Ask us what’s the most meaningful aspect of our work and we would be happy to shout out our answer – feeding India’s school children nutritious and healthy meals every day.
In the state that promotes itself as ‘One State, Many Worlds’ to the globe, The Akshaya Patra Foundation was born with a mission to curb classroom hunger. Karnataka is not only rich in history but is also home to over 64 million people. While this number can boast of manpower and productivity, we also ought to focus on crafting a healthy future for children in Karnataka.
In an effort to make this state a better place for school children, Akshaya Patra, a charitable trust in Bangalore has implemented its Mid-Day Meal Programme across the country to feed the hungry and provide freshly-cooked meals to over 4 lakh students in Karnataka.
Everyone has a beautiful story
Recently, one of our representatives from Akshaya Patra visited a beneficiary school in Jyothipura, Bengaluru and came back with an enthusiastic story of a girl studying in Standard VIII.
Meet Kirti. She is simple, innocent and full of life. Inspired by dance shows on television, Kirti has built a dream for herself – to become a professional dancer. In fact, to mould her dancing skills, she travels to Hoskote located 15 km away from her residence only to learn the art from her master. While this is not a common dream for a girl whose family depends on daily wages, Kirti receives complete support from her father, who is a construction worker in Bengaluru.
Good music is a requisite for great dance. When we spoke to her about her interests, she said, “I love songs with peppy tunes and would love to participate in competitions.” Although dancing defines her, Kirti does not compromise on studies. She is a lover of math and enjoys solving puzzles and math problems. According to her, problem-solving gives her the skills to tackle everyday concerns.
Is there anything else that motivates Kirti to attend school? Mid-day meals have encouraged many families to send their children to schools because they are assured of one wholesome meal. Kirti loves Akshaya Patra’s food as it helps her concentrate on studies and also gives her strength to dance. Her story shines bright.
How impactful is Mid-Day Meal Programme?
According to a report in Times of India, Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme in Karnataka has witnessed an increase of school enrolment in the last two years – growth of over 6,000 children in 2015-16 as compared to 2013-14 and provides meals to 678 schools as compared to 568 in 2013-14. Above all, the Foundation focuses on empowering children through education by eliminating classroom hunger.
Although Akshaya Patra receives significant support from the government to address hunger among children in India, it is collective support from donors that has stabilized its service.
To make this initiative more effective, you can sponsor a child’s mid-day meals for a year by contributing only Rs 750.