The issue of malnutrition is of major concern for countries across the world. While it is a universal problem, children and women living in poverty are the worst affected by it.
Due to the pandemic as a lot of people lost their means of livelihood and were further pushed into poverty, it affected their food consumption levels compromising their nutritional health. It also caused disruption in preventive health and nutrition services.
Our campaign ‘Plate Half Full’ is an attempt towards enhancing education with adequate nutrition - while it is necessary to have underprivileged children attend school, it is also just as important to have them eat regular nutritious meals in a day. It focuses on improving the nutritional status of mothers, infants, and young children to promote holistic development and help them reach their fullest potential.
‘My mother abandoned me. Not just me, but my three siblings too. She left the family because of our alcoholic father. But we are still living with him. From cooking food to cleaning the house to helping my younger siblings in studies – I had to become the mother of the house. At times, my siblings pretend to be sick - so that he may spend some time with us. When we look at other children, we often desire a loving family. Parental love is so important…isn’t it?’
- Shivani (Grade 2). Shivani gets education and nutrition support along with her three younger siblings at Smile’s Mission Education Centre.
'Days when Papa doesn’t get work, he feels very sad about being unable to feed us at home. Due to the shortage of money, he also couldn’t send us to school. But when Smile Didi told papa that along with education we’ll also get food at Mission Education Center, he happily agreed.'
6-year-old Asima who is in Grade 1 is positive about her future and pays full attention to her classes. She also actively participates in activities like painting and dance. Her determination, innocence, and energy give courage and hope to her parents too.
"I remember the feeling when I and my sister didn't get to eat for two days. Every time my teacher gives my sister something to eat, I thank her wholeheartedly."
Ravi (Class 3) and his sister are students at Mission Education centre.
Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation talks about importance of greater accessibility of nutrition in India
Nutrition is foundational to human development. Wholesome nutrition is at the core of human existence and access to food and nutrition are fundamentals to lead a life with dignity. The National Nutrition Week, observed every year from September 1 to 7, is a reminder to all of us to do more to ensure access to nutrition for all, particularly for people in the marginalized sections of society.Read More
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