5 Ways to Get Involved with Akshaya Patra

Surya is born into a family whose monthly income is not more Rs 3,000. While his father toils to feed the family every day, he knows that someday, Surya would have to attend school to be more self-reliant. At the age of five, he is admitted to the closest government school. His father is motivated to send Surya to school for various reasons—free education, an opportunity to socialise and most importantly, a wholesome and nutritious mid-day meal served every day!

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in India, strives to feed the hungry children everyday by implementing mid-day meal programme in schools across the country. Currently, the Foundation is feeding over 1.5 million government school children in 10 states of India. You can get involved too and experience the journey of eliminating hunger among school children.

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Here are five ways to get involved with this children’s NGO that runs the world’s largest school lunch programme:

  1. Connect with the purpose: Akshaya Patra, an NGO for children, aims to end classroom hunger by feeding nutritious meals to school children on every school day. In the year 2000, the organisation was founded on the belief that no child should be deprived of education due to hunger and that has been the roadmap of this Foundation’s journey. When you empathise with the cause, you are a step closer to making India a hunger-free country for children.
  2. It only costs Rs 750: A young student in a government school gets free lunch for an entire year and that is possible through your small but significant contribution. It costs only Rs 750 to feed a child for a year to ensure that his/ her education is not interrupted. You can donate to charity and also benefit from 100% tax exemption on the donation. Small amounts, when accumulated, greatly enrich children’s lives.
  3. Create your own fundraising campaign: While there are many donation options, you also have a choice of creating a personalised online fundraising campaign on the Foundation’s website or on Akshaya Patra’s mobile app. Once a campaign is created, you can share it with your friends and together, reach out to more children.
  4. Download Akshaya Patra mobile app: The organisation moves along with technology. Its all-new app helps you extend your support while you are on the go—you can create campaigns, donate and stay updated at the tip of your fingers! The app allows you to search kitchen locations pan India and exhibits the total number of beneficiaries and schools each location is catering to. The mobile app is available on both Android and iOS.

5. Be a volunteer: Giving your time and effort towards a cause can help the society in many ways. When you volunteer with Akshaya Patra, you are not just connected to the cause but you are also exposed to mid-day meal programme and the overall operations of the organisation.

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5 Reasons You Should Donate to Akshaya Patra

Donating to charity today has become more hassle-free than before. You can opt to donate online and avail the benefits of tax deductible donations. A little effort can make a huge difference in the life of a child. At Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal programme in schools, each drop counts.

If the money we donate helps one child or can ease the pain of one parent, those funds are well spent. American restaurateur Late Carl Karcher’s contemporary quote on donating to charity stands relevant today. India struggles to remove hunger while battling with illiteracy. So every contribution counts. A tiny gesture of donation may feed a child during a mid-day meal programme in a remote school or a few hours of volunteering may brighten up someone’s day.

Akshaya Patra Foundation is able to make a huge difference in the lives of 1.5 million children simply because people like you choose to contribute.

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Here’s why you should donate:

  1. You are bringing food and literacy

By donating to Akshaya Patra, you make a two-fold contribution. Akshaya Patra strives to address issues of hunger and illiteracy. Your contribution will incentivize food, bringing many children to school. You become part of our ambition of feeding 5 million children by 2020.

  1. You know where your money is going

When you choose Akshaya Patra, you become part of a completely transparent system of donation. We comply by International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Transparency Indian Accounting Standards issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and publish our annual report with financial audits. On an average, 84% of the total cost is used towards meeting the programme cost and 10% towards the programme management cost. 6% of the total cost is steered towards meeting fundraising and communication costs. You can read more on how Akshaya Patra spends your money here.

  1. Your contribution is futuristic

You may rest assured that your charity is going to a project that’s ongoing and intends to run until the day no child goes hungry. Our programme is technology-intensive using centralized and decentralized models that can be efficiently scaled and replicated. Akshaya Patra has kitchens in 24 locations spread across 10 states in India and growing. You are investing in a more promising future of the children.

  1. Tax deductions and CSR

All donations with Akshaya Patra are tax deductible donations so you can avail tax exemptions as per the government norms. In addition, many CSR opportunities such as cause-marketing initiatives, strategy philanthropy through funds and in-kind contributions or events and sponsorship are available for your company. Read more on CSR opportunities with Akshaya Patra here.

  1. You get to donate hassle-free

You have the option of online donations through our website or a quick donation on our mobile application. With Akshaya Patra, you get the benefit of 100% tax deductible donations in a hassle-free process where donating for a big cause is as simple as the click of a button. With as low as Rs 750, you can provide an entire academic year’s meal to a child.

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Your donation can become a lasting gift in the life of children by not only feeding them, but also bringing them to the lighthouse of education. Donate to charity today!

Uninterrupted Education for School Children

How does Mid-Day Meal Programme help school going children in India? The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in India that serves mid-day meals to over 1.5 million children, can help you answer that just right. Children are not only getting nutritious wholesome meals everyday but are also encouraged to attend school regularly. We believe your contribution can help us reach 5 million children by 2020 and help you get 100% tax exemption.

Serving mid-day meals to school children creates a vicious cycle – a child like Ajay wakes up to attend school, sprinkles great lessons into his head, feasts on healthy food and returns home after a sumptuous meal, and looks forward to the next day.

Here is an infographic of a school boy who is having Akshaya Patra‘s mid-day meal:

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According to the UN World Food Programme, one out of six children is malnourished in developing countries and roughly 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry—these are just numbers that indicate the severity of hunger. A recent article on Buzzfeed India (www.buzzfeed.com/gayatrijayaraman/broke-hungry-and-on-trend) recognised urban people who go hungry almost every day but their lifestyles reflect otherwise. In both scenarios, we have two classes of people who are unable to satisfy the stomach because food is far from reach. While one is unable to afford it, the other is not able to prioritise on food.

As a society, what can we do to curb hunger in India and how can you, as a working class Indian, benefit from contributing to Akshaya Patra? The Foundation believes in nourishing the young minds who are the future of tomorrow. Because education is of foremost priority, Akshaya Patra began serving mid-day meals to school children in India to reduce dropout rate and enhance class attendance. Thanks to the government, Akshaya Patra’s donors can benefit from 100% tax exemption for contributions that are above Rs. 500. All it takes is Rs. 750 to feed a child every year!

School lunch in Namma Karnataka by Akshaya Patra

Bengaluru, the city where it all began. In 2000, Akshaya Patra, an NGO in Karnataka, started serving mid-day meals to 1500 government school children in Bengaluru with an aim to end classroom hunger. The journey has been ceaseless.

With a flourishing quality education, Karnataka is among many other states that require attention towards reducing classroom hunger. We believe that quality education without basic necessities such as nutritional food for students is of no value at all. When mid-day meal in Karnataka became operational, many schools saw an increase in school attendance. State Hunger Index report, 2008, shows how hunger is still persistent across India and Karnataka, among many other states, falls in alarming category.

In 2003, the Government of Karnataka invited The Foundation to partner with them to implement Mid-Day Meal Scheme across the state. They have also helped the Central Government in implementing the programme across the nation. Akshaya Patra, an NGO in Karnataka receives sufficient aid from the State Government and from donors as well.

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Here’s a quick look at certain aspects of Akshaya Patra’s presence in Karnataka:

  1. Highest Beneficiary Base: The mid-day meal programme in Karnataka is currently available to 463,682 children across 2,629 schools which make the state the highest in terms of beneficiary base. When Akshaya Patra began its journey, the number of children who received hot and freshly cooked meals was only 1500. In 16 years, our beneficiary base has increased by 300 times.
  1. Four ISO Kitchens: Akshaya Patra’s kitchens are an ideal example of quality. Centralised kitchens are automated and ensure 100% hygiene during the cooking process. All the six kitchens in Karnataka are centralised, with four of these having received ISO certification. All centralised kitchens have the capacity to cook up to 100,000 meals every day. The beneficiary schools are located around the unit to benefit from these kitchens.
  1. Nourishing uncommon dreams: In 2016 a pilot initiative called ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance’ was launched. Through this programme, students will receive mentorship in the field of their career interests. For the pilot launch, three students from Bengaluru were selected as a part of this initiative and were mentored by renowned organisations which witnessed a huge success. Shekar, for instance, is a 14-year-old student who aspires to be a chef, was trained under Vivanta by Taj. You can view the inspiring videos here.

It is also The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s mission to target 5 million children by 2020 and ensure that these children are able to concentrate better in classrooms. Although there has been a huge success, we believe it is still a long way to go before we can experience hunger-free India. You can join Akshaya Patra in raising awareness about the programme as well as contributing to the cause. All it takes is Rs. 750 to feed a school going child and you can help us too.

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Read on to know more about our work, how you can get involved or donate to charity. Yes, there’s 100% tax exemption when you donate to Akshaya Patra.

5 Reasons Why You Should Donate To Akshaya Patra

Meera, a 10-year-old girl, was expected to stay at home and help her mother with daily chores. Due to several financial constraints in the house, her interest in attending school was crushed. Soon, her school implemented mid-day meal scheme to encourage children to attend school. As much as it worked in favour of the scheme, it also assured Meera’s parents of one nutritious meal for their daughter. Meera’s education resumed.

It has been over 16 years since The Akshaya Patra Foundation began its humble journey by feeding hot and nutritious food to 1500 school children in Bengaluru. Today, this NGO in India feeds more than 1.5 million school children across 10 states in the country. Here are five reasons why you should donate to charity and support Akshaya Patra’s cause:

  1. Eradicate Classroom Hunger

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India has witnessed a rapid change in reducing many social issues. However, classroom hunger continues to be one of the battles on the ground. Akshaya Patra, one of India’s NGOs, aims to omit classroom hunger by implementing mid-day meal scheme in government schools across the nation. When a child is fed nutritious and tasty meal, learning becomes easier—for it is the mind that needs nourishment to learn.

  1. Achieve Universal Education

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Akshaya Patra began with a vision that ‘no child in India should be deprived of education due to hunger.’ It is one of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 to ensure quality education for all. With this belief, we are heading towards achieving 100% school enrolment. When children are assured of a wholesome meal in school itself, they are encouraged to learn and socialise among their classmates—this builds their knowledge and personality. Many schools in India have observed an increase in school enrolment since the implementation of mid-day meal programme.

  1. Be Aware of Social Issues

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By getting involved with Akshaya Patra’s cause, you will be able to educate yourself about issues revolving around hunger and education among children in India. We believe when people come together to make a change in the society, it creates a substantial impact.

  1. Get Benefits: 100% Tax Exemption

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You as a donor can avail tax exemption with Akshaya Patra which is registered under section 35 AC/80 GGA of the Income Tax Act 1961. It allows resident taxpayers to sanction 100% tax exemption for every donation above Rs. 500.

  1. We Are Making Progress

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For Akshaya Patra, it’s been a journey of perseverance. The organisation has dedicated itself to the cause of eradicating hunger among school children in India and the voyage has been successful—from 1500 children to over 1.5 million children every day. It is of course with the support from Central Government, State Governments and donors that we are able to reach more children every day.

You can get involved too. When you attempt to donate to charity, it is a win for societal change. You can add Rs. 750 to our donation jar which will ensure a child’s wholesome and nutritious mid-day meals for an entire year.

School Days Are Here Again!

Crisp school uniforms, new compass boxes, polished shoes and packed school bags – it is time to welcome these sights again, as rain-soaked days herald the start of a brand new school year. After the lulls of the summer vacations, going back to school is a bittersweet experience indeed. No longer is it possible to sleep late into the morning or play and watch one’s favourite television programmes all day. It is now back to the old familiar – school friends, classes, homework and the discipline of following a schedule throughout the day.

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The reopening of schools also brings with it the most delightful hour in the bustle of school life – the lunch break. This is the most anticipated time of the day, as growling stomachs need to be silenced with a healthy, wholesome meal. Good nutrition is imperative to the physical, mental and emotional development of children. After all, who, be it adult or child, can think straight with hunger clawing at their gut? Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO for children that provides mid-day meals to 1.4 million kids across India, ensures that not only do children go back to school, but they stay there too.

In a country like India where hunger and malnutrition cripples the educational performance of children and even leads them to desist from the pursuit of education, it is imperative that an incentive like free mid-day meals be implemented. Education is the magic spell that needs to be cast for empowering children and this can only be done if, like their privileged counterparts, the socioeconomically underprivileged too have a full stomach.

Don’t let food be a mere thought for a child.

Your contribution could help keep a kid in school. Donate to NGO now!

Good Work Leads to Tax Benefits

Act of kindness can be sealed-off by none. India has seen a great increase in the number of donors over the decade. According to World Giving Index report 2014, more than 180 million in the country contributed money for a good cause. What motivates them to do so could have various reasons; being aware of the issues in the society, understanding deeply how financial aid can solve the issue and trusting an organisation which works towards curbing those issues. But how can you benefit from aiding a social cause? Here’s your answer.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO feeding mid-day meals to more than 1.5 million government school children in India, gives you the benefit to avail 100% tax exemption. The Foundation has been built on the belief that no child in India should be deprived of education due to hunger. Therefore, as an act of goodwill, the organisation started a Mid-Day Meal Scheme in 2000 with a view to enhance school enrolment and curb classroom hunger. Like Socrates once said, ‘Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.’ Although it is a government’s rule that children below the age of 16 are given free education, many children still choose menial jobs because the survival of family demands it.

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You as a donor can avail tax exemption with Akshaya Patra which is registered under section 35 AC/80 GGA of the Income Tax Act 1961. It allows resident taxpayers to sanction 100% tax exemption for every donation above Rs. 500. This is especially beneficial since most other NGOs are registered under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act which allows you to sanction only a 50% tax exemption. Once we receive the tax deductible donations, you will receive a proof of your contribution. Within ten days of making the donation, you will receive an acknowledgment receipt, a 100% tax exemption certificate and a Thank you letter via post from The Foundation.

If you are an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) and would like to make a contribution, you will also be eligible for the 100% tax exemption under section 35 AC/80 GGA of the Income Tax Act. Thanks to the Government of India and the donors, Akshaya Patra has grown by leaps and bounds. While there are multiple donation options on our website, you also have a choice of creating a personalised fundraising campaign on the website or on Akshaya Patra’s mobile app. Once you create the campaign for a certain amount, you will be able to track the progress and share the campaign on social media as well.

Today, The Foundation feeds nutritious and wholesome meals to more than 1.5 million children across India. In a country where more than 200 million people go hungry every day, it becomes a necessity for the society to get involved to witness a greater change. We are inching towards that transformation while we aim to feed 5 million children by 2020 to ensure they lead a fuller life! To support our cause, you can make your donation online.

Stay Connected through Akshaya Patra App!

It was a pleasant Wednesday morning and Ravi, an IT professional was on his way to office in the city bus. While in the bus, he realises he could utilise his one hour of travel time to make a difference in the society. Ravi then opens the Akshaya Patra app on his mobile to create a fundraising campaign for Rs. 5000. After a few taps and clicks, he shares the campaign with friends on social media and by the end of the day, Ravi, with the help of Akshaya Patra mobile app and his friends, is able to raise funds without any hassle and help The Foundation make a difference.

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People are always on the move and the world now moves along with us. Be it your electricity bill or grocery shopping, it is all at your fingertips. The Akshaya Patra Foundation offers you a mobile app that will help you understand our work, efforts and the impact. It also helps you make donations without any difficulty. Call it charity app or a donation app, our virtual handbook enables users to have a 360 degree view of The Foundation.  Although we are actively present on website and blogs, we realised the importance of moving along with technology and hence, we decided to lift Akshaya Patra’s presence to the next level. Through this, we will be able to increase our reach—get in touch with more people and allow them to respond to our cause.

Akshaya Patra serves a wholesome meal on every school day to more than 1.5 million school children in India making it the world’s largest NGO-run Mid-Day Meal Scheme. Having served more than 2 billion meals so far, The Foundation’s efforts to reach out to underserved children in India can be tracked on the app. The app allows users to search all kitchen locations pan India exhibiting the total number of beneficiaries and beneficiary schools, the kitchens in a particular location are catering to. Those eager for a new volunteer campaign can use the application as a fundraising app by creating a personalised fundraising campaign to pledge support and create awareness about The Foundation’s cause.

Additionally, the application also has push notification options for users to keep them updated with the latest Akshaya Patra happenings and whereabouts. It also enables users to share Akshaya Patra feeds and posts with their friends and family on their social media handles. The Akshaya Patra mobile app is both Android and iOS compatible and its beta version can be downloaded from both Google Play Store and the App store.

We believe that the mobile app is a path to reach more supporters and stay connected. With this, we will be able to create awareness about The Foundation’s cause, allow hassle-free donations and eventually achieve our mission of feeding 5 million children every day!

Once you have downloaded the app, do share the message with a friend or two. The Akshaya Patra mobile app is available on both Android and iOS.