Teachers transform children into the adults they will grow up to be. They help develop their mental and social capabilities, hone their skills and equip them with the knowledge that they will carry with them into the future. It’s a serious responsibility and needs right person to carry it out.
Bharathi Mahapatra shoulders this duty well in her role as headmistress of the Vijayanagar Project Primary School in Puri. Kind and welcoming, she looks after her school armed with her 21 years of experience in the field of education.
The school which teaches children from standard I to V trains them in not just academics, but performing arts, writing and reading skills too. Right now the school has 113 children enrolled who come flocking to class every day to lap up their day’s lessons and enjoy their nutritious mid-day meal too.
The children who are beneficiaries of the Akshaya Patra mid-day meal usually come from economically challenged families, Bharathi says. Because of hunger many times children are driven to labour to survive. However because of the Akshaya Patra mid-day meal they get to enjoy their classes as well as a daily healthy meal. “And the children get to live their childhood as they are supposed to”, she adds.
We were especially pleased and humbled to hear that Bharathi took up the transfer to the area voluntarily in order to work at the school.
It is the combination of teachers like Bharathi, and the shining, happy faces of the healthy children that act a constant reminder of the great mission Akshaya Patra has undertaken. With the support of the mid-day meal programme and guidance of excellent instructors, thousands of children all over India now have hope in a great future.