A School Assembly That Improves Children’s Health

New Delhi: On the 4th of May, Happy English School, East Delhi conducted a special ‘Noon Assembly’ to spread awareness about Vitamin D, and its health impact for children’s lifelong health. According to medical research, 20 minutes of sunlight exposure between 11am-1pm can produce 5 times more Vitamin D in the skin as compared to morning hours. That’s why Happy English School shifted their morning assembly to around noon. The Noon Assembly started with a prayer, followed by activities like P.T. and Yoga to increase the Vitamin D absorption. It was concluded with children singing the National Anthem.

India’s leading dairy company, Kwality Ltd. and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) brought the Noon Assembly to life on the 9th of April, at the National Bal Bhavan, New Delhi. The initiative is supported by CBSE, ICSE, NDMC, Dept. of School Education and Literacy, MHRD and leading NGOs Save the Children, GAIN, SEHEAC, and Child Survival India. The launch event saw participation of more than 600 students from NDMC, North MCD, and Private schools.

Mr. Kabir Basu Roy, Chief Marketing Officer, Kwality added, “Most parts of India receive abundant sunshine all the year through. Yet shockingly, studies have found that nearly 90% of children in India were deficient in Vitamin D. It was this knowledge that led us to fortify many of our products with Vitamin D and other essential nutrients. We are proud to sport FSSAI’s F+ fortified logo on our products and to be a part of Noon Assembly initiative.”

Vitamin D deficiency is putting children at risk of weakened bone health, reduced immunity, and many lifestyle related diseases. With this simple shift in assembly timings, children can get sunlight exposure when it is best for their bodies to produce Vitamin D. Speaking about the Noon Assembly, Dr. R.K. Marwaha, Scientific Advisor & Senior Consultant, Endocrinology international Life Sciences & Institute, India said: ‘’Contrary to popular belief that morning sunshine is best for bones, it is actually the sunshine from 11am to 1pm that is most beneficial in increasing Vitamin D levels in human body because of best UVB radiations.’’

Since its launch on April 9th , the Noon Assembly initiative has been seeing increasing participation. More than 35 thousand students from more than 40 schools have received over 700 thousand sun minutes. Schools from Varanasi in UP and Dhanbad in Jharkhand have also conducted the Noon Assembly in their premises. It is encouraging to see that more than 10 thousand parents have also joined the initiative to give their children better sunlight exposure.

Ms. Arti Khungar, Principal, Happy English School, New Delhi encouraged children to spend time outdoors and stressed that “Good habits built in childhood help carve strong adults! The Noon Assembly is an idea that can solve a huge public health problem with a simple timetable change. Let us all join the mission to help bridge Vitamin D deficiency in children by starting the Noon Assembly in our schools.”