Mid-day meals feed ambitions
In villages situated on the outskirts of Jaipur, most of the inhabitants are part of a transport business. They own donkeys which they use to transport construction material and other heavy equipment to various nearby and slightly faraway places. Salim, a 12-year-old from Jaipur is also into this business. His father owns the business and Salim has been working for him from the time he was five years old.
Salim joined school just two years ago only because of the free mid-day meal that is provided there. Since it's a dry terrain, families living in these areas don't have access to clean water. They don't keep too many vessels in the house since that would require washing and hence cooking is also not done every day.
According to his teachers, when Salim joined school two years ago, he was emaciated since he was clearly malnourished. However, the Akshaya Patra mid-day meal has helped him a great deal. Now Salim is a healthy boy and goes to school regularly. He dreams of growing up and taking over his family's transportation business just so his father can relax at home.
Mr. SS Rajamouli and Mr. Shobu Yarlagadda on a tour of our kitchen in Narsingi, Hyderabad on December 11