Social responsibility of NGO’s in India

 

Social responsibility of Ngo

NGOs play a crucial role in the upliftment of the society. These organisations work for various causes and aim at bringing about sustainable change in the immediate society and the whole world. Akshaya Patra is one such NGO in India that focusses its activities on supporting education of children by providing nutritious meals.

Non-governmental organisations or NGOs are legally constituted private organisations that are not managed or owned by the government or government representatives. However, their sphere of work is in some way or the other an extension of government’s goals and objectives pertaining to the progress of the country. These organisations also directly or indirectly work in association with larger organisations like the UN, UNESCO, WHO, etc. NGOs work at all levels – local, national, international, and their services encompass a wide range of causes such as health, education, environment, animal rights, and more. But, the vision of all NGOs resonates each other i.e. upliftment of the entire society by ensuring social welfare, and preservation of environment and nature.

 

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one such NGO in India working for health and education of children. The Foundation implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme and provides daily school meals to more than 1.76 million children across 12 states of India. It has been recognised and appreciated in several national and international platforms. It has also been recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programme. The NGO vision of Akshaya Patra is “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.” This vision is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Zero Hunger and Quality Education. Aside from providing nutritious meals to school children, the Foundation has also taken the step to hone the skills of its beneficiaries with its initiative – Giving Every Dream A Chance’. Akshaya Patra strives to address the issue of hunger and illiteracy right from the grass root level. Hence, it provides healthy meals to children, expecting women and lactating mothers in 4,786 Anganwadi centres in nine locations spread across five states of India.

As an NGO in India, Akshaya Patra is cognisant of the fact that real social welfare can be achieved only when all the citizens are healthy, educated, and self-dependent. Hence, it is striving to provide a strong foundation for children so that it creates generations of independent and resourceful individuals. This, in turn, will aid in social and economic progress of the whole country.

In conclusion, the work of all NGOs results in an inclusive overhaul of the entire society lifting it up by manifolds in a sustainable and positive manner. Thus, as citizens, we too must take up the responsibility to support these organisations with our time, skill, and finance. Begin a ripple of positive change; support NGO in India.

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Celebrate Daan Utsav 2018 by giving food to children

The joy of giving is much more than the joy of receiving. Daan Utsav is a festival of giving and it gives an opportunity to every one to contribute to the needy in some way or the other. Akshaya Patra too observes the Daan Utsav with the anticipation that numerous children will be benefitted with acts of generosity.

Daan Utsav

Somebody has rightly said, “Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” And, this totally resonates with Daan Utsav. Previously known as the Joy of Giving Week, the Daan Utsav is considered as the ‘festival of philanthropy’. It was launched in 2009 and is observed annually in India during the week of Gandhi Jayanti i.e. from 2 October to 8 October.  Daan Utsav gives each and every one of us, from all sections of the society, an opportunity to do something good for our fellow citizens. The significance of this giving week is it engages and encourages people to imbibe the ‘act of giving’ by contributing money, time, skill or resources with the ones who are less privileged.

The Joy of Giving Week is celebrated with much enthusiasm by all sectors and sections of people – Government organisations and institutions, corporates, NGOs, schools and colleges, and the general public. It is an initiative aimed at creating awareness regarding various needs of the society, garnering support to tackle these issues, and bringing about a sustainable change. With the same spirit, The Akshaya Patra Foundation observes this giving week to generate maximum support for its beneficiaries – the children.

Joy of giving week

Akshaya Patra is an Indian NGO implementing the Government Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states of the country. It provides nutritious school meals to more than 1.76 million children, on each school day throughout the year. And, most of these children hail from such low socio-economic backgrounds for whom to receive even a single meal is a big struggle. It has been observed that the school meal has played a crucial role for these children in ensuring that they receive at least one meal per day. This meal has opened the gates of school for millions of children thereby saving them from entering the world of child labour. Akshaya Patra understands this critical situation and thus strives to provide nutritious meals on each school day. By doing so, the NGO is instilling a sense of joy, confidence, and hope among little children of India. These children are being nourished with healthy food and nurtured with education each day thereby preparing them to be assets of the country in the near future.

This Daan Utsav, choose to dedicate your ‘act of giving’ for Akshaya Patra’s little children. be the source of hope for children who have the zeal to learn and achieve but are seeking for a little help. When you donate on Daan Utsav, you ensure the much-needed daily meals of the children, you help the NGO to increase productivity of its kitchen units and thereby allow it to feed more children who are still waiting for the opportunity to attend school. This Daan Utsav, let your generosity flow to provide ‘unlimited food for education’.

How Goodwill Ambassadors make an impact on NGO?

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Goodwill Ambassador, as the term suggests, is a person who advocates for a specific organisation or cause. They are mostly associated with causes or fields that promote welfare and development of the community at large.

Many NGOs – national and international – appoint Goodwill Ambassadors as a means to spread awareness and gather support for their respective causes. The work spheres of the appointed Goodwill Ambassadors are generally related to the cause of the NGOs or they genuinely feel for the cause. For example: if an NGO caters to the development of sports among not-so-privileged children then they will appoint a popular sportsman of the country as their Goodwill Ambassador.

Similarly, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal charity in India has appointed Goodwill Ambassadors to promote their cause of supporting education of children by providing school lunch. Here is a list of Ambassadors who are supporting Akshaya Patra by spreading awareness and getting involved with the Foundation’s cause:

Sanjeev-Kapoor

Sanjeev Kapoor – A celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur, Sanjeev Kapoor has been closely associated with Akshaya Patra. He has not only helped in raising funds during his visit to the US, but also participated and supervised cooking of 918 kgs of khichdi along with Akshaya Patra to set the world record.

Divya-Sathyaraj

Divya Sathyaraj – A professional nutritionist, Divya Sathyaraj has immense experience in working with children to improve their nutritional levels. She has also worked with children in refugee camps and has been associated with many NGOs.

Chef-Ramasamy-Selavaraju

Chef Ramasamy Selavaraju – Chef Ramasamy Selvaraju of Vivanta By Taj, Bengaluru, is a celebrated name in the world of culinary. He has been associated with Akshaya Patra for the past four years and have mentored seven ambitious beneficiaries of the NGO who dreams to make it big in the culinary world.

Shankar-Mahadevan

Shankar Mahadevan – A reputed composer and playback singer had composed a song to mark the Foundation’s one billionth meal celebration.

Impact of Goodwill Ambassadors

Be it a top NGO like Akshaya Patra or any other NGO, Goodwill Ambassadors potentially increase the NGO’s connectivity with the audience. In many ways, they amplify the role of NGOs by affirming that despite diversity in the nature of work, each NGO constructively contribute to the upliftment of the society. Depending on the popularity, people start associating a charity with the Goodwill Ambassador. Thus, Goodwill Ambassadors help charities gain visibility, reliability, and support for their respective causes.

Hunger Action Month – A Campaign to Fight Hunger

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread” – Mahatma Gandhi.

Fortunately, most of us do not have to think about where our meal will come from. Either it will be prepared at home or we can order a sumptuous meal at the click of a button. But, there are many who are not privileged even to get even a square meal per day. And, the number of such people are as high as 815 million, globally. Yes, hunger is an epidemic that has spread across almost all parts of the world. And, with 190.7 million people who suffer from hunger each day, India is home to 1/3rd of world’s hungry population. This is where food providing NGO role in India becomes extremely significant.

Hunger Action Month

Hunger action month

The month of September is observed as a Hunger Action Month across many countries. The origin of it dates back to 2008 when Feeding America, a United States-based non-profit hunger relief organisation, felt the need of a nationwide participation to deal with the hunger crisis. Since then, Hunger Action Month is observed annually with the aim to spread awareness and act to end hunger. This month-long campaign is a platform for the entire community to work together and ensure access to food for needy people. 

And, the best part is, hunger is a solvable problem!

How hunger affects sustainable development

Food is the basic need for survival for any living being. It provides the required energy to do all activities – physical and cognitive. When the stomach is empty, the only thought that clouds the head and heart is, food! In general, hunger leads to low immunity, deprived health, malnourishment, and delayed growth and development.

Hence, as an intervention several NGOs have taken up food as the core cause of their service, and The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO for children in India is one among them. Akshaya Patra has been in the service of providing nutritious meals to children since 2000. It implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states of the country and strives to eliminate classroom hunger to support education. Akshaya Patra’s cause is in sync with two Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations i.e. Zero Hunger and Quality Education. Classroom hunger leads to:

  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of concentration
  • Low levels of learning
  • Low academic performance
  • Lack of interest in school activities

Inferencing from the above-mentioned, it becomes evident that hunger poses as a major hurdle in sustainable development and progress of a country and the global community as a whole.

How can Hunger Action Month aid in improving Global Hunger Index

Global Hunger Index is a multidimensional statistical tool to measure the hunger status of countries across the world. The scores on this scale indicates the progress and failures in the fight against hunger globally. Remaining specific to India,

India ranks 100 among 119 countries in Global Hunger Index 2017. It has been categorised under the ‘serious’ range.

But, Hunger Action Month gives an opportunity to improve the hunger scores at a global level and at a national level. As a food-based NGO for children, Akshaya Patra campaigns for Hunger Action Month annually and urges supporters to generously participate in the campaign with the sole intention of creating a sustainable solution for hunger. When children are well-nourished and well-educated, they will grow up to be healthy, skilled, and resourceful citizens. Such citizens not only add prosperity to the family but also to the entire nation. Thus, there is a direct correlation between number of resourceful citizens and hunger index.

Conclusion

As a wrap, it is important to note that hunger is the number one cause of death in the world. This crisis can be dealt effectively only when the entire community actively gets involved to fight against the epidemic called hunger. 

This September, donate to end hunger. Your donation will enable Akshaya Patra to feed more children thereby increasing its present reach of 1.76 million children. You have the power to end hunger, use it by supporting school meals of children.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one” – Mother Teresa.

NGO in Lucknow, its Kitchen and mid-day meal

The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is an initiative of the Government of India to provide nutritious school lunch to children of government schools and government-aided schools across the country. Over the years, this Scheme has proved itself to be a supporting pillar in the success of education-related initiatives too.

NGO in Lucknow

Studies show that mid-day meal has had a positive impact in increasing enrolment, attendance, and performance of children. It has also played a major role in reducing drop-out rate among children. To amplify this impact, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO has been sustainably expanding its operations and strategically increasing its beneficiary base so that more and more children can be benefitted. It began providing mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh by establishing a centralised kitchen in Vrindavan in August 2004.

Akshaya Patra has two centralised kitchens in the state – Lucknow and Vrindavan. On each school day, it provides freshly cooked, locally palatable, nutritious meals to more than 2-lakh children in Uttar Pradesh. The below table shows the location-wise reach of Akshaya Patra in Uttar Pradesh:

Akshaya Patra in Uttar Pradesh

Akshaya Patra meticulously designs its meal menu to suit the local taste while keeping the recommended nutrition levels intact so that children readily consume the meal and gets nourished appropriately. So, as an NGO in Lucknow and Vrindavan, Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal menu consists of items such as plain rice, black chana pulao, vegetable pulao, roti, mixed dal, bottle gourd chana dal, palak dal, mix vegetable curry with soya chunk, aloo matar, aloo desi chana sabji, aloo rajma, raitha, and kheer.

Impact of the meal

Archana - Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Archana, a Standard VI student of Salempur-Pataura Primary School in Kakori, Lucknow, has become an inspiration for many at a very early age. An ardent athlete, her tryst with track-and-field began when she was in Standard III. Her Physical Education teacher has supported her and motivated her to keep improving in her talent.

Over the past years, Archana has won many medals and trophies in various field events, and the most celebrated among them are her gold medals in long jump, 100m, 200m, and 400m sprint. She says fitness and health is primary when she is training and practicing and hence she eagerly waits for Akshaya Patra meals because this meal provides her with the required nutrition. She looks up to P.T. Usha as her idol and the children of her school, her village, and neighbouring villages looks up to her as their idol. Archana aspires to serve the nation by joining the Police Force. And, believes that her sports background will be an added advantage in attaining her goal.

Archana is just one among the 2-lakh beneficiaries of the NGO in Lucknow who is gradually stepping towards her dream for the simple reason that she has got the opportunity to attend school and is receiving healthy meals every day. Now, imagine the effect and transformation among children when each of them is supported with mid-day meals!

Support school meals and get tax benefits

Join the efforts of Akshaya Patra in providing mid-day meals to children. Your donation will have a dual benefit – first, it will support education of children by providing them with nutritious school meals; second, your contribution will be considered as tax deductible donations. So, use this opportunity to benefit children in need and get yourself exempted from tax too. Donate now!

Akshaya Patra’s relief service during natural disasters

Akshaya Patra's relief effort

Food, water, and shelter are the basic human needs. But, uncontrollable natural calamities such as earthquakes, floods, and the like snatches away these amenities in an instant. During such challenging times, the entire human community comes together in aid of the sufferers. As a response to tackle these calamities, many NGOs have taken up relief services as their core cause providing immediate relief like rescue, temporary shelter, provision of food and water, etc. along with helping people to resettle and deal with the after effects of calamities. Addition to these specialised relief NGOs, there are other NGOs such as The Akshaya Patra Foundation who step in to provide help during natural disasters.

Akshaya Patra’s disaster relief services

Akshaya Patra is an NGO in India providing mid-day meal to more than 1.7 million children on each school day across 12 states. Aside from its core cause, this NGO is actively involved in providing relief services during natural disasters by providing food and water to affected people. They have not only helped distressed people in India but also across the borders in Nepal. Below is a quick overview of Akshaya Patra’s proactive response so far:

Disaster reliefs by Akshaya Patra

Aside from the above mentioned, Akshaya Patra was also quick to respond to the devastating situation in Kerala and Coorg. The NGO is currently providing food to the affected people of these regions on a daily basis. Akshaya Patra has been serving all three meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – in Kerala since 13 August 2018 and in Coorg since 20 August 2018. So far, it has served more than 1.5 lakh meals as part of its relief service. Click here to read more on Akshaya Patra’s disaster relief services.

Be a part of Akshaya Patra

You can be a part of Akshaya Patra’s cause and its disaster relief activities by signing in as an NGO volunteer. By being a volunteer, you will not only be involved in the service of children but also be of help to people in distress. You can also raise funds for this NGO in India that will help to provide school meals to children and also help in providing disaster relief. Act now. Be a part of Akshaya Patra today!

The impact of mid-day meal in Andhra Pradesh

Headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka, The Akshaya Patra Foundation began its journey of providing mid-day meals in Andhra Pradesh by establishing itself as a NGO in Visakhapatnam in October 2008. Since then there has been no looking back, and over the past 10 years, this NGO has strategically and sustainably expanded its reach to three more locations in the state namely Kakinada (2015), Mangalagiri (2015), and Nellore (2017). The Foundation operates centralised kitchens in all the four locations and provides locally palatable meals on each school day to children of these locations. The below table shows the location-wise reach of Akshaya Patra in Andhra Pradesh:

Akshaya Patra Reach in AP

Impact of mid-day meal

Over the years, Akshaya Patra has seen tangible impact of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in Andhra Pradesh and across India. This Scheme has significantly improved enrolment rates, regularity and attendance of children, immunity and health of children, concentration levels, and academic and co-curricular performance. The below-mentioned determined goals of children are a testimony to the positive effects of mid-day meals in nourishing and nurturing young hearts of Andhra Pradesh:

Akshaya Patra Beneficiaries

By providing mid-day meal in Andhra Pradesh, Akshaya Patra is striving to nourish children with healthy food and nurture their dreams by supporting education. To maximise the impact of the meal Akshaya Patra has designed its menu keeping in mind the local taste of Andhra Pradesh, hence serving items such as rice, vegetable biryani (a popular rice dish), pulihora (tamarind rice), sambar (a mixed vegetable and lentil curry), green leafy vegetable dal (lentil curry), pappucharu (a type of sambar), vegetable curry, raitha (a curd-based side dish), janthikalu (a South Indian savoury snack), sweet pongal (a rice-based sweet dish), and banana.

You can increase the impact

Akshaya Patra has been implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in Andhra Pradesh with the support of the Central Government of India and the State Government of Andhra Pradesh along with philanthropic donors. You can help increase the impact of this Scheme by joining this on-going effort. Your contribution to Akshaya Patra will be considered as donations under Section 80G i.e. you can avail tax exemption on your donated amount. So, when you donate, it is win-win for the child and yourself – the child receives healthy meals and rightful education and you get the benefits of tax exemption. Choose to donate. It just takes Rs. 1,100 to feed one child for an entire school year. Act now!

Akshaya Patra’s Relief Efforts in Kerala

At the moment, Kerala is reeling under its worst flood since 1924. The torrential rains and landslides that hit the state of Kerala has ravaged the entire state since 8 August 2018, submerging many cities and villages thereby crippling normal life and services. Reportedly, around 10 districts have been severely affected and the entire state has been put under high alert. While the state is receiving help from the entire nation to deal with this unprecedented crisis, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has also stepped in actively in the relief work by providing cooked meals in flood-affected areas.

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Cooking the food

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Distributing the food for flood affected people

Know more: Flood Relief Effort by Akshaya Patra

Support Us: Donate to Kerala Flood Relief

NGO in Odisha and its mid-day meal impact

NGO in Odisha

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, is a mid-day meal NGO headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka. It implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states of India. It began its journey as an NGO in Odisha in the year 2006 by establishing its centralised kitchen in Puri. Since then the NGO is strategically expanding its reach and over the years it has established centralised kitchens in Rourkela and Bhubaneswar, along with starting decentralised kitchens in Nayagarh.

Each school working day, Akshaya Patra provides healthy, nutritious, and locally palatable meals to 1,61,241 children studying in 1,586 government schools across the state. The below table shows the location-wise reach of Akshaya Patra in Odisha:

mid-day meal in Odisha

By providing mid-day meal in Odisha, Akshaya Patra is striving to support education and uphold the dreams and hopes of children. Hence, to ensure that every child readily consumes the meal and receives adequate nutrition, Akshaya Patra has designed its meal menu for Odisha children based on their local taste including items such as rice barabati (an Odia dry vegetable dish), dalma (an authentic Odia dish made of lentil), along with other items such as rice, rajma mix sabji (a dish made of kidney beans and vegetables), white lobia curry (black-eyed peas curry), mix vegetable curry, aloo matar paneer curry (a curry made of potatoes, peas, and cottage cheese), aloo soya chunk matar curry (a curry made of potatoes, soya chunk, and peas), and kheer (rice-based sweet dish).

What happens when children are nourished every day?

Beneficiaries

Yes, when children are nourished with healthy meals and nurtured with education, they get the confidence to dream. It makes their determination stronger and firmer. It not only supports their physical and cognitive development but also gives them the hope that their future is better and brighter. To know the children of Odisha and their dreams more closely, click here.

You can create an impact too

With the support of the Central Government of India and the State Government of Odisha along with philanthropic partners such as Rourkela Steel Plant, The Kusuma Trust (UK), RC Infinity Foundation (Kolkata), LIC Golden Jubilee Foundation, NALCO, and the Odisha Mining Corporation, and benevolent donors, Akshaya Patra has by far been able to impact 1,61,241 children in the state. But, there are many more children to be reached.

Join the efforts of the Government and Akshaya Patra to transform live s of children and create a better society. Choose to donate for a child. It just takes Rs. 1,100 to provide unlimited food for education to a child for an entire school year. Make an everlasting change. Act now!

How Akshaya Patra is moulding future heroes?

Akshaya Patra heroes

It is no novel idea that our future is a manifestation of our present deeds. Hence, if we wish to see a bright and prosperous future, we need to work towards it right from now. In line with this, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO for children in India is nourishing and nurturing 1.75-million children by providing them with nutritious school lunch on each school day across 12 states of India.

Before delving into how this NGO is moulding future heroes, let’s take a quick look at the aspirations of a handful of Akshaya Patra beneficiaries:

Akshaya Patra Beneficiaries

Aren’t these children heroes in their own ways? At a tender age, they have already set a goal for themselves and have the willpower to achieve it. Now, it is our responsibility to mould them and make them ready for the future. These were just a handful of aspirations from among over 1.75 million aspirations. Hope stories of children will introduce you to many more such zealous and determined children.

The role of Akshaya Patra

Akshaya Patra is cognisant of the fact that inadequate nutrition hampers age-appropriate cognitive and physical development among children. It hinders the learning process and the ability to concentrate. It also negatively affects the level of immunity and health in children. Thus, as an NGO for children, Akshaya Patra has been in the service of providing freshly cooked, healthy, and nutritious meals to children since 2000. So that more and more children can benefit from the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Akshaya Patra operates two types of kitchen – the centralised kitchen and decentralised kitchen. The centralised kitchens serve food to children in the urban and semi-urban areas, whereas the decentralised kitchens cater to children in remote locations.

giving every dream a chance

Alongside, Akshaya Patra is also honing the talents of its beneficiaries under the initiative called ‘Giving Every Dream A Chance’. This initiative is an attempt by the NGO to guide and train children in various fields of their interest such as dance, theatre, origami, culinary, science, and sports, with the support of other organisations and individual mentors. With this initiative, Akshaya Patra aims to provide a strong foundation to the dreams and goals of children.

By ensuring children receive nutritious meals on each school day, Akshaya Patra is supporting their education. By providing coaching to polish their talents, Akshaya Patra is instilling the hope that their dreams are achievable. Thus,

benefits of mdm

Be the Changemaker

The actual change happens when the whole society gets involved in the process of altering the present condition. Thus, take your step towards being a Changemaker. This Independence Day, pledge to feed children of India. Your contribution will ensure healthy food and rightful education for millions of children. Be the hero for the future heroes!