Akshaya Patra Foundation’s Expectations and Recommendations for the Upcoming Government Budget in India – 2024

As the Akshaya Patra Foundation looks forward to the forthcoming budget announcement by the Government of India, we take this opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation for the government’s commitment towards child nutrition and education. The allocation of approximately ₹12,600 crores towards the PM Poshan (Mid-Day Meal) program is a testament to the government’s dedication to nurturing the health and well-being of India’s future generations. The implementation of this noble initiative through the Public Financial Management System has notably enhanced transparency and effectiveness, ensuring that the benefits reach the intended beneficiaries efficiently.

In the spirit of collaborative progress and building on this strong foundation, we suggest further enhancements to this program in the upcoming budget. An extension of the meal scheme to include breakfast, in addition to the current lunch offerings, would greatly benefit the children, providing them with the necessary energy and nutrition to start their day. Additionally, expanding the scope of this program to cover students in higher grades, particularly Gth and 10th, can play a crucial role in encouraging them to complete their schooling while ensuring they receive adequate nutrition.

In line with the government’s initiative to promote the inclusion of millets in diets, we recommend that the government facilitate the provision of millets through the Food Corporation of India (FCI) at subsidized rates. This step would not only align with national nutritional strategies but also provide a significant incentive for implementing partners like the Akshaya Patra Foundation. It would enable us to amplify our efforts in providing nutritionally rich and diverse meals, inclusive of millets, to school children across the country.

The upcoming budget presents a unique opportunity for the government to reinforce its commitment to child welfare and education. By broadening the scope of the PM Poshan program and incorporating nutritious food items like millets, the government can make a significant impact on the holistic development of children. Such initiatives are crucial for nurturing a healthy, educated, and empowered generation that will lead India towards a brighter future.
At the Akshaya Patra Foundation, we remain committed to working in tandem with the government’s efforts and look forward to the upcoming budget with optimism and hope. We believe that together, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of millions of children across our nation.

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