Impact of Incentivising Education on Malnutrition and Health: Findings From Akshaya Patra World’s Largest School Lunch Program

Nidhi Sharma , International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Implementing Government’s nutritional incentive scheme, Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF) is world’s largest school-lunch programme (MDM), reaching 1.77million children every school-day. Programme Assessment was conducted in 2017, using experimental design and mixed methods with 4331 respondents. Findings underlines MDM as incentive for bringing 9 out of 10 children to school. TAPF Schools reported lower dropout rate (1.7% compared to 4.3% national average). MDM is effectively addressing Classroom Hunger as for two-thirds of children MDM is first meal of the day. MDM have improved the attention span and academic performance. Nutritional status of children from TAPF schools is significantly better with normal BMI results (78% boys and 84% girls had normal BMI) and better MUAC compared to counterparts. Further, BMI of the students have positive relationship with performance (p<0.001). Correlation analysis revels, attendance is strongly correlated with nutritional status indicators and students’ achievement, underlining relation of educational incentive on health & malnutrition.

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 Presented in Session 11. Health & Mortality 2