Over the years, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme has proved itself to be a supporting pillar in the overall development of children even at the grass root level of the society. The Scheme that was initiated by Government of India is being implemented by various Non-Governmental Organisations too. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one among the various NGOs. Akshaya Patra began providing school lunch at five Government schools in Bengaluru city of Karnataka in 2000. This was even before the official central mandate in 2003 by the Government of India to provide free cooked mid-day meal at all Government schools. But after the mandate was passed, Akshaya Patra partnered with the Government of India in providing cooked meals at schools. Since then, Akshaya Patra has been working in a Public-Private Partnership model to achieve the six objectives of the Central Mid-Day Meal Scheme i.e.:
- Eliminating classroom hunger
- Increasing school enrolment
- Increasing school attendance
- Improving socialization among castes
- Addressing malnutrition, and
- Women empowerment
During the course of implementing the mid-day meal programme for 15 years now, Akshaya Patra has also conducted impact studies of the programme in association with noted research organisations. The Akshaya Patra kitchen process and operations has also become a part of prestigious institutes like Harvard Business School. Below are mention of few impact studies that clearly showcase the significance and potential of the mid-day meal programme in eliminating classroom hunger, improving child health and also increasing enrolment and concentration of children.
- ‘Assessment of Mid-Day Meal Programme In 8 States’ by Sigma Research and Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
- ‘Impact Assessment Study Report of The Akshaya Patra Foundation – HPCL Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects (2012-13)’ by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
- ‘Report on Measuring the Impact of Mid- Day-Meal on Child Growth’ by Department of Public Health Manipal University
- ‘Evaluation of the Mid-Day Meal Programme – June 2012’ by Kusuma Trust U.K.
- ‘Impact study 2012’ by Edumedia
- ‘Impact Assessment of The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s Mid-Day Meal Programme 2010’ by A.C. Nielsen
- ‘Akshaya Patra: Feeding India’s School Children’ by Harvard business school