Zaheer Khan visited the Akshaya Patra Foundation to support the cause of free distribution of food to children.

It was a dream come true for children studying in government schools when cricketer Zaheer Khan visited The Akshaya Patra Foundation and interacted with them. The Indian pacer was overwhelmed when he saw the state-of-the-art-technology used for preparing mid-day meals to the students of government schools. He was in the city to undergo some fitness tests and he showed a keen interest to have first hand information on the world's largest meal programme.

Ending hunger

An official explained to him that the foundation introduced the noon meal programme in schools in the year 2000 and it strives to end the hunger of economically disadvantaged children in the six to 16 years age group. What started as a pilot project in five schools in Bangalore, feeding 1,500 children, has now grown into a mammoth endeavour reaching out to over 12 lakh children in about 7,700 government and government-aided schools and anganwadis (day care centres) in 18 locations, across eight States in the country, day after day.

During the visit, Zaheer interacted with a few school children who were present to see their favourite cricketer. The cricketer also helped in serving light refreshments to the children. While interacting with the children Zaheer, explained the significance of eating healthy nutritious food for better learning. “It was a very heartening experience for me to see the dedication of the foundation in feeding the underprivileged children. If children are fed well, they can focus more on their studies and it is very important to have an educated generation for the future of India. It is heartening to see the organisation trying to achieve the goal of reaching five million children by 2020,” the Indian pacer said.