A student-led initiative called ‘Project Aahaar’, which seeks to provide breakfast and coaching in extra- curricular activities to impoverished students from ten schools in the city, was launched by students from MOP Vaishnav College for Women.
Nirmala Prasad, Principal, MOP Vaishnav College for Women, said that while midday meals to students were being provided by the government, and were an essential part of keeping kids in school, the lack of a meal early in the morning affected their performance.
“When the students don’t eat food in the morning, they have reduced serotonin levels, making them feel lethargic and their performance can suffer, so the students from the college’s Ministry of Social Welfare and NSS Unit of the college have themselves come forward to sponsor meals as well as hold enrichment activities, such as spoken English classes, music and dance classes, as well as picnics,” she added.
The project will benefit around 50 students from MOP Vaishnav Primary School, and will be extended to 10 other schools, benefiting over 500 students by the end of the year.
Parthasarathy, the secretary of the primary school, said that the project would help first generation students from impoverished families. “Most of their parents are domestic workers and daily wage laborers who don’t have the time to prepare food for them, so by having this project in place it will help in the overall development of the students,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries of the project, Siadullah, who studies in standard 4, said that with the free meals, he would be able to concentrate during the classes.