Feeding india team at sustainability superstar event 2024
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Feeding India | February 9, 2024 | 3 min(s) read
Empowering Youth: Driving Change Now, Not Just Tomorrow

On February 3rd, Feeding India was invited as a panelist in the Sustainability Superstar Event, a one-of-a-kind national event designed for school students to celebrate their responsible citizenship and reward their sustainable practices. The event, organised by GoSharperner, a global tech platform that brings together young minds to take action toward improving the world (GoSharperner n.d.), attracted over 100 schools and 600 students from across India. Feeding India collaborated with GoSharperner as a knowledge partner for the event, to focus discussions on Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2): Zero Hunger. 

SDG 2, Zero Hunger, is a pivotal component of the United Nations’ SDGs, aiming for a ‘world free of hunger by 2030’ (United Nations n.d.).But, the challenge is immense. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2022, a staggering 735 million people faced hunger, while 2.4 billion people were either moderately or severely food insecure worldwide (FAO 2023). This problem is multifaceted, with several determinants exacerbating the issue such as environmental or political conflicts that pose significant threats to food production and distribution systems (FAO 2015).  

Addressing Zero Hunger is intricately intertwined with achieving the remaining 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This interconnectedness underscores the multifold impact that effective measures to combat hunger can have on advancing sustainable development and fostering a brighter future for our country. 

Research has indicated that the implementation of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) by the Government of India has had significant positive effects on education outcomes (SDG 4). These outcomes include enrollment percentages, learning outcomes, and school attendance rates (Chakrabarti, S et al. 2021). MDMS, is the largest school feeding program in the world covering over 113.6 million beneficiaries (Kaur 2021). Similarly, improved nutritional outcomes affects economic growth (SDG 8 : Decent Work and Economic Growth) directly through its impact on labour productivity and indirectly through improvements in life expectancy (SDG 3 : Good Health and Wellbeing ) (FAO n.d.).

However, to achieve this, the youth need to be actively engaged in SDGs, leveraging their creativity, and passion to drive innovation and build a better future for all. With 1.3 billion adolescents (aged 10-19) worldwide, comprising 16% of the global population, and 253 million youths in India alone, the significance of youth involvement in achieving a hunger-free world by 2030 cannot be overstated (UNICEF 2023; MoHFW n.d.). We recognise that an integrated approach and concerted efforts of the youth are crucial. Young people, in particular, can be pivotal changemakers for SDG-related activities. They are not merely the changemakers of tomorrow but the changemakers of today, actively shaping the trajectory of Viksit Bharat 2047.

At Feeding India, we are committed to addressing malnutrition and food insecurity till the last mile. Among other strategies, we actively engage the youth leaders as POSHAN Champion, by collaborating with them to set up POSHAN Chapters within their networks. For those interested in collaborating on SDG 2, we invite you to join us in our mission by filling out the provided form here

References

  1. GoSharperner n.d., About Us, viewed 5 February 2024
  2. United Nations n.d., Goal 2: Zero Hunger, United Nations, viewed 5 February 2024
  3. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 2023, Putting a number on hunger, FAO, viewed 6 February 2024
  4. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 2015, Climate change and food security: risks and responses, FAO, viewed 5 February 2024
  5. Chakrabarti, S., Scott, S.P., Alderman, H. et al. 2021, ‘Intergenerational nutrition benefits of India’s national school feeding program’, Nature Communications, vol 12, no. 4248.
  6. Kaur, R 2021, ‘Estimating the impact of school feeding programs: Evidence from mid day meal scheme of India’, Economics of Education Review, vol 84.
  7. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) n.d, The cost of Hunger, FAO, viewed 5 February 2024
  8. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) 2023, Investing in a safe, healthy and productive transition from childhood to adulthood is critical, UNICEF, viewed 6 February 2024
  9. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) n.d., Adolescent Health, MoHFW, viewed 6 February 2024

Authors : Disha Kouli and Glaison Cherian

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