Indian boy eats the one billionth school meal provided by charity

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Mohsin enjoying vegetable curry and rice with his friends (Mary's Meals)

Barriers to education, Child nutrition (Early years), Health and education convergence, Right to education

School meals are taken for granted in some parts of the world. But in poorer countries they can mean the difference between a child going to school or not.

A daily nutritious meal increases the chance of a child being at school each day. It improves their health and helps them to concentrate on their lessons.

So it was a landmark moment when the charity Mary’s Meals served up its ONE BILLIONTH school meal – a dish of vegetable curry and rice – to a 12-year-old Indian boy called Mohsin.

Like many children living in poverty around the world, he relies on that daily meal.

“I wake up in the morning and sometimes there is no food,” said Mohsin. 

He lives with his parents and five siblings in the slums of Sangam Vihar. His mother is ill and Mohsin sells rat poison after school to help support his family.

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The billionth meal – a dish of vegetable curry and rice – was served to 12-year-old Mohsin, at the Sangam Vihar Informal Education Centre in Noida, India (Mary’s Meals)

Mohsin said: “In school, we are guaranteed food. From the food, we get strength, we get energy. It’s like life comes back to my body. We are able to study.”

Scottish-based Mary’s Meals began feeding just 200 children at a school in Malawi in 2002.

Now it provides meals to more than 1.2 million children across 14 countries every school day. 

Founder and chief executive Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, said: “While Mary’s Meals isn’t really driven by big numbers, this is a remarkable milestone. 

“Every one of those meals is the result of a series of little acts of love carried out by a chain of people all over the world.

“Volunteers who raise awareness and fundraise, people who donate money, those who pray for our work and, of course, the army of local volunteers who cook and serve for the children in their own communities.” 

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