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Under The Tree
Under The Tree
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Joined: Aug 3, 2023
Last seen: Aug 13, 2023
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Story of Under The Tree


Meetali, a graduate in Home Science from Jabalpur and a B. Ed, has worked in the field of education since 1991. She started her career with schools and then became an education activist devoting her time for Under The Tree to uplift the less-privileged sections of society. For the past eight years she has been working for children of daily wagers and migrant workers in NOIDA and has helped over 1000 Children get the basic education as part of Under The Tree project.

While running the Under The Tree, Meetali realized that most of the children are slow and do not keep what they learn.

Being a nutrition specialist by education, Meetali quickly realized that the root cause of this problem is acute malnutrition among children. Most of these do not get enough food and are chronically undernourished. Also, lack of nutritious food has wasted and stunted a lot of children. The parents of most of the children suffer from the same malnourishment.
Government efforts like Mid-Day Meal scheme have shown remarkable results but remain inadequate, says Meetali. “As the problem of malnourishment was noticed in the children at Under The Tree, I realized that supplying nutritious food must be part of the projects like this. The children need food, rich in nutrition, on a regular basis,” she continues.

Meetali decided to address the problem directly. “The local community support has encouraged me to take up the challenge and set up a dedicated kitchen for serving food of high nutritional value for 150 vulnerable children daily in order to improve their nutrition profile”, explains Meetali elaborating her plan to set up a smart kitchen to cater over 2000 children by 2025. The kitchen supplies hygienic and nutritious breakfast and lunch, five days in a week.
Today, Under The Tree Project runs three centres in NOIDA in Sector 135, Sector 93 and Sector 84. Over 300 children are enrolled of which around 150 come to school daily. Study materials, school bags, water bottles, stationaries, winter and summer dresses, shoes, hygiene kits, utensils, etc are supplied free to students. The project takes the students to study tours to places like Okhla Bird Sanctuary, etc at least twice in a year. Various activities and programs like sports meet, are held from time to time. Students are encouraged to develop their scientific temperament through various programs like STEM learning, block programming, photography, etc. Meritorious students get scholarships as well.

The project encourages students to take up Government certifications through open schooling programs run by National Institute for Open Schooling (NIOS). Efforts are also on to develop a curriculum especially designed for such kids who cannot be part of a regular school due to their social and economic exigencies.

Under The Tree also supports over 250 women with hygiene kits, sanitary napkins and warm clothes in winter as part of a massive behavioural change program. Also, a skilling program in cutting and tailoring encourages women to get skilled towards sustainable livelihood. “We plan to ramp up the skilling program and expand the same in other domains too in order to help women get livelihood support”, explains Meetali.

During the COVID pandemic, the project supported 1571 migrant labours and daily wagers with three-months ration and hygiene kits. Women were given nutrition care packets as well.

“The problem runs deep,” says Meetali. “India is home to one-third of children suffering from malnourishment and stunted growth. If we want to ensure a hunger-free healthy India, a little effort from all of us is needed,” she appeals



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