In India, building classrooms and a brighter future
June 21, 2018
Gunjan, a fourth-grade student, joined the Lotus Petal Foundation school a few years ago. She comes from a low-income family in Gurugram, a metropolitan business center in the National Capital Region in India. After her schooling at Lotus Petal, Gunjan is now fluent in English, and is eager to continue her studies. She says she wants to make her parents proud someday.
This is just one of the stories made possible by a partnership between Cargill, Swiss development organization Action de Soutien à l’Enfance Démunie (ASED) and Lotus Petal Foundation, which provides education for K-12 students from low-income families absolutely free of cost.
With support from Cargill and ASED, Lotus Petal Foundation has constructed 12 new classrooms at its Gurugram school that will accommodate more than 300 new students over the next two years. Cargill is also contributing to the school’s food program by building a kitchen and providing regular nutritional supplements to the school’s food plan.
“With this project, we are addressing both education and nutrition, combining the key strengths and focus areas of both ASED and Cargill,” said Isabel Deconinck, strategy and marketing manager for Cargill’s World Trade Group in Geneva, where ASED is based. “We strongly believe that access to nutritious food and quality education should be a basic right of every child and we hope this initiative will bring many more children in the region to school and help them create a secure and dignified future for themselves.”
The partnership, which is expected to reach nearly 1,500 people, supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, it supports SDG 4 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
“India is a party to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Sudha Parthasarathy, India country manager for ASED. “This partnership ensures that more and more children are provided with sound health and quality education suited to the local context.”
With the additional classrooms, the Lotus Petal Foundation school in Gurugram is expected to continue to increase the number of children it can serve from surrounding communities.
“This will bring in transformational change in the lives of the children,” said Kushal Chakraborty, founder of Lotus Petal Foundation. “Thanks to the support from Cargill they are getting the right nutrition, and many more children will get access to quality education now.”