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Akshay Patra wins BBC World Service Global Championship Award

Published: 27th Jun, 2019

Akshaya Patra, a non-profit organisation running one of the world's largest school meals project in India, has been awarded the BBC World Service Global Champion Award for the programme.


Akshaya Patra, a non-profit organisation running one of the world's largest school meals project in India, has been awarded the BBC World Service Global Champion Award for the programme.


More on news:

  • The Award, presented at the BBC Food and Farming Awards in Bristol, recognises a person or project who is changing the way the world produces, processes, consumes or thinks about food for the better.
  • The Bengaluru-based NGO was selected by an international panel of judges from nominations sent in by the World Service audience from around the world.
  • Other projects on the shortlist for the 2019 award included UK charity WRAP, which is aiming to reduce waste across a range of sectors, and Food 4 Education, a non-profit organisation which provides heavily-subsidised meals at primary schools in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • This was the third edition of Global Food Champion. In 2018, chef Jose Andres who helped provide 3.4 million meals to people in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria won the award.

About Akshaya Patra

  • Akshaya Patra's stated mission is to ensure that no child is deprived of education because of hunger. It recognises that children may forego education to do menial jobs to earn enough money to eat, and even if they do make it to the classroom, an empty stomach can make it hard to concentrate.
  • The charity started its midday meal programme almost 20 years ago.
  • Back then it provided 1,500 free school lunches every day. Today it feeds 1.75 million children all over India with hot, freshly prepared meals. For many children this will be their main source of nutrition and keep them in education.

Food Loss & Food Waste

  • It is estimated that nearly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted. 40 percent of the fruits and vegetables, and 30 percent of cereals that are produced are lost due to inefficient supply chain management and do not reach the consumer markets.
  • While significant levels of food losses occur upstream, at harvest and during post-harvest handling, a lot of food is lost or wasted during the distribution and consumption stages. Some food is also wasted on the shelves and in the warehouses of food businesses either due to excess production, introduction of new products, labeling errors, or due to shorter remaining shelf life.
  • Such food could be salvaged by timely withdrawing it from the distribution network, aggregating it and then redirecting it to the people in need.

Child Hunger in India

  • According to FAO estimates in ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2018” report, 195.9 million people are undernourished in India. By this measure 14.8% of the population is undernourished in India.
  • Also, 51.4% of women in reproductive age between 15 to 49 years are anaemic. Further according to the report 38.4% of the children aged under five in India are stunted (too short for their age), while 21% suffer from wasting, meaning their weight is too low for their height.
  • Malnourished children have a higher risk of death from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria.
  • The Global Hunger Index 2017 ranks India at 100 out of 119 countries on the basis of three leading indicators -- prevalence of wasting and stunting in children under 5 years, under 5 child mortality rate, and the proportion of undernourished in the population.

Key facts about hunger in India

  • India is home to the largest undernourished population in the world.
  • 14.9% of our population is undernourished.
  • 195.9 million people go hungry every day.
  • 21.0% of children under 5 are underweight
  • 38.4% of children under 5 years of age are stunted.
  • 1 out of 4 children is malnourished.

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