Indian Charitable Trust and its role in Hunger-Free Nation
Posted: Jun 27, 2018
It is said that there is enough food to feed the entire population of the world. Yet, millions of people across the world are suffering from a serious issue called hunger.
Hunger is a global crisis and it is induced due to several reasons such as poverty, unemployment, inaccessibility, improper supply chain and the like. So, in order to counter the hunger situation in a more focussed and sustainable manner, the United Nations has included this issue in its list of Sustainable Goals. The United Nations Sustainable Goal 2 seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger in all its forms by 2030 and to achieve food security. The aim is to ensure that everyone everywhere has enough good-quality food to lead a healthy life. Achieving this Goal will require better access to food and the widespread promotion of sustainable agriculture. This entails improving the productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers by promoting equal access to land, technology and markets, sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices. It also requires increased investments through international cooperation to bolster the productive capacity of agriculture in developing countries. (unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2016/goal-02/)
Role of Charitable Trusts
There is no doubt that ensuring availability and accessibility of food for each person is the solution to end hunger. And, the efforts of global organisations, charitable trusts, and philanthropic supporters have contributed in reducing the global hunger population despite increase in the world’s population. Yet, there is a long way to go to achieve the ‘Zero Hunger’ status. Amidst several charitable organisations surface The Akshaya Patra Foundation. Akshaya Patra is an Indian charitable trust actively working towards eliminating classroom hunger and hidden hunger by providing nutrition-rich mid-day meals to school-going children. The trust is an implementing arm of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, an initiative of the Government of India to provide school lunch to children of government schools and government-aided schools. This charitable trust has been in the service of children since 2000 and has been recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme. So far, Akshaya Patra has nourished more than 1.7 million children across 12 states of India.
The objectives of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme are to avoid classroom hunger, increase school enrolment and school attendance, improve socialisation among castes, and address malnutrition, while also empowering women through employment. These characteristics of Mid-Day Meal Scheme addresses the hunger situation in a sustainable manner. It has been observed that school meals act as incentives for children to attend school. So, once children are in school, they receive both food and education. Food takes care of their health and hunger, and education enables them to learn new skills and subjects and prepares them for the future. This results in creation of a generation that is healthy, abled, resourceful, and self-dependent.
Akshaya Patra is ensuring that children receive their daily school meals in an uninterrupted manner. The trust is working in partnership with the Central Government, State Governments, Corporates, and individual donors with sole aim to provide ‘unlimited food for education’ to Indian children. Thus, as an Indian charitable trust, Akshaya Patra is focussing on eliminating hunger, improving nutritional levels, and improving education status at a national level – that is in accordance with the UN Sustainable Goals of attaining ‘Zero Hunger’ and ‘Quality Education’.
Need for a collaborated effort
It would not be wrong to say that the Mid-Day Meal Scheme has the potential to break the vicious cycle of hunger-poverty-illiteracy. Simply because, this Scheme is supporting the education of children and enabling them to provide for themselves, a factor that’s significant in tackling the hunger situation. However, no one government or organisation can achieve the ideal situation of ‘Zero Hunger’. It requires the concerted effort of governments, private sectors, and the civil society to invest and create a lasting change.
So, choose to give to charity online. Your contributions will significantly help Akshaya Patra to expand its operations to more locations and extend its support to more children. Change happens when we act. So, aside from reasoning and finding solutions, it’s about time that we actively acted to support our fellow human beings with something as basic as food!
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an Ngo in India providing food for 1.6 million school children across 12 States and 28 locations.