By Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean
Mangalore: Akshaya Patra held a workshop, 'Media 2 Media' with the theme of "Fighting Hunger - Feeding Minds", at the press club roof top, Urva here on July 12.
President of the Mangalore Unit of Akshaya Patra ISKCON, Karunya Sagar Dasa, briefed on Akshaya Patra and its impact on Children's education. Karunya Dasa also said that if there is a bomb blast the media makes it a big news, but if there is starvation it goes unattended and there is not much concentration by the public on this issue. There are a lot of children who don't get proper food. Children are the future of the nation, when they grow without proper food what will be the result? What will be the future of the country,he questioned.
He stated that in India a large number of children are missing out on the benefits of education, which is key to significantly improving their quality of life. Poverty is the single largest factor that causes disparity in education. Hunger and existing socio-cultural barriers discourage parents from sending children to school, thereby encouraging dropouts.
The Akshaya Patra foundation was founded in the year 2000 to address two of the India's most immediate challenges, they are Hunger and Education. It is a child centric organization and gained formidable reputation since its inception. The foundation started providing the mid day meal with 1500 children in five schools in Bangalore with the understanding that the meals would attract children to schools and that it would then be easier to retain them. Later the foundation joined hands with the public private partnership with the central and state government and expanded its footprints. Now a total number of 1.3 million children in 8 states are benefiting from Akshaya Patra.
Senior Journalist from Deccan Herald, Srinivas Sirnoorkar was the resource person. He briefed on how a photo journalist or a journalist can create a story by giving some examples. Recalling a story of a beggar in Gulbarga, who with great effort was trying to reach out of the garbage bin, and was in a serious condition. Someone had called Srinivas and informed about the person who was in the garbage bin without any clothes. Srinivas requested a photographer to click some photographs and advised to take him to the hospital, because that beggar was about to die. According to his advice the person clicked the photograph and got the beggar admitted in the hospital. The next morning the beggar died in the hospital. In this we can realize that the media helped a person to die a decent death instead of dying in a garbage bin.
In another story he described, was that of a photographer who got an international award for his photography but he never thought of helping the girl reach the hospital when she met with tragedy. Thinking about it after sometime the photographer was so desperate that he committed suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide. Although he got a award, he realized it was really a shame that he didn't save a life and was not worthy for that award, and that is what troubled him so much that he took the extreme step.
Further speaking on the topic, "sensitization of news by the media", he said, "In Mangalore everyone is sweating, it proves Mangaloreans are hardworking people, never mind the weather is too humid". Further he stated that poverty cannot be defined, but hunger is defined as a condition in which people do not get enough food to provide nutrients to the body for active healthy lives. Malnutrition is defined as a condition which is resulting from under nutrition. Without eliminating hunger, the development of the country is not possible.
He continued and said that hunger will remain the number one cause of death in the world than cancer and AIDS. There are 92 crores chronically hungry people in the world. Almost 10 million people are killed around the world each year by hunger. Hunger is inherited, one in every 7 people of the world is hungry, 98% of the world's hungry live in developing country with two thirds living in Bangladesh, China, India and Congo.
There was a discussion after the workshop.