RWS helps children learn with school meal support

Hungry children struggle to feed their hungry minds. It’s long been understood that unless young learners are properly fed that they are not going to get the most out of their lessons. That’s the driving ethos behind the RWS partnership with The Akshaya Patra Foundation: making sure primary schoolchildren in an Udaipur school get at least one square meal a day during term-time so they can make the most of their education.

A successful partnership of government, NGOs, and corporate partners

Millions of schoolchildren in India do not have access to nutritious and healthy meals daily and this has a detrimental impact on learning outcomes. This, in turn, hinders the cycle of personal and economic development and individuals and communities are unable to reach their full potential. 

The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched by the Government of India in 1995. In 2001, the programme was modified to provide cooked midday meals to children in government and government-aided schools. Under the scheme, the government provides funding for the supplies and cooking of nutritious meals of at least 553.30 kcal and 18.12 gms of protein for primary children and 733.86 kcal and 21.64 gms of protein for upper primary children.

With additional funding from regional governments and support from corporate partners and NGOs, the meals are often substantially better than the statutory minimums.

Our office in Mumbai has been working with The Akshay Patra Foundation since 2019. It’s an NGO that works on the ground providing logistical support to supply the meals to schoolchildren and provide other support to schools. 

They say they help “build India’s human resource base by facilitating the education of underprivileged children in government schools through school meals and other secondary interventions. We work closely with the Ministry of Education, Government of India & 17 State Governments & UT Administrations to operate the world’s largest NGO-run school meal program. We have served more than 3 billion meals since inception and, as a result, ensured that children spend 21 billion man-hours at schools.” 

Last October, the Foundation reached the milestone of feeding 2 million children a day. Their mission is to serve 3 million children a day by 2025. The Foundation has been able to expand its reach with the support of corporate and government partners.

RWS and The Akshay Patra Foundation

Since 2019, RWS has been working with The Akshay Patra Foundation by offering not just financial support but also expertise and volunteers to help with their work.

Colleagues in Mumbai have developed a strong, direct relationship with Karelon Ka Guda Primary School in Udaipur. 

Team members have engaged with the school by cooking and serving meals for the children, offering mentoring programmes and vocational training to pupils, and making improvements to the school environment by planting trees and painting murals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when social contact was curtailed, RWS colleagues continued to offer their assistance virtually with digital upskilling for teaching staff and hosted interactive quizzes and other activities.

“We at the Akshaya Patra Foundation feel privileged to have an empathetic partner like RWS who has been dedicatedly supporting the mission of eradicating hunger from the lives of children from marginalized communities. 

Your generous contribution for funding the meals of schoolchildren in Udaipur is surely a strong step toward nourishing the future of India with strong and quality citizens.” 

Mr Anant Arora, Chief Sustainability & Communication Officer, The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

Successful results

RWS is proud of the contribution we have made with Akshaya Patra, which includes: 

  • A successful, ongoing partnership since 2019 
  • 244,000 meals provided to under-privileged school children 
  • A total of 1,100 children receiving nutritious meals

This initiative also aligns with our sustainability strategy and goals by supporting Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) : 

  • SDG 3 – Good health and wellbeing 
  • SDG 4 – Quality education 
  • SDG 5 – Gender equality 
  • SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth