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!

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The First Learners – Akshaya Patra Documentary 2018

Through the voice of beneficiaries and teachers from Sundargarh district in Odisha, ‘The First Learners’ gives us an insight into what education means to children living around the forest regions and what the teachers hope to incorporate to provide them a holistic education.

The Dance of Hunger!

Do you know what it feels like to be starving? Have you felt the cramps in your stomach when it’s empty? Whether or not, you have experienced this, lakhs of children across India live this reality each day! Akshaya Patra, an NGO is striving committedly to alter this reality for these children.

Dance of hunger

When was the last time you did not receive or eat your meal on time? When was the last time you got those hunger cramps in your stomach? When was the last time you really had to go out of your way to get some food? How did you feel when your stomach was empty?

All these questions may either seem relevant to you or it may be completely irrelevant to you. But, the point is, lakhs of children across India wake up to hunger and go back to sleep in hunger! These children are living each day without the assurance of something as basic as food. At a tender age, their mind and heart revolve around the worry of ‘Will I get something to eat today?’ At a time when they should be playing, making friends, attending school, exploring and learning new things, their childhood is spent in looking for ways to quieten the hunger pangs. So, are we doing anything to liberate these children from this grim situation?

Read more: https://medium.com/@akshayapatraindia/the-dance-of-hunger-e720b9136a37

New Kitchens of an NGO in Rajasthan Feeds Hungry Children

The seventh most populated state in India, Rajasthan is home to 24% of the population aged between six and fourteen. However, it is also battling with child malnutrition, low literacy, and high out of school and school drop-out rate. Rajasthan is one of the four BIMARU (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh) states that have the lowest literacy rate and learning outcomes compared to other states in the country.

Rajasthan has the fourth lowest literacy rate in the country and has the lowest female literacy rate of just 52.66% (Census 2011). Amongst the several measures taken by the Central and State Government to improve this situation, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme is proving to be a potential intervention. To further the efforts of government, many NGOs such as The Akshaya Patra Foundation has partnered to provide mid-day meal in Rajasthan.

Mid-day meal in Rajasthan

It has been 14 years since Akshaya Patra is providing mid-day meals in Rajasthan. It began serving meals from 2004 by establishing its first centralised kitchen in Jaipur. Witnessing the impact of the meal in the health and education of beneficiary children, this NGO in Rajasthan strategically expanded its operations to Baran in 2005, Nathdwara in 2006, Jodhpur in 2013, and Ajmer in 2016. Recently, in 2018, the Foundation inaugurated two new centralised kitchens in Bhilwara and Jhalawar. With the addition of these two new locations, the Foundation is nourishing 26,701 more children thereby increasing the beneficiary base to 2,27,253 children from the earlier 2,00,552.

The Bhilwara is the 6th and the Jhalawar is the 7th kitchen in the state. The cost of the Bhilwara kitchen construction was sponsored by Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (a Navratna Enterprise of Government of India). It is currently feeding 11,480 children in 83 schools. The Jhalawar kitchen has been sponsored by D.S. Group and is currently feeding 15,221 children in 157 schools. All these kitchens directly impact the health and education of children. The beneficiary children receive at least one nutritious meal per day and eventually receive the much-needed education.

Here is the location-wise reach of this NGO in Rajasthan:

Akshaya Patra in Rajasthan

The expansion of Akshaya Patra’s operations is a result of support from the Government and philanthropic donors. It is a testimony that when the government and the community come together for a cause, it multiplies the impact. Thus, choose to be the catalyst by contributing donation for NGO. Your donation will positively change the lives of children and will be an important intervention in the progress of the country.

Akshaya Patra’s Mid-day Meal Secret

Have you ever read or viewed an interview of a successful personality where the interviewer doesn’t include the question, “What’s the secret behind your success?” Guess not! Call it the awe of success or impact of the achiever, all of us want to know what do these achievers do differently that they reach such inspiring heights. And, the same question has been posed to The Akshaya Patra Foundation because of the magnitude of work carried out by the Foundation.

Mid-day meal

Akshaya Patra is an NGO that implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states in India. The Foundation is headquartered in Bengaluru and has been in the service of children since 2000. The Foundation provides mid-day meals to more than 17-lakh children across 38 locations in 12 states on each school day. Turning back the pages to 2000, this NGO began providing meals to just 1,500 children in five schools in Bengaluru and today it is nourishing lakhs of with healthy and nutritious meals. And, this popped the question, “What’s the secret behind this scalability?” So, let’s begin from the first!

Importance of mid-day meal

For many of us, we don’t have to worry about our next meal. Alas, that’s not the case for many children across the country. These children hail from not-so-privileged backgrounds and thus are faced by the uncertainty of receiving meals. In a scenario like this, mid-day meal comes as a ray of hope for these children and their parents too. Mid-day meal acts as an incentive for parents to send their children to school with the hope that the children will receive at least one proper meal for the day. This brings children to school. And, once they are at school, they not only receive stomach full of wholesome meals but also the much-needed education. The mid-day meal is a win-win for health and education – be it for the specific sector or for the growing children.

– Akshaya Patra kitchens and meal

To implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme and benefit children right from the grass root level, Akshaya Patra operates two models of kitchen – the centralised kitchen and the decentralised kitchen. The centralised kitchens are huge cooking units that can cook up to one lakh meals per day. The mega kitchen in India serves meals to schools located in urban and semi-urban areas. The decentralised kitchens serve meals to children in remote areas. Currently, the NGO operates centralised kitchens in 36 locations and decentralised kitchens in two locations. These kitchens follow standard operating processes and many of the kitchens are ISO certified facilities.

The NGO adheres to the nutritional requirement as stated in the Central Mid-Day Meal Guidelines. However, it also prepares its meal menu to suit the local taste so that children enjoy their meal and consume it readily. Thus, Akshaya Patra’s meal is freshly cooked, nutritious, hygienic, and tasty.

– Akshaya Patra food is…

– So, what’s the secret behind Akshaya Patra’s meal?

Nutrition content, spices, special recipe… we can keep guessing and adding to this list. But, the real secret behind the dedication, efforts, expansion and sustainability of the Foundation is the smile and satisfaction on a child’s face after having a plate full of fresh and healthy meals. This video will reveal what keeps Akshaya Patra motivated to reach out to more and more children.

 – Conclusion

Maybe we all have a secret to our success, or maybe the ‘determination to achieve something’ itself becomes the real ingredient for our success. However, for this Foundation, the smiles and aspirations of children are the reasons or say the ‘secrets’ for the success of implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme for the past 17 years!

Documentary of Shankar – An Aspiring Police Officer

I am Shankar Hazarika – a film by Akshaya Patra features a 10-yr-old beneficiary from Silguri, Assam – a village mostly of fishermen. Shankar is the youngest in the family and his ambition is to become a police offer. His father is fisherman who depends on the mighty Brahmaputra River.

5 Food Hygiene and Safety Principles Followed By Akshaya Patra

About Akshaya Patra

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a mid-day meal NGO in India headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The Foundation has been in the service of children since its inception in 2000. With a vision, “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”, the Foundation strives to provide freshly cooked, wholesome, and tasty meals to school going children. Currently, Akshaya Patra provides mid-day meals to more than 17-lakh children on each school day and it aims to feed 5 million children by 2020.

Food hygiene at Akshaya Patra

As they say, the greater the expanse of work, greater is the responsibility. And, it is evident in Akshaya Patra’s field of service. The Foundation makes use of the centralised kitchen concept to serve meals in urban and semi-urban areas, and the decentralised kitchen concept to provide meals in remote areas. Preparing and serving lakhs of meals every day is not an easy task and to serve hygienic and clean food requires utmost diligence and commitment. Thus, to ensure that children receive hygienic and safe food each time, this  NGO in India follows several measures during each stage of production – pre-production, production, and post production. Here are five principle hygiene and safety measures followed by each kitchen of Akshaya Patra irrespective of being centralised kitchen concept or decentralised model:

Quality assurance of raw materials: The Supplier Quality Management System incorporating factors such as Supplier Selection, Supplier Qualification, Supplier Rating etc. is adhered to at each kitchen to ensure procurement of the right and the best quality raw material. The raw materials are accepted only after thorough quality inspection to confirm it meets the Foundation’s raw material specifications that has been adapted from Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.

Storage and handling: Perishable raw materials like vegetables are either procured daily or stored in cold storage. Dry raw materials are stored in dedicated storage rooms. To ensure use of fresh raw materials, all the kitchens follow the FIFO (First In First Out) and FEFO (First Expiry First Out) methods while issuing raw materials for production.

Sanitisation: All raw materials are thoroughly washed and cleaned with potable water. The kitchen equipment and cleaned before and after use and are sterilised using steam.

Protective gears: All kitchen employees mandatorily follow hygiene practices like hand washing and sanitisation and make use of protective gears such as masks, gloves, boots etc.

Food packing and transportation: The cooked food is packed in insulated vessels and are transported to schools in customised insulated vehicles. The insulated vessels and vehicles retain temperature and ensure meals remain fresh till it is consumed by children.

With the reputation of being considered as the top NGO in India, Akshaya Patra is well-aware of its purpose and responsibility towards lakhs of children it feeds each day. Hence, it also undertakes various improvement processes to enhance its operations, efficiency, productivity, and certainly hygiene and safety.

An NGO in Ahmedabad Supporting Hopes of Children

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an Indian NGO implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states of India, and Gujarat is one among them. The Foundation is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka and made its foray into Gujarat in 2009. Since then, strategically, it has expanded its reach across five locations in the state as an NGO in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Surat, and Kalol. Currently, the Foundation is providing meals to 4,07,452 children in 1,621 government schools across the state.

NGO in Ahmedabad

Akshaya Patra is providing mid-day meal in Gujarat from its five centralised kitchens located in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Surat, and Kalol. Each of these kitchens strictly adheres to hygiene and cleanliness practices while preparing meals and ensure that the cooked meals are nutritious, tasty, and hygienic. And, so that children readily consume the meals, the kitchen follows a locally palatable menu.

Akshaya Patra is cognisant of the fact that in most cases food brings children to school. It is an incentive for parents to send their children to school with the hope that their children will receive at least one stomach full of meal a day. And, once children are at school, they also receive education empowering them to become resourceful and independent in the future. Thus, while providing regular mid-day meals in the existing schools, Akshaya Patra, as an NGO in Ahmedabad, also strives to extend its service to other locations of the state.

By providing mid-day meal in Gujarat, Akshaya Patra is not only supporting health and education of children but is also upholding dreams of millions of children. Here is an anecdote of one of the beneficiaries:

Mayur - Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Mayur Kanaji Thakor, a bright student of Golvanta Primary School, Gujarat aspires to be a doctor. He comes from a family of four with his father as the sole breadwinner earning a monthly income of Rs. 6,000. But, this not-so-privileged economic background has not deterred Mayur’s determination and he is confident that he will achieve his dream. An Akshaya Patra beneficiary, Mayur’s favourite food at school is Dal-Dhokli. Read the full story of Mayur here.

There are many more such dreams and they are all waiting for a little support from you. Hence, Akshaya Patra gives you a platform to be a part of young yet determined dreams of millions of children. You can support meals and hopes of children by choosing to donate to charity. Your contribution to Akshaya Patra will be diligently used in providing wholesome meals to children thereby empowering them with health and education. Feed a child, nourish a hope!

All you need to know about Akshaya Patra’s Anganwadi Feeding Programme

The Anganwadi programme is an initiative of the Government of India to facilitate mother and child care across the country. Currently, there are 14-lakh approved AWCs and 7,076 ICDS Projects across the country (as per Government press release, 7 February 2014). To further the efforts of government and extend the benefits of Anganwadi programme, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO for children.

Primarily, Akshaya Patra is an implementing arm of the Government’s Mid-Day Meal Scheme. Every school day the Foundation serves freshly cooked wholesome school lunch to more than 17-lakh children in 36 locations across 12 states of the country. It strives to support education of children by providing nutritious meals to them at school. However, aside from this core programme, Akshaya Patra has also undertaken several other feeding and social initiatives, the Anganwadi feeding programme being one of them.

Here is a quick overview of the Akshaya Patra’s Anganwadi feeding programme:

  • By implementing this programme Akshaya Patra aims to provide nutritious meals to children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers of Anganwadi centres;
  • Presently, Akshaya Patra is serving nutritious meals at 4,786 Anganwadi centres in nine locations of five states – Hyderabad, Jaipur, Baran, Vadodara, Surat, Ahmedabad, Vrindavan, Narsingi, and Warangal;
  • The NGO has a beneficiary base of 1,61,410 young children and 6,410 pregnant and lactating women;
  • Akshaya Patra carries out the Anganwadi food supply by preparing meals in their centralised kitchens that deliver it to the centres in their customised meal delivery vehicles;
  • The cost incurred to provide meals to one beneficiary for one year is Rs. 675.

By providing food in Anganwadi centres this NGO is aiding one of the main services of the Anganwadi centres i.e. nutrition and health. The Foundation has witnessed tangible change among the beneficiaries and strives to expand this programme to other locations too.

However, to do so, it requires support from the entire community because only when community, government, and NGOs work together, the necessary changes can be achieved. So, support Akshaya Patra by opting to contribute online donations for NGO. Your contribution will ensure nutrition-rich diet for millions of young children and will provide the needed nourishment for expecting and lactating mothers.

Best Charity to Raise Fund on Your Special Days

Fundraising for NGO

Special days such as birthday, anniversary, house-warming, wedding etc. calls for a special celebration. And, more often than not, we engage in partying, feasting, holidaying, and gifting. But, have you ever taken a moment to ponder if you can celebrate your special days in a way that can transform lives? Read on to see how you can make your celebrations more special.

Call it generosity, thoughtfulness, or care – offering charity on special days reflects the humanitarian trait in you. It also adds goodwill into your lives and lets you evolve as a better human. All NGOs – big or small – encourages acts of charity and has a dedicated platform to engage people in their respective causes. In line with this, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO for children has provided several opportunities for people to get involved with their cause of providing food to children. This is an Indian NGO with a credible record of 18 years in implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across the country. With the vision, ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’, this NGO presently provides freshly cooked, nutritious, and tasty meals to more than 1.7 million children studying in government schools across 12 states.

Among the many choices provided by the Foundation to get involved with their cause, charity fundraising on your special days gives you a chance to make your celebrations more meaningful and special. You can celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, house-warming ceremonies, weddings, professional success, festivals, or just about any special day close to your heart by offering charity to this Foundation that is considered as one of the top NGOs in India. Your contribution will be utilised to provide school lunch to millions of children. In fact, by contributing just Rs. 1,100 you will be able to provide food for one child for an entire school year. Now, isn’t that worth a spend?

Back to school

Time and again, Akshaya Patra also runs various campaigns to create awareness and raise funds for their cause, another avenue for you to fund raise and mark your special days. The Back to School Campaign is one of the on-going campaign of The Foundation aimed at raising funds to provide meals to children for a new academic year because more often than not, the school meal is the reason parents send their children to school.

As a wrap, do think of charity fundraising for Akshaya Patra as an option to celebrate your special days. Your noble choice will provide food to children, support their education, and transform their lives. Not to forget, it will add goodwill in your life and wholesomely treat the humanitarian trait in you!