Genuine smiles, hearty laughter and the love we receive from these children is what keeps us going. Knowing that we are making a positive impact in their lives and serving the cause of nation-building inspires us to give our very best each day to each child.
Serve each child from the goodness of your heart.
SRI S M KRISHNA
FORMER EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER, Government of India and former Chief Minister, State of Karnataka (on the sidelines of the One Nation event in Bangalore in August 2016.)
Feeding the next generation of young school-going Indians is now an accepted state policy at the national level. But the importance of providing nutritious food perhaps need to be highlighted more in the policy framework. For instance, while we may serve mid-day meals, it does not necessarily translate into nutrition. I think Annapoorna’s breakfast programme bridges this nutrition gap effectively.
Annapoorna was recently awarded by iVolunteer Overseas after being ranked in the top 7 finalists in the category of “Leader in Volunteer Engagement” for exemplary contribution towards India’s social development. iVolunteer Awards are given to recognise the contributions of the volunteers and organisations who engage with them. We were proud to be a part of this event where the Minister of Education, Youth Affairs, Sports, Minority and Wafk, State of Maharashtra, Mr.Vinod Tawde, felicitated and recognized the representatives from the respective organisations.
Ganesh N. H., 5th grade
Government Lower Primary School, Nallakadirenahalli, Chikkaballapur, Karnataka
Both parents are farmers
Before I used to feel tired even though I used to eat something at home before school. But not anymore. I now feel stronger. I love the breakfast they serve.
B. R. Navya, 5th grade
Government Lower Primary School, Bodhaganahalli, Chikkaballapur, Karnataka
Parents are daily wage labourers
Earlier I used to drink water whenever I felt hungry in the morning and eagerly wait for lunch. But now I don’t. I love the milk and bananas I get every day!
V. Shashikumar, 4th grade
Government Lower Primary School, Thippenahalli, Chikkaballapur, Karnataka
Son of a single mother who works as a laborer
I now enjoy coming to school. Earlier I used to wait for lunch and wasn’t able to concentrate much in class. But now I can focus better and have started loving my time at school
Anita Mridha Kindergarten student
Amodi Shishu Bhavan, Kolkata
Son of a single mother who works as a laborer
My mother goes to work in three houses. She leaves early in the
morning and hardly stays at home except the night time. My father is a
rickshaw puller. I don’t see them both much.
I have been coming to school since the last two years. Before the
Annapoorna team came, I never got any food till the middle of the day.
But now I get very good food like milk, biscuits, bread, and banana in the
school. I don’t feel hungry and sleepy in class anymore. I study well and
have more energy. My teacher also appreciates me more now. I love my
Annapoorna uncles and aunties, and I know that they love me too.
Mother of a child
who receives breakfast at the centre in
Doddabele, near Kengeri, Bangalore, Karnataka
Son of a single mother who works as a laborer
My second daughter, Sanjana, was suffering from severe anaemia. But after she started receiving regular and healthy breakfast in centre, her health has improved a lot. The children are served healthful breakfast every day, with a good mix of fruits, vegetables and milk, rich in protein and vitamins every morning. And if the little children have trouble eating on their own, the volunteers step in, feeding them with their own hands.
Madhusudhan Rao Sivakoti
(Development Officer at an Insurance Company)
Every day as a volunteer teaches us many life lessons. While as adults, we are the ones expected to teach these children, more often than not it is they who do. Once a student, who had broken his arm, wasn’t able to feed himself properly during breakfast. I noticed it and started walking towards him to help feed him. But even before I could reach him, another classmate of his came forward and started feeding him. No one had asked this little boy to do it. He did it on his own, out of the goodness of his heart. I was simply transfixed!
These were young children with no proper education, sophistication and exposure. But right there, at that moment, they taught me the value of selfless love and camaraderie. The little boy later came and assured me that he will take care of the other boy for as long as it takes for him to heal fully.
The Annapoorna Breakfast programme has given me a fantastic opportunity to make a meaningful difference to the lives of these children. The shy but friendly smiles, tiny voices praying and singing together, and little hands delicately eating the meal, help to make the entire experience completely joyful and one that I look forward to every week.
Add to that the love and warmth with which new volunteers are welcomed to the group! That would explain why there are often more volunteers than the minimum required number every morning. Also worth mentioning is the flexibility that is extended to aspiring volunteers, making it very easy to become a part of this beautiful activity.
(Bid Office Support, Oracle India)
I became aware of Annapoorna during the Oracle Volunteer event. We were interacting with a group of school children in a village on the importance of health and hygiene. But Annapoorna had gone many steps ahead and procured toothbrushes, toothpastes and even set up water filters for the children! Their work in the field of child nutrition is aweinspiring and I hope to continue volunteering with them. Thanks to Annapoorna and my employer, my dream of working for the less-privileged children has come true.
It’s more than a year since I started volunteering here, and I can proudly say that my life’s never been better! Serving hot and healthy breakfast to these less-fortunate school children may seem like an act of giving, but in reality I have received much more from them. Their love and laughter and the satisfaction I have derived from doing the work is totally out of this world.
This work has even helped my family bond better. My children now look forward to participate in the breakfast programme on weekends, and are happier and full of gratitude. They have become more responsible and mindful of how they spend money, as they want to use some of it to serve these children in the schools!
(Advisor – Service Delivery, Dell EMC)
The breakfast programme has transformed the students in more ways than we could ever imagine. One of the Headmasters of a Government school in Chikkaballapur once shared with me that the Annapoorna volunteers had become role models for the students. Some of the students had told him that they wanted to emulate the volunteers when they grow up and serve breakfast to needy students for free! It was both humbling and satisfying to know that we were inspiring the future generation of our country to walk the path of service.
Dr B M Sai Lakshmi
Being a volunteer at Annapoorna has been a very humbling as well as inspiring experience for me. Working at the grassroots level of our society, knowing that what we do is making a difference to many lives is a very gratifying feeling. While the experience in itself is very wholesome, the best reward I get is when after the day’s work, the children break into a spontaneous smiles.It is also an incredible opportunity to interact and learn from a wide cross-section of people – right from the school children to their teachers, other doctors and most of all the volunteers.
(Client Service Representative, CISCO)
I am always amazed to see children smile and shower us with so much love. I realise that I have received much more than I have given in the entire process. Overall, volunteering with Annapoorna has made me more grateful to the Universe. It has given me a platform to serve the society and pay it forward.
SCHOOL HEAD’S TESTIMONIALS
M. N. Venkataraju
Headmaster, Government Lower Primary School, Thippenahalli, Chikkaballapur, Karnataka
Parents of our most of our school children go off to work early in the morning. This breakfast programme therefore helps these children get motivation along with nutrition for their education. I feel they will also imbibe human values simply by watching this work going on every day. I am sure it will inspire them to serve society in the future when they grow up.
We have formed an affectionate relationship with the volunteers of Annapoorna. We are working closely with the volunteers and they immediately respond to our feedback and concerns and suggestions.
KN Vijaya, Principal
Government Lower Primary School Bodhaganahalli, Chikkaballapur, Karnataka
Earlier some of our children would either faint or sit down during morning prayers. But that has completely stopped now. Every day these volunteers come and provide for our children, and it is totally inspiring. I sincerely hope this breakfast initiative reaches schools everywhere.