On 14th November – Children’s Day, Morning Nutrition program was launched in ZPSS Boys school in Jangaon. 31,228 children across 508 schools would receive Morning Nutrition. This launch is a further expansion of the program started in September 2022 in the district (benefiting 31,000 children).
The event was presided by Colonel Dr C Narendra Reddy, Sri P Ramana – DRDA-SERP Assistant Manager and the Headmaster of the school, Sri S Prakasham. From Annapoorna Trust, Mr Dhananjay Rao Ejapu – Regional coordinator of Telangana, Mr. Srikanth Vooturi – Jagatial District Coordinator and Mr Kanakaiah Gotte – Jangaon District Coordinator, were present.
Mr Kanakaiah Gotte spoke in the event about how Col Dr C. Narendra Reddy, who was born and raised in a village in Jangaon himself, started providing healthy breakfast to the children for their all-round development. He used to supplement an extra egg to the 2 eggs which the government used to provide, and offered sprouts on non-egg days, thus ensuring nutritious meal for all 6 days of the week. ‘Since 2016, banana distribution program in the mornings has been regular, recognizing that the brain requires glucose for its functioning, thereby giving energy and aiding in developing good intelligence,’ he said. In 2020, Annapoorna Trust accepted the Colonel’s request to provide Nutrition to 4000 students in Bachchannapet Mandal, but this program had to be paused due to the pandemic. On learning about the Trust providing ‘Ragi Cereals Health Drink’ for students in many districts of Telangana post-pandemic, Col Dr Narendra Reddy, requested the Trust to provide for 3000 students in 3 mandals of Jangaon district. But when Mr. Anand Kadali, Secretary and Trustee of Annapoorna Trust, met the DEO Sri K Ramu, he requested for relevant permissions to provide the health drink to all the 32,228 students from weaker sections of the society in the entire district. Further approaching the collector of Jangaon district, Mr CH Shivalingaiah, this proposal was readily accepted. Mr Kanakaiah Gotte concluded his talk by expressing his deepest gratitude towards Annapoorna Trust and said, what started with just 104 students in 1 school with the ‘eggs and sprouts’ days in 2014, has now expanded to all students studying in all government schools in the district.
Col Dr C. Narendra Reddy, while addressing the gathering said, this launch was special and a happy event as it was being done on Children’s Day and expressed his gratitude to Annapoorna Trust for starting Morning Nutrition initiative in various mandals of Telangana, for the welfare of today’s children who would be tomorrow’s leaders in various walks of life. He also said the onus is on them and on the school staff, especially the mid-day meal staff, to ensure this program continues smoothly without any hindrances.
The DRDA-SERP Assistant Manager, Sri P Ramana, said Morning Nutrition ‘Ragi Cereals Health Drink’ by Annapoorna Trust is very beneficial since it contains vital nutrients like iron and calcium, for the proper growth of children. While physical well-being is taken care, he emphasised on importance of cultivation of human values like love and kindness from childhood.
The simple and humble finger millet is a superfood that offers a bounty of nutritional benefits encompassing all the essential macronutrients, along with noteworthy level of key micronutrients. The cooks need to just mix this Ragi Cereals health mix in the boiling water along with jaggery to give the sweet taste. Easy to prepare and tasty to drink, this health mix has received positive feedback from teachers, cooks and the children. It is considered one of the best foods for growing children.
Nutrition intervention conducted at the school level itself, can help improve the health and the well-being of the children, thus setting the child on a proper course to succeed in school, which will go a long way in nation-building!