Fundraise for Akshaya Patra for your special occasion

Doesn’t it feel good to celebrate your special days with much fun and fervour? Sure, it does. Now, how about including a few more guests in your celebration? These guests are young, ambitious, and for whom a plate full of sumptuous meal makes a day special! To know what struck this idea in me, just read on.

Fundraise for Akshaya Patra

Recently, I came across The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO meeting the mid-day meal requirement of children across India. While I was going through their sphere of work, reach, and impact, I came across an interesting way to get involved with the organisation and thus came upon the above-mentioned idea of making our special celebrations more meaningful. The NGO provides a platform to make a donation in honour of someone, in memory of someone, and also for all your special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and festivals. Just by contributing Rs. 2,850 from our celebration fund, we can feed three children for an entire year. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Akshaya Patra has been in the service of children for the past 17 years. Currently, the NGO feeds 1.6 million children in 13,839 schools across 12 states in India. Aside from the visible improvement in the nutritional levels of children, the mid-day meals have also resulted in better concentration among children, increase in regular attendance, and a progressive decline in school dropout rate. The NGO aims at feeding 5 million by 2020. Indeed a herculean task, but it is definitely possible if we all pull in to support this cause. The online fundraising platform of Akshaya Patra is a convenient and reliable way to contribute towards the cause. Further, this platform also gives you the opportunity to create your own online fundraising campaign.

The ambitious stories of Akshaya Patra’s beneficiaries testify the committed and sincere effort of the organisation. This charity for children is not only feeding the hungry stomachs but also feeding the hidden hopes and dreams of millions of children. So, when we make them a part of our special occasions, not only will we spread hope, but also nurture a generation of well-fed, well-read, and self-reliant citizens. Let us together contribute towards a meal-full present and a resourceful tomorrow!

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His Love for Gotipua Dance – A Traditional Dance Form of Odisha!

It is often said that follow your passion but very few are allowed to do it. A student of standard V in Government Kapoteshwar High School in Raghurajpur, Puri, Jyotiranjan joined the Padmashri Guru Magunidas Gotipua Gurukula Niketan (dance academy) to learn Gotipua at the age of seven. He already has to his credit over 20 performances in various cities of Odisha, including Puri and Bhubaneshwar, as well as metros such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata.

Gotipua, a traditional dance form has an important place in the culture of Odisha. It is performed by young boys and involves a range of acrobatic moves – right from handstands to human pyramid.

Jyotiranjan wants to put this dance form on the world map so that it does not disappear like several other traditional dance forms in the country. His long-term plan is to master the dance form and help to promote it all over the world by teaching others. “If we do not save these dance forms, there will come a day when no one will know about them,” he says innocently. At present, he is happy that it gives him an opportunity to travel to different parts of the country. The dance also gives him an exposure to the world outside the heritage town of Raghurajpur.

His family is based in Puri. His father Nalinikanta Das works as a priest, while his mother Sailabaila is a homemaker. Jyotiranjan lives in the hostel facility provided by the dance academy which eases the burden on the family. Here children wake up 4 am and begin their dance practice which goes on for two hours. After practice, they do their homework and leave for school. The academy also takes care of their students’ breakfast and dinner, while Akshaya Patra an NGO in Odisha takes care of their lunch at the school.

Jyotiranjan says he likes coming to school because he gets to learn about different things in life and also play kho-kho and kabaddi with his friends. As for academic learning, he enjoys Odiya literature. He also likes environmental science and geography as they give information about the nature, planet, different countries, etc.

The 10-yr-old Jyotiranjan is confident that he will make it big in the world of Gotipua and to a great extent, his confidence stems from the exposure he has got over the course of time. As for his parents, they want him to focus on both – dance and academics and make a name for himself all over the world.

Currently, Akshaya Patra’s school lunch programme feeds over 1.6 million children in 13, 800+ schools across 12 states of India. We have to make sure that no child suffers from malnutrition and can have a bright life. You can be a part of this journey and your donation can transform life of a child. You can donate for education in India by choosing to sponsor a child or more!

Akshaya Patra’s role in children’s development

The vision statement of Akshaya Patra states: ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ In June 2000, the Akshaya Patra Foundation was founded with the objective of ensuring that no child missed schooling for want of food.

Akshayapatra Role

Over the last 17 years, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been playing a pivotal role in the emotional, social and physical development of young school-going children. In fact, these have a direct effect on their overall development while growing up into an adult. That is why it’s important to understand the need to invest in young children.

Young children are like sponges when learning. Hence, these formative years are very important. A major role is played in ensuring children get the best by many a charity for children that facilitate learning.

While the Foundation ensures adequate nutritious food, it also does some other work too that ensure the holistic development of children:

  1. It holds after-class tuitions for children to ensure even those children who may not have anyone to guide them at home too are on a par with other children.
  2. It also holds community health camps. This ensures that children, their families and the whole community get access to the best in healthcare.
  3. It conducts health check-up camps which helps provide treatments on time to the needy, especially children.
  4. The Foundation organises life-skills programmes that makes the deprived children fit enough to have a fair shot at success and can compete in this highly-competitive world, and
  5. The Foundation also has scholarship programmes for children from families that are economically challenged which allows them to afford the best of books and study materials.

Molding children

Referring to a few studies, former US President Obama had said in an address in 2013 that early childhood education had a great impact on life’s outcomes. This is a universal truth and hence even the deprived children should get adequate quality education. One can donate for education in India to ensure these children are able to go to school and are able to study like normal children.

The approach to building a strong foundation for a child’s emotional, social, physical and mental development, which will prepare them for a lifetime can be used during the schooling. Socializing with people other than one’s family in a safe environment is an essential foundational element and a school provides the right environment. This is facilitated by the mid-day meals provided by Akshaya Patra which makes children stay on in school and gain most out of the opportunity.

One can sponsor a child and ensure they are able to play a part in the whole process of a child’s development. One can do their mite by donating to education of children from deprived sections of the society. One can contribute to ensure that at a least child can get good education without having to worry about hunger while concentrating on the studies.

How you can make a difference this new year

It’s been over a week since we entered 2018. And, most of us would have strictly tried to stick to our New Year resolutions. Most popular among them, of course, are those relating to diet and weight loss.

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Most of us would have probably started slacking off on the resolutions to exercise every day or go for a walk every day. While looking for a resolution, why not look for something that you believe you can stick with, instead of doing something that you know is easy to not stick to.

It’s still not too late to start off on a resolution. Why not resolve to donate to charity this year. You could do so by contributing for the causes supported by The Akshaya Patra Foundation. By opting for regular payments, you will be happy that you are able to stick to the resolution and, the best of all, contribute to a worthy cause.

Impact from Reach

Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal today reaches over 1.6 million children across the said 12 states in the country. The children are supplied from 34 kitchens from 12 states.

A mere Rs 950 can feed a school-going child for a whole year. Imagine, the impact such a small amount can have.

The change that it can bring out in the life of a child by guaranteeing he/she can stay at school and not worry about lunch ensures that the child can stay focused on the task at hand, that of learning.  This is perhaps the biggest of the advantages of mid-day meal scheme.

The funds needed to support the growing movement, no less, can in fact be boosted. This can ensure that the children continue to enjoy wholesome meals every day. The Foundation has been tech-savvy. It has taken to online fundraising to stay with the times so that you can be part of the movement.

NGO in Rajasthan Feeds a Child with Rs 950 for an Entire Year

NGO in Rajasthan

The sum of Rs 950 has a different a meaning for every person. For a few it’s the amount with which they can buy their favourite outfit or go to their liked place for dinner. But for many children, it is a source of hope, a hope that they will be able to relish a nutritious and delicious food for the entire year.

Though it sounds difficult, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been making it possible for over 1.6 million children. The food served is prepared according to the guidelines set by the Government. The food is nutritious and delicious at the same time. While the food gives them the freedom to choose education over work, it also gives them the ability to make their decisions and aspire to pursue a career of their choice. By choosing education over work, they also get enough time to participate in sports activities and other activities of their choice.

Akshaya Patra is among the major NGOs in Rajasthan and it ensuring good health for all its beneficiaries. The menu varies every day so as to ensure that the children don’t lose interest in food. To gain the best out of seasonal vegetables, the dishes are changed depending on the seasons.

The Foundation will soon be launching its fifth kitchen in Ajmer. The existing four kitchens are located in Jaipur, Baran, Nathdwara and Jodhpur. About 1,70,723 children from 2,672 schools are currently benefiting from the initiative across the state.

Your contribution of just Rs 950 can ensure that the children are able to relish a wholesome meal served by the Foundation on every school day. They will be encouraged to prioritise studies over work. With a full stomach meal, they will be able to concentrate on studies. This will in turn lead the country towards positive development.

Do your bit by donating to charity today.

How Does Akshaya Patra Manage Food Production Process

Cooking for a large number of people is challenging as it requires that the chef ensures all elements are in place. In the kitchens of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, it’s an everyday operation that runs like clockwork.

Stop Hunger

The Foundation, an NGO in Bangalore, which runs the school lunch programme for children across 12 states in the country, now serves hot lunches to over 1.6 million school children every day. It supplies freshly-cooked food from 34 kitchens and is scaling up with every passing day. The food prepared here is distributed in 13,800+ schools.

Akshaya Patra’s established systems and process have been dealing with an emergent situation with ease.

Quality Assurance during procurement

The Supplier Quality Management System (SQMS) process covers subprocesses like supplier selection, supplier qualification, supplier rating, etc., to ensure the right and best raw materials are procured. One can sponsor a child to ensure a needy child is part of the system.

Storage and Handling 

Fresh vegetables are procured on a daily basis. Cold storage is used to store ready-to-cook cut vegetables to retain freshness. Rice is supplied by the Food Corporation of India.

Quality and Safety during cooking 

All kitchens of Akshaya Patra follow a standard process. This process is charted out to ensure hygiene and quality. Personal hygiene and Food Safety training are provided regularly to the kitchen staff to ensure hygiene standards are met.

Food Packing and Transportation 

The distribution staff picks the food from kitchens and delivers it at various schools around the kitchen. They travel by delivery vans fitted with a honeycomb structure to prevent food from spilling. The vehicles are also insulated to maintain the temperature of the cooked meals. The vans are also equipped with GPS, which makes it easy to monitor the van and ensure the food reaches the school on time.

The large centralized kitchens, on an average, have the capacity to cook up to 2,00,000 meals. For running such large scale operation, one can donate to charity to be part of the operations.

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.

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.

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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.