India is a country where a thousand dreams die even without seeing the light of the day and only some are fulfilled because a big chunk of our society still forbids their kids from growing beyond the societal boundaries they were born in. And guess what, the fences of this section of society are some simple questions, “Padhega toh kamaega kya?” “Kamaega nahi toh khaega kya?” and “Padhega Kaise, Paise kya ped pe lage hain? (“If you study now where will money come from?” “If you don’t earn what will you eat?” “How will you study, money doesn’t grow on trees.”) Yes, we have come too far from where we had dropped down to. We are a superlatively rich and don’t lack in funds or resources, but poverty in India is still prominent and a lot of kids are hungry and refused the basic right of primary education because food trumps education in the fight for survival.
Yesterday, there was a session in my office about education of the less privileged kids. My Office, Deloitte USI Mumbai runs a small educational thread in its basement for the nearby slum kids. In the session our Office Head went on to tell us about how it had started. He said, initially to lure kids they came up with a plan – free food, and it worked. People started sending their kids to study because they would also get free food along with education. It got me thinking, why wasn’t free education enough? No matter how much we convince ourselves we are not a poor country the other side of the coin even if not seen, exists. And hunger is a great deal not just in our country but the whole world now. People who have seen Interstellar and mocked at the thought that led to the whole plot of the movie, think about it!
But a hungry child is a bigger issue than you can imagine. Think about this - endurance level for hunger is low and for children it is the lowest. Kids not only need enough food but food with enough nutrition to help their growth and development - mentally, physically and psychologically. If food is a luxury, nutritive food becomes a myth. Now if kids don’t get the right kind of food, their growth is affected drastically putting a huge question mark on the future generation.
But like I said, we don’t really lack in money or food. What is missing though is a system, an initiative, a will to make a difference. Fortunately a lot of organizations like Akshaya Patra are actively working on eliminating classroom hunger and giving a chance to a lot of dreams to survive and see the light. Food for kids not only works for the benefit of today but for shaping a better tomorrow. 'How' is what we will have to work at. For now I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda. What are you going to do?