Towards a Healthier and Stronger Tomorrow- An exposure-cum-training programme on smooth functioning of the MDMS

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, in association with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of School Education and Literacy, Government of India, organised a two-day programme in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, entitled ‘Towards a Healthier and Stronger Tomorrow - An exposure-cum-training programme on smooth functioning of Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS)’.

The programme was organised with an aim to enable an environment to debate and examine fresh perspectives on the MDMS. 24 Officials of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme from 12 states attended the programme.

With the MDMS currently reaching out to over 10 crore children, this programme also sought to identify, appreciate and absorb the various facets of the Scheme through transparent discussion between Government, NGOs and private sector on how the country can achieve milestones in the Mid-Day Meal Scheme.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation invited esteemed speakers from social enterprises and consultancies, legal advisors, international motivational speakers and renowned journalists to give insights into issues that had linkages to hunger and malnutrition.

Gaya Prasad, Director (MDM), Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India gave an overview of the MDM Scheme, its evolution, needs, objectives, and way forward. Jagranjan Mishra, General Manager, Operations, Akshaya Patra, Gujarat, spoke on how Akshaya Patra’s Centralised Kitchens is a blend of innovation, technology and management.

Dr. Nitin Maurya, Innovation Officer, National Innovation Foundation, focused on the power of innovation, while Parvathi Menon, Managing Director, Innovation Alchemy Consultancy gave an insight into the hub & spoke model for Mid-Day Meal Scheme. Advisor to the Supreme Court of India on monitoring food security, Dr. Biraj Patnaik’s session on 'Food a Basic Human Right’ highlighted that the Government should prioritise the issue of malnutrition, take learnings from cross-cutting examples such as Brazil's Zero Hunger Program which successfully reduced the malnutrition rate from 46% to 4% and design similar interventions.

Dr. R Balasubramaniam, Founder, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement engaged the audience in an interactive session to understand the topic Collaborative Leadership – Challenges and Opportunities. The two-day programme ended with a session on media and the Mid-Day Meal by Pratap Somvanshi, Resident Editor, Hindustan.

Jasvinder Sehgal, a freelance international broadcaster and an integral part of the communications team at The Akshaya Patra Foundation coordinated all the sessions.

Excerpts from the Feedback

"The training programme was very helpful to work with our society and it teaches us how to build bridges in the MDM ecosystem."- Hemant Salunke, Superintendent, Ahmed Nagar, Maharashtra.

"It is interesting, enlightening, inspiring and worth emulating." – Gangadhar Sahoo, State Nodal Officer, MDM, Odisha.

"This type of training programme should be organised frequently."- N.N Barman, Project Director, CMDMP, West Bengal.

"The training programme was very good and refreshing. It has given a lot of ideas for way forward. Thank You." - Rajendra Dhakane,Superintendent, Latur, Maharashtra. 

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