Mumbai is home to over seven million children under the age of 14 who are growing up in abject poverty.
The World Health Organization estimates that about 49% of the world's underweight children and 34% of the world's malnourished children live in India. Education is the key to reducing these figures. However, in Mumbai, because food is scarce and the primary focus is on day-to-day survival, there is tremendous pressure on children – even as young as four years old – to work. Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) have long term consequences on the health, wellbeing and cognitive development of children, especially below the age of 5.
Investments in nutrition for children result in better quality of life, better school attendance, and increased cognitive ability. Nutrition for schoolchildren is the most effective way to make a positive improvement in the lives of vulnerable children living in the slums of Mumbai.
That's why GPM provides 1000 daily, hot, nutritious meals to children in school, implements a safe drinking water initiative, and creates programs to target infant malnutrition.
Chronic malnutrition in ages 3-5 in India is linked to slower cognitive development and serious health impairments later in life that reduce children’s quality of life, as well as long-term malnutrition and stunting. - US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health