards ‘Feed the Future Now’ campaign.

In conclusion, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has given us a platform, the Corporate and celebrity supporters have given us a direction, and the dreams of children have given us a purpose. All that’s needed now is for us to start acting. Let’s not delay, because the very next moment is called future!

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A Nourished India, An Educated India

Feed the future

The movement of Feed The Future Now, that was launched across the country with the support of nine leading corporates in the country and the Government of India, has been taking baby steps towards its aim — to serve 5 billion meals to children across India by 2020.

The movement, launched on May 27 has its chief theme as ‘Poshit Bharat, Shikshit Bharat‘. It means that a nourished India will be an educated one. How can a child that is undernourished stay focused on his/her studies? For the child to grow into an intelligent person, he/she will require nutrients that are important for the neuronal cell (nerve cells that also make up the brain cells) growth and development are supplied in the necessary quantities,

All nutrients are important for the neuronal cell growth and development; but some have greater impact during the late fetal and neonatal time periods. These include protein, iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, folate, vitamin A, choline, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. All these play an important role in a child’s development. Hidden hunger, characterised by the lack of sufficient supply of nutrients, is quite prevalent across the country.

This problem is class agnostic. Even the well-off are prone to this issue as a result of not eating many of the foods that supply these micro-nutrients.

As of now, this is a movement that has just taken birth. With its basis of three pillars – awareness, nutrition and education, the campaign seeks to create a rallying call-to-action and promote policy advocacy as well as a behavioural change with regards to the twin issues of nutrition and education.

While the movement has big corporates at the forefront, an individual need not feel left out. Even as corporates contribute, you too can feed a child.

Know about 6 vegetables that has high nutritional value

 

Nutritious food

Food is important for healthy growth of mind and body. This helps in stopping hunger now. Elders have always been particular about their children eating vegetables. But, children prefer to avoid them, as much as they can. But, no matter what, children need a balanced diet to be healthy.

Potato, tomato, beans, pumpkin, bottle gourd, carrot, beetroot, etc., should be eaten regularly for a healthy life. Or, you end up with ailments that can affect your mental and physical well-being.

By using the different seasonal mixed vegetables like spinach, beans and such others during their respective seasons The Akshaya Patra Foundation ensures that children get a balanced diet all-year-round.

Spinach: Green leafy vegetables like spinach contain antioxidants that combat free radicals. These are absolutely necessary for one to remain healthy and help avoid ailments and physical issues in future. Like spinach, tomatoes too contain antioxidants that fight free radicals.

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Free radicals damage contributes to the development of many chronic health problems such as cardiovascular and inflammatory disease, cataract, and cancer. Antioxidants prevent free radical induced tissue damage by preventing the formation of radicals.

Beans: Beans are a great source of nutrition. They contain lysine, an essential amino acid which helps the body convert fatty acids into energy and helps to lower cholesterol. They also contain folate, a B vitamin which affects neurotransmitters that can boost your mood. It is among the important vegetable which ensures you stop Hidden Hunger.

BEAN

Brinjal: Brinjal is rich in minerals such as potassium which is good for metabolism, and magnesium which helps to relax your muscles and can aid in improving your sleep. If you lack vitamin B and K this is a good vegetable. The skin has extra nasunin, a nutrient and antioxidant which has anti-ageing properties.

Brinjal-PNG-Image

Pumpkin: Pumpkins contain essential nutrients such as folic acid, manganese, vitamin C and zinc, all known to help in strengthening the body’s natural immune system.

Pumpkin

Brussel Sprouts (mini cabbage): Not only are sprouts rich in vitamin C and K, which help to maintain healthy bones, they also contain carotenoids, essential for supporting good vision. Sprouts are a great source of vitamin C and also contain very low sodium and fat content, making them a great vegetable for supporting heart’s health.

Group of Brussel Sprouts isolated on white background

These and more are used by Akshaya Patra to Feed the Children Now. You can participate in this initiative by donating towards the Foundation and eradicating classroom hunger.

Seasonal Nutritious Dishes Keep Children Healthy

fruits-and-veg

Nutritious and healthy food is the birthright of every child. But, not all children get to have it every day. There can be varied reasons for the same.

The school lunch provided by The Akshaya Patra Foundation to over 1.6 million schoolchildren every day ensures that the children get nutritious and healthy food containing seasonal dishes as a part of their school lunch. It also ensures they get a balanced diet and are saved from hidden hunger.

The Foundation ensures that children get fresh and different variety of dishes in their meals. It has been observed that children like different kinds of dishes in their meals every day. This, in a way, ensures that the food wastage is less. While feeding the seasonally available food, the Foundation ensures that the children get the kind of food cooked in their region. For this, every Akshaya Patra kitchen has different menu. This is necessary to feed the children nutritious meals every day.

As seasons change, the types of vegetables and fruits available differ. Hence, it won’t be possible to give children the same food and vegetables throughout the year. There are different types of pulses and varieties of beans that grow only during certain seasons. Hence, when they are available. The children from the region where these season fruits and vegetables are harvested can relish dishes made from these ingredients.

India is blessed with numerous climatic zones and climatic conditions. Therefore, the fruits and vegetables grown across the country vary. This also affects the nutritional properties of all them. Keeping this in mind, the ingredients in the menu are changed. Sometimes, new dishes are introduced in the menu to make it suitable for the season. With this Akshaya Patra has been able to stop hunger now. Donations from the organisations and philanthropists form an important part of our initiative to bring a change.

Feed a Child to Feed The Future Now

For developing an individual, no matter what, starting young is the best way to do it. The Akshaya Patra Foundation believes in supporting the child’s development from a very young age.

Feed the future

In the process of developing as a well-rounded individual, it will do a world of good, if a child is taught the need and the importance of social service. Of course, it will ensure the person develops humility, but will also ensure that the child grows up to be a selfless individual. The child realises at a very early age the importance of feeding the future now. This can ensure that the country will not have to see future generations that suffered malnutrition when they were young. This is a message that has to be imbibed by the present generation.

India has been ranked very low in the Global Hunger Index and it is something that needs our immediate attention. The current generations should give lessons in social service to their children so that the future generations grow up to the responsible individuals.

This will ensure that the country will have mentally and physically healthy individuals. At the same time, it would have dealt with the issues arising from hidden hunger which is more common in developing countries. Children may be able to get a stomach full of food. But, the quality of food a child gets is what’s important. That’s where Akshaya Patra ensures a balanced mid-day meal for over 1.6 million school children everyday across the country. Anyone who have imbibed the quality of selflessness will definitely want to extend any help to any individual or an NGO that helps those in need.

One can feed a child today to ensure healthier future generations. But, the desire to help must be developed at a very young age for which parents can play a role.

Feeding the future now, we can ensure we live in a healthy nation

For a person to live a healthy life, a proper diet is a must. It is more so in case of children who are in their growing years. A balanced diet can ensure that the immunity of a person is well maintained.

Oct 17, 2017

Some of the NGOs in India play a major role in ensuring that school-going children are able to get a full meal. Malnourished children experience developmental delays, weight-loss and illness as a result of inadequate intake of protein, calories and other nutrients. Anaemia, osteomalacia/rickets are among the diseases that could affect children who do not get a balanced diet.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s mid-day meals supplied to thousands of schools ensures healthy and balanced diet for children. As a part of the Feed The Future Now campaign, the NGO is trying to reach 5 million children by 2020.

Chronic undernutrition is said to plague more than 925 million people worldwide. Prolonged deficiency leads to malnutrition. Human body can easily fall prey to diseases if the body is not well-nourished. When children face malnutrition they tend to fall ill more often than those children who have a well-balanced and nutritious food. Hidden hunger is also considered to be a major reason for malnourished children.

Well, this situation can be banished or relegated to history if you make charity donations. Akshaya Patra also ensures that every rupee you donate reaches the children. They get to eat a healthy mid-day meal from the nutritious value the food contains. The food is cooked in state-of-the-art kitchen which ensures that there is a minimal wastage of the resources.

Perhaps it’s only a matter of time when India will be free of malnourishment among children with the numerous efforts being made. Be a part of the change, feed a child today to ensure that they remain healthy and attend school regularly.

How Educated Children Can Lead The Country Towards Social Change

Education for children

With approximately 28.1 per cent of India’s population in the age group of 0-14 years, children have a crucial role to play in the field of education and social change in India. Did you know that our country has more than 1.5 million schools with over 260 million students enrolled?

These 260 million students would grow up to shape the society and be responsible for social change in India. Educated children have ambitions of pursuing career in fields that are vital for the growth of the society. It’s because of educated children that we are able to dream about the presence of more responsible citizens in future.

For education to reach every child, it’s important that the children attend schools regularly. Many of these children, belonging to economically weaker sections, need a better motivation to attend schools. Therefore, Feed The Future Now – a nationwide campaign – is on a mission to feed the children with nutritious meals in schools. When schools feed the children in the premises, the children are motivated to attend and study regularly.

A large section of children aged between 0-14 years face stunted growth due to lack of nutrition. The campaign run by The Akshaya Patra Foundation feeds the children in school premises, thus motivating them towards education.

Educated children are better aware of issues such as poverty, illiteracy, health, hygiene, human rights and environment. Through education, they are made aware of the essential elements of survival. They learn about the dignity of social life and are able to imbibe vital lessons about social growth.

Education widens the mental horizons of children for social change. Educated children develop the ability to reason, question and challenge the status quo.

If you agree that educated children can bring a positive social change in India, then join hands with us in fighting hidden hunger. Support us as we observe the Hunger Action Month and strive to feed the children. Donate today.

How ambitious classmates motivate others to think of a bright future for themselves?

Children are hungry for knowledge and we need to feed them with the right kind of information. This is why the schools have a set curriculum. Through this they ensure that the students are exposed to the kind of information they can comprehend. But how do children get the motivation to have aspirations or dreams for future?

Here’s where the term ‘peer pressure’ comes to play. Children have a tendency to imitate what others are doing around them. So when they see their classmates doing well in studies, they feel motivated to pursue the same. However, this healthy and competitive environment can be marred by the existence of one factor – hidden hunger. This makes it important to stop hidden hunger now.

hidden hunger

When we don’t feed the children with nutritious food, we leave them hungry partially. This is why we need to stop hidden hunger now as it directly relates to the growth of the children.  When we feed the children with wholesome meals, they don’t’ feel hungry and are motivated to compete. But with hidden hunger, children don’t feel healthy and strong and can’t focus on their studies.

A nation-wide campaign Feed The Future Now is an endeavour to stop hunger now by feeding the hungry children. The campaign targets hidden hunger by taking nutritious meals to schools. When children get these wholesome meals, they feel motivated to dream big, which is otherwise not possible if the child suffers from hidden hunger. They compare their ambitions with those of their peers and develop competence.

Several times, two close friends start off chasing a common dream as they inspire each other. The top ranking students in class create a sense of standard within a classroom. Nothing motivates children than seeing their friends succeed. This makes it important to feed the hungry children.

As the campaign observes Hunger Action month, let’s pledge to encourage our children to have goals. Let’s help in creating an environment of healthy competition where ambitious children study together and motivate each other.

You can be part of this campaign by contributing your services or your money. Donate today to feed the hungry children.

Be a Part of our Fight Against Hidden Hunger

While preparing a meal for a child, the choice of ingredients is based on what can make it nutritious and presentable at the same time. This will have an impact on the child’s health in future. A healthy meal is an integral part of the growth years of children. When combined with physical activity, a healthy meal helps them develop their mind and body. In addition, a balanced diet also improves their immunity and reduces the ill effects of hidden hunger.

Future Generation

Feed The Future Now is a campaign, launched by The Akshaya Patra Foundation and aims at fighting hidden hunger among children in India and promoting healthy meals. The campaign calls everyone to feed a child by donating or contributing towards the cause. As part of reducing hidden hunger, the organisation is observing September as Hunger Action month. Akshaya Patra always aims to inspire individuals and organisations to implement the serving of healthy meals to children.

Unhealthy eating habits often cause obesity while poor diet is directly linked with illness. That’s the reason the kitchens run by The Akshaya Patra Foundation always serve millions of children with nutritious food, paying special attention to pulses.

The Foundation’s kitchens across India serve pulses such as green gram whole, Urad and Toor dal, fortified soya dal, sprouts, soy products, Bengal gram whole, channa dal etc. They contain high component of fibre, low fat, the glycemic index of these is also low. The high protein and nutrient value adds on to its benefits.

With this, the children don’t fall a victim to hidden hunger. When we feed the children around us well today, we are indirectly feeding the future now because these children are the future of our country.

We urge you to take action and become part of the Hunger Action month. Contribute to Feed The Future Now. Let us fight hidden hunger together by feeding a child.