Spreading Smiles Through Food Every Day

The humble beginnings of The Akshaya Foundation started with it serving mid-day meals to about 1,500 children in the year 2000 to five government schools in Bengaluru. The foundation, known for its dedicated service, now aims to reach 5 million children every day by 2020.

NGO for Children

Having started with just one van transporting food from a kitchen in Bengaluru across the schools, the Foundation today serves over 1.6 million children across 13,800+ schools in 12 states across India. The food supplied is cooked in 34 centralised and decentralised kitchens operated by the Foundation. Corporates and Individuals donating for education in India have been a major support to the Foundation.

Built on a public-private partnership model, Akshaya Patra combines good management, innovative technology and smart engineering to deliver a nutritious and hygienic school lunch. It has taken one baby step at a time, and over time adopting a near corporate-style of functioning, including annual auditing by highly respected auditors. This has ensured that it is trusted by every donor. It also got the respect of many multi-national companies to support the cause of a top NGO like Akshaya Patra.

The Foundation’s kitchens are built leveraging the state of the art technology. The meals are prepared with a minimal human contact with the food and thus are extremely safe and hygienic.

Started with a vision that “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”, it has been very successful in meeting the aim to a very great extent. Despite the huge and daunting task ahead of it in a country where millions of children are born into economically-challenged families, it did not deter the Foundation.

But, to keeps its good work going, it needs continuous flow of funds. It’s only the NGOs’ role in India that ensures the needy children are reached across the country.  It has today come to be one of the largest such mid-day meal schemes in the world and it’s growing rapidly.

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National Education Day: There’s a need to strengthen educational institutions

National Education Day

The National Education Day, the annual observance to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first education minister of independent India. It is the day commemorated to strengthen the educational institutions in the country and raise the quality of education.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad served from August 15, 1947 to February 2, 1958. He laid foundations of the education system after the country became independent. He was instrumental in establishing national education system wherein free and compulsory education, until the age of 14, was introduced. An institution like Indian Institutes of Technology was also brought in under his guidance in the year 1951. He introduced University Grants Commission in 1953. His contribution in the development of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and the Faculty of Technology of the Delhi University has been phenomenal. He gave importance to adult literacy.

The late South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela said: ‘‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’’ Mandela hit the nail on the head in a way that the informed individuals understand their rights and duties.

Role of NGOs is crucial in ensuring that no one is left out of the education system. The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been playing a major role in ensuring that children stay in school and hence, it today reaches over 1.6 million children across the country.

The objective of celebrating the National Education Day should be to strengthen our educational institutions and raise the quality of education. It should be an occasion to remember Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s contribution in laying the foundations of the education system in Independent India as well as to evaluate performance in this field. This would go a long way in advancing India as a knowledge economy and society.

It’s also an occasion to focus on finding means to educate the people left out of the system for various reasons. Any help extended towards achieving this, through NGOs, for instance, are considered tax deductible donations.

For strong institutions and a robust education system, we not only need the adequate infrastructure, but also need good teachers who not only teach what’s prescribed in the syllabus, but are in fact, inspiring and turn the students thinking individuals.

For achieving this, the system needs to ensure that there is the right type of training given to teachers. While Akshaya Patra ensures children attend school every day by incentivising them with food, charity donations from individuals can ensure that this can be minimised.

This NGO in Karnataka is contributing to eradicate classroom hunger

Karnataka celebrated its formation day recently. Akshaya Patra has many memories related to the state. Starting from first school to be benefitting from the meals cooked by Akshaya Patra, the non-profit organisation in Karnataka currently serves 2,968 Government and Government-aided schools in the state over 17 years of its existence in the state. It has been instrumental in bringing down the dropout rate among schoolchildren.

feed the children

Many NGOs work towards countering hunger and malnutrition. The Akshaya Patra Foundation has come to be seen as a major participant in the mid-day meals that reach thousands of children, mostly from the economically-challenged backgrounds. Given the reach and impact of the NGO, it is among the list of NGOs in Bangalore that are helping the children in many ways.

The State Governments have been partnering NGOs like the Foundation in implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme in their efforts to increase the number of children in schools.

The NGO has been using the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model as a route to improve the quality and reach of the programme. The NGOs selected in this scheme are picked based on many variables set by the State Government. Such organisations must be transparent and of proven integrity. Akshaya Patra has been feed the children a wholesome meal every day.

The Foundation today helps feed over 4.86 lakh children in 2,968 schools in Karnataka. Over 2 lakh children from Bengaluru benefit from this initiative. They are supplied freshly-cooked food from kitchens in the city. Many corporates and individuals come together and make charity donations to enable the NGO to feed school lunch to these children.

The programme has only been increasing in its scope and reach over the years and is widening its reach fast.

How to make this Diwali special by involving in a social cause

Make this festival of lights special. There are numerous ways to do it. But by involving social cause in your celebration, you would be spreading joy among others too.

diwali-post

How can you do so? One can get involved with a social cause. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one such avenue for anyone looking to share their happiness with the disadvantaged. While you are ensuring someone is getting a chance to be happy, it’s a chance to light up many lives.

The non-profit fundraising ideas of an NGO, especially a credible one like Akshaya Patra, would be a good means of ensuring you have reached the right target group or groups.

Happiness cannot be measured, but can be felt, and can be contagious. If someone you know also notices that they too can be a part of the social cause, it’s no less than magical. Imagine the number of lives you can touch while indirectly encouraging others too to be part of the cause.

You can either make the donation yourself directly to the foundation or organize various fundraising activities. These can be anything engaging. The profit generated out of this can be used to donate towards the cause of feeding children. This way your source of joy will not be limited to your family and friends. Even these children whom you will be donating meals to can make you happy. As you donate towards the cause, you will be eligible for tax exemption in India.

This is just one of the ways you can reach the target group. In this case, mostly school children. By donating just Rs 950, you can assure a child a meal for one entire year. Apart from just filling their stomach, this will also help them prioritise studies over work.

Contribute towards ensuring every child in India is well-fed and educated. Donate to charity today.

A full-stomach meal improves a child’s efficiency

Malnutrition is prevalent among large sections of our population across the country. It disproportionately affects children from all sections of the society, mostly from disadvantaged backgrounds. The NGOs like Akshaya Patra Foundation play a major role in ensuring that the prevalence of malnourishment among children is minimised.Healthy childrenChildren who are able to have a square meal, are also more productive and thus, more efficient. The World Health Organization, says, “Adequate nutrition can raise your productivity levels by 20 per cent on average.” That should be enough of data to encourage the government and NGOs to work towards this goal.

In fact, one can get tax exemption if you contribute towards this cause of ensuring adequate nutrition for children. NGOs have a major role to play towards meeting this goal. So, why not make charity donations to an NGO in India like Akshaya Patra. Thus, your charity donations would reach the right people.

This is where Mid-day meal benefits are obvious. Most of the children benefiting from Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal scheme are those from not from better-off backgrounds.  Many of them, who otherwise would have dropped out of school, stay on because they are able to focus on their studies as the nutritious food they get ensures that they stayed focused.

The Charity Donations the organisation receives from you could help feed children who are the future generations. Regular meal will help them stay focused on studies. As a result of the contributions, the school children will be able to stay on in school. Also, they will understand the importance of education and ensure that their children are well-fed and educated.

Thus, it’s time to tackle the probably hardest and most ongoing challenge we all face: nutrition. Let’s join hands to ensure that every child in the country is well-fed and educated. Donate to feed children, today.

Tips to Celebrate Joy of Giving Week with Disadvantaged Children

Nothing can be more satisfying or can give you more pleasure than knowing that whatever largesse you share will give direct benefits to the disadvantaged. It would be more so in case they are children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Joy of giving

What can you do to be sure that the donation you give is spreading happiness? On this Joy of Giving Week, also called the Daan Utsav, you can donate for a cause. While making others happy, you can be happy yourself by doing your mite for the needy.

It would make sense to do it through an NGO. You could do it through Akshaya Patra which is spreading happiness among the children during this Joy of Giving Week. An NGO knows the quantum of resources needed, and thus help direct your contributions to the right causes.

Let’s celebrate this week as a ‘Joy of Giving Week’ and feel the sense of happiness that would overtake you. Of course, it need not be about donating money alone.  Here are a few ideas to celebrate the ‘Joy of Giving Week’.

  1. Offer service: Take time out to offer some services at schools for disadvantaged children. Many of them need you. You can spend time with the children there, teaching them and playing with them. Helping to supplement their schooling with tuitions would allow them to improve themselves and be on a par with other children.
  2. At school: You could spend a day helping spruce up their school.
  3. Serve them meals: During festivals, which is a time of celebrations, you can indeed feel the ‘Joy of Giving’ by serving them meals.  The happiness on the face of the children can beat any happiness that you could ever experience.
  4. Help them in mental development: Gift the toys and indoor games that your children may have outgrown. Toys not only make the children happy, but would also help stimulate their brains, ensuring a better and wholesome mental development.
  5. Donate for nutritious meals: You could also donate to charity for some meals through Akshaya Patra.

These selfless acts can only ensure that you are contributing to a healthier and happier future for all these children. They face the danger not being able to have nutritious meal or even one-square meal a day.

Not to forget, you can also help out at the kitchens of Akshaya Patra that serve hot food to over 1.6 million children every day in 13,800+ schools in the country.

 

Mid-Day Meals in School Motivate Children to Aspire High

There are several benefits of the mid-day meal scheme being run by The Akshaya Patra Foundation in schools. Many of these benefits relate to the health of the children and their physical and mental growth. However, a bonus about this service is that children learn to have aspirations about their career.

Feed a dream

These children, who are beneficiaries of mid-day meal in states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka or Madhya Pradesh, become conscious of their career choices. For instance, Sanjana Borashetti, a student of Class VIII in a Government school in Huballi, scores highest in her class. She is motivated to come to school because she never wants to miss the benefits of the mid-day meal scheme being run in her school.

Since often her house is deprived of electricity, she wishes to work in the direction of public amenities. She wants to become a district collector when she grows up.

When Sanjana experienced the basic benefit of the mid-day meal scheme, she understood the importance of fulfilling basic necessities for others.

Be it in Tamil Nadu or Madhya Pradesh, the mid-day meal is being served keeping the local cuisine in mind. Thus, children enjoy food and never miss school. Regular attendance keeps them informed about the world and inspires them to compete with their peers.

Many of these children get sponsorships from various donors who give generously for Akshaya Patra. The donors get the benefit of tax exemption. But nothing makes the donors happier than reading success stories of children who dream for their future.

If you are someone who wish to help children receive the benefits of mid-day meal scheme, do lend us a helping hand. Your donations are eligible for tax exemptions. As Akshaya Patra observes the Hunger Action Month and focuses its attention towards states like Tamil Nadu, you can choose to help today.

How NGO’s in Uttar Pradesh is Ensuring Children’s Development?

Educating children and ensuring they remain healthy in the region has been an important goal for NGOs working across the world. Many NGOs in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar are working on the similar lines. This helps in increasing the awareness level of children. Many NGO’s in Lucknow are working towards ensuring that the children get quality food and education.

Education for children

Therefore, NGOs like The Akshaya Patra Foundation are reaching out to children in schools of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh among other states. The foundation is serving wholesome meals to school children. The NGO has a state-of-the-art kitchen in Lucknow from where mid-day meals are supplied to various Government and Government-aided schools in Uttar Pradesh.

This has a deeper implication. When children are motivated to attend schools, they develop dreams and aspirations of a career. Education opens up various subjects and avenues. As a result, children learn about their own inclination towards certain subjects. This in turn helps them to take steps towards a fruitful career in the subject they like.

When the NGO in Uttar Pradesh reaches out to school children, it becomes a part of the children’s growth. Children attending schools regularly discover the charms of science, language, politics, geography or humanities. This encourages them to explore their interests. The foundation laid during the younger days forms is important as that helps the children pick their career choices. The Stories of Hope demonstrate how children relish the opportunities of a great career.

NGOs like Akshaya Patra are taking these aspirations to far-off schools in and around Lucknow. These are areas where access to information is often limited. And so when children are exposed to regular dose of education and knowledge, they heartily appreciate it. The NGO thus calls for donors to sponsor a child and pave a career path for him/her. When donors choose to sponsor a child, they become part of his/her growth and become instrumental in his career development. You can contribute and help these children realise their life’s goals. Sponsor a child today.

Why Children Need a Wholesome Meal

What makes the world’s largest NGO-run mid-day meal programme significant? It’s because it feeds the children with wholesome meal. This kind of meal aids in growth of their body and mind. During their childhood, children are more prone to develop at least one of the micronutrient deficiencies such as vitamin A, iodine, iron, zinc or folate. They must be given a wholesome meal in sufficient quantity to ensure their body develops with their age.

Food for children

The mid-day meal programme run by The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO that has kitchens across India. One of them is in Surat. From their state-of-the-art kitchen in Surat, the meal is supplied to various schools in and around Surat.

The NGO is feeding the children in Surat as part of its nation-wide programme that’s run in collaboration with the Government. This programme lays emphasis on the wholesomeness of the meals because these meals directly impact children’s growth. The NGO, that began operations in the year 2000, works in active collaboration with the government and government-run schools in order to feed the children.

In Surat, the school children are especially excited as they are getting their favourite meals every day served by the NGO’s volunteers. As part of the Hunger Action Month, the NGO is trying to take mid-day meals to more schools in Surat and other parts of Gujarat.

The contributors or donors to the NGO get the benefit of 80G deduction in income tax. That way more donors are encouraged to contribute and help in feeding the children. However, it’s not just the 80G deduction that encourages people. Many people in the city take out time to volunteer in the kitchen. They help the staff in cooking the meals and serving it to the children.

The kitchen of this NGO in Surat especially uses pulses such as Toor dal, fortified soy dal, green gram whole, Urad dal, peas, Moong dal, cow pea, green gram sprouts, soy products like- chunks, flakes, Gram dal, Bengal gram whole, channa dal etc. while preparing the meals. Since the menu is already in place, the meals are always healthy and wholesome and benefit the children.

Feeding the children with wholesome meals is significant today if we want our children to experience a healthy growth. You can join us this month as we observe Hunger Action Month and attempt to eliminate hunger among children in India.

Penning A Bright Future with Literacy

penning-a-bright-future-banner

International Literacy Day, observed on September 8 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), commemorates its 50-year anniversary in 2016. This day recognises the importance of literacy and promotes it through engagement on national and international levels. It is being celebrated under the banner ‘Reading the Past, Writing the Future’ this year.

According to the 2011 census, India’s literacy rate was 74.04% (82 .14% among males and 65.46% among females). The nation has made strides in literacy rate, with active efforts from the Government and organisations like The Akshaya Patra Foundation through its initiatives like food for education, but there is still a long way to go. The cause of literacy must certainly be on the top of the agenda for social improvement, as high rates of literacy benefit the individual and society in numerous ways.

Source: To know the ways to improve literacy rate, visit: International Literacy Day