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.
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 per cent of the world's underweight children and 34 per cent 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. Slum children work as rag pickers, sewage cleaners and other unhealthy and dangerous jobs, earning a few cents a month in order to stave off their families’ hunger. Education and literacy are put off as parents struggle to balance the immediate needs for family survival of the family over the need of a child to grow, develop, and study in order to build a different life.
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.