Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hunger v/s Wisdom

Hello Reader,

Hands soaked in Besan (Gram Flour); Munna was busy helping his mother in the preparation of Samosas and Onion Pakoras while, his father was fixing the light bulb on their snack stall as the dusk dawned.  It is not what they wish to do but it is their need; their only way to earn. Munna handed me a Samosa with some green chutney in a disposable plate and went back to dip the raw onions into flour mould. Whilst nibbling onto the Samosa, I saw Munna’s mother chiding him if he made any mistake or if he slowed down. But, he always accepted it silently and said nothing to defend himself. Then another customer arrived and placed an order. And very quickly, Munna was back to his business of serving the snack, trying his best not to make any mistake. The mother kept supervising his work and interrupted him if he did not work as she wanted him to, in addition to regular grim looks from his father.

They wanted their son to learn the work they do, properly, to earn their livelihood. But, I feel sad for Munna because he never had a choice to do what he wants to. Not just that but he will not even be old enough to explore what he likes. Because before he grows old enough to know what he likes or has an option to choose, he will already be frying Pakoras and Samosas on a roadside. Unfair, isn’t it? Unlike us, he would probably use the printed newspapers not to read but to wrap the Samosas.

This is not just one Munna’s story. There are several children who are deprived of these basic necessities like education because most of the money they earn is spent on buying food. And, of course, you know, food is needed to stay alive and healthy. So, I won’t say that Munna’s parents are to be blamed. It is their need and I am sure, they would also want to see their son wear a school uniform and attend a classroom and get educated. But, they are not able to right now.

I can still remember the laundry man, tears in his eyes, folding hands before me, asking for some monetary help. He had a similar crisis. He wanted to buy books for his children, who were attending a local government school. I did help him but I know that it was not enough. And I can also remember the two kids at the juice shop, peeling oranges and many others selling tea, polishing shoes and even taking up hazardous occupations like working in a factory. Is this what they are destined to do? I wish I had a magic wand which could at least give them the basic necessities and they could go to school, read, write, play and enjoy their childhood like a child should.

The common problem in all these stories is quite evident. It is the lack of food which forces these poor souls to start working from such a young age. In managing to earn for food and shelter, little is left to spend for education. 

So, what can we do?

We can feed a child. It is not too difficult and we can all share a little of our earnings to help these kids get proper food to eat so that they do not have to worry about earning and can go to school like every other child and get educated. It will make a big difference in their lives. 

And this is where organizations like Akshay Patra come into picture. 

The Akshaya Patra Foundation believes that no child should be denied an education because of hunger. It is because of this belief that the Bangalore children's charity started providing mid-day meals to government school children across the country. This child NGO Bangalore currently feeds over 1.3 million children across India every day, and is on the mission to feed 5 million by 2020. But like other charity organizations in Bangalore, Akshaya Patra relies on the help of donors to achieve its goal.

You can Read more about the Organization here
or from their official website and Lend Help to the needful children.

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