Bengaluru: Deutsche Bank, in partnership with The Akshaya Patra Foundation, recently served the seventh crore mid-day meal to school children at an event in GHPS Ejipura School, Bengaluru. The event included a felicitation ceremony for meritorious students and students with the best attendance. Earlier in the day, Deutsche Bank volunteers helped prepare the food that was served to the children.
Over the past nine years, Deutsche Bank, through its Corporate Social Responsibility programme – Born to Be – joined Akshaya Patra’s mission to eradicate hunger in classrooms. During this period, the partnership has helped alleviate hunger and countered malnutrition for over three lakh children from marginalised backgrounds. The Bank also supports the operation of the Foundation’s kitchens in Bengaluru and Jaipur, ensuring the preparation of hygienic and nutritious school lunches for students.
Hunger and malnutrition are some of the major causes of low enrolment in schools, increased absenteeism, and early dropouts, amongst the estimated nine crore poor children in India. Akshay Patra’s support to Government of India’s PM POSHAN scheme (earlier known as the Mid-day Meal scheme) comes as a relief for many families who send their children to school, knowing they will receive a nourishing meal. Sometimes this is the only substantial meal that the child eats in a day. The mid-day meals have also improved students’ academic performance and concentration in the classroom, and have facilitated better socialisation, dismantling of social hierarchies and fostering of a sense of equality amongst students.
Kaushik Shaparia, CEO, Deutsche Bank Group, India said, “Empowering children to realise their full potential is one of the core components of our CSR strategy. Combating hunger and malnutrition amongst children from marginalised communities is crucial to achieving this objective. Through our long-standing partnership with Akshaya Patra, we are delighted to witness the tangible impact we are making on education and the overall development of children.”
Speaking about the achievement, Shridhar Venkat, Chief Executive Officer of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, said, “We are immensely grateful to Deutsche Bank for their unwavering support and commitment in our journey to alleviate hunger among school children. The successful collaboration between Akshaya Patra and Deutsche Bank showcases the power of public-private partnerships in creating lasting social impact. The 70 million meals served to reflect the power of our shared vision and the profound impact we can create when we work together. Together with Deutsche Bank, we are making a tangible difference in the lives of millions of children, empowering them with education and nourishment.”
The latest data from the Government of India reveals that the PM POSHAN scheme covers about 11.80 crore children studying in 11.20 lakh government and government-aided schools across the country.