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December 2012

Do children need breakfast?

I know from experience as a father and grandfather that some children, particularly teenagers, don't feel hungry first thing in the morning and can easily miss breakfast, but do they need food in their stomach?  This is the question that is posed by Mukesh Dubey, the Principal Teaching Officer of our schools.  Mukesh recently carried out a survey which showed that almost 100 of the 1,250 children in our schools come to school without breakfast.  


Breakfast has been offered in Project Mala Schools for all children arriving


early enough, since the 1990s.  David Rangpal, our first Director of Education in India, introduced it as he felt that if children were hungry they would not be able to concentrate on their lessons.  However, providing food to all the children is a real cost and after staff costs it is our largest expense.  


Many NGOs have long since given up serving a free lunch.  We have discussed


this many times but have always felt that giving children a good meal each day is important and that is borne out by the way all the children and teachers eat it.  It is interesting that even in England one local authority is also worried about nutrition for the children (see the link -The Guardian).

Ration Cards
Ration cards


The Indian Government does provide some food for poor families via a ration card system: yellow card (general category), white card (below poverty level) and red card (very very poor).  All our children's families have one of these cards which entitles the family to various amounts of rice and wheat.


Lunch time


I hope you all have a very happy Christmas and on behalf of all the children and staff of Project Mala thank you for your support.

If you know anyone who might be interested in this item, please pass it on.

Robin Garland
Project Mala Charitable Trust