Friday, 8 February 2013

Akshaya Patra- A Support System during the Testing Time of Children

“Golu and Mohsin are studying in 3rd Grade in Government Primary School, Kacchi Basti in Jaipur. Both the siblings stay with their aging grandmother. Only a year ago they came to know that they have an elder brother who has been sent to Gujarat to earn for a living due to extreme poverty.” Even though Golu and Mohsin face many difficulties at home, they continue to come to school. What is the one factor that allows Golu and Mohsin continue schooling?

Golu and Mohsin stay with their eighty-year-old grandmother. They get about 10 kilograms of wheat flour every month from the Government-run ration shop. The ration of wheat flour lasts not more than a fortnight after which they have to depend on their neighbours to share some food whenever they can. Like many other children in school, Golu and Mohsin too come from economically marginalised background. It is here that Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal acts as a huge respite for them.

Golu has auditory impairment and hence answers the questions his teachers ask with gestures and faint sound. While he can hear, he cannot speak. In spite of this Golu attends the Government school as there are no differently-abled school in the vicinity. The teachers of the Government Primary School say, “Golu and his brother are sent to school every single day. Sometimes, when either of them falls ill, they still come to school because the Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal is the only full meal they get in a day.” Mamta Chippa, the Principal of the school says, “Most children who come to the Government school are from the economically marginalised society, but Golu and his brother are probably the neediest children who are attending this school. Sometimes after the mid-day meal has been served, when a few rotis remain, it is given to Golu to take home.”

The mid day meal programme has helped children like Golu and Mohsin enrol in school. It has even ensured that they become literates. That is the reason why Akshaya Patra is tirelessly working towards feeding more and more children in India. There is always an excitement at lunch time at the school. Golu loves everything that is served while Mohsin loves kheer the most. So far, the mid-day meal has kept them at school but the larger question is that of their future. Here the relief is that both the brothers are getting educated, and this education will enable them to be self dependent in the future. This is a significant testimony of the role mid-day meal plays in the lives of Golu, Mohsin, and many other such children.

Contribute to The Akshaya Patra Foundation and support these children. Your contribution will help provide food to millions of children like Golu and Mohsin who go through many hardships and adversities. Their only hope lies in the fact that they will get one wholesome meal at school along with the goodness of education. Help to bring many more hopes.

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