These days, Unni actually makes it a point to take his lunch — not one but two boxes — to school, and not because of his mother’s nagging. He just doesn’t want to risk his friends fainting of hunger in the middle of the morning assembly.
Unni is a student of the government boys’ higher secondary school at Manja in Nedumangad — a school that eats and stays together. Since last month, students from well-off families have been taking turns to pack a double lunch so that their friends from less privileged homes don’t go hungry.
Eighty per cent of the students here come from families below poverty line. But now, they don’t have to drink water to quell their hunger. Fainting incidents have come down and fewer students miss school because of illness. The initiative for the scheme was taken by teachers. “We found that for many children, even two meals was a luxury. Initially, all teachers agreed to chip in. Then we thought of this mechanism,” school head teacher J Amminikutty said.
There was another delicate problem. A haughty dole would have hurt the poor students’ self-respect. So the teachers hit on a solution: all food packets and lunch boxes were kept in the staff room and everyone ate together. Finally, a mid-day meal scheme that works.
Doctor minus medicine
Jodhpur: He has made hundreds of people with a slipped disc walk again, and healed countless cases of bone and nerve disorder — without any medicine. Dr Goverdhan Lal Parashar uses his magic thumb instead.
An eminent osteopath, he was trained in New England College, London. Osteopathy is based on the theory that diseases are caused due to loss of structural integrity. All you need to do is restore harmony by manipulation, he explained.
The technique was discovered by Andrew Taylor Still, a Civil War Surgeon in the US Army. “He didn’t suggest tests or X-rays. But the diagnosis was bang-on. Osteopathy is one of the fastest and cheapest science,” he said.