Gift a Happy New Year to India’s children – Akshaya Patra’s Message

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The curtains are closing on 2016 and the stage is set for 2017. Yes folks, New Year 2017 is here! It is a time to gather the lessons of the past year, celebrate its joys and let go of its pains. The New Year brings in new hopes, dreams and often a list of resolutions too! The end of a year and the beginning of the new one is also a period of reflection on the blessings received in the previous year.

One wonderful way of ushering in the New Year is to bring happiness to the most innocent of souls – kids. Donating to children’s charities is a great way of doing this! The Akshaya Patra Foundation works tirelessly for the cause of ‘unlimited food for education’. Founded in the year 2000 with the principle that no child should be deprived of education due to hunger, the organisation operates the world’s largest NGO-run Mid-day Meal Programme in India. Currently feeding over 1.6 million in the country through its state-of-the-art kitchens, the Foundation, registered under section 35AC of the Income Tax Act, 1961, strives tirelessly to eliminate classroom hunger. Why not join this fight against hunger and malnutrition and gift India’s children a healthy, wholesome school lunch a day by donating to the Foundation? That would be a noble and auspicious start to the New Year!

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Akshaya Patra’s immediate mission is to feed 5 million children by 2020. Every successive year brings an added hope to the Foundation – that of benefitting a greater number of people. Its programmes are the fuel that powers the dreams of young children across India. These kaleidoscopic dreams include becoming doctors, engineers, architects, pilots, soldiers. It is up to the people of the world to come together to ensure that they are fulfilled and the children’s tomorrows are lit with education and nutrition. This is possible through donations of generous patrons who feel strongly about the futures of India’s children. Every contribution above Rs 500 made to the Foundation is eligible for 100% tax exemption in India, under section 80GGA.

Make 2017 a great one for India’s school kids!

What is Education? From a Child’s Perspective

Everyone has a right to knock the door to their destiny, to which, undernourishment, money, and lack of resources should never be a hindrance. Education is a journey we all live through. We cannot go through life and learn nothing. We as kids start to initially learn at our homes, from our family and from childhood friends. From trials and observations, we learn that pressing a switch downwards turns on the light. But formal education in school helps us understand what actually makes the light or device turn on. There’s no child who doesn’t have a dream of growing up and becoming a successful person. Education for children is a chance to pursue their dreams of becoming a doctor, teacher, scientist, musician or anything alike.

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All kids admire going to school and learning how to read and write, but not all kids can afford going to school. If you look at the list of NGOs in Bangalore, you will note that Akshaya Patra supports millions of children. The organisation provides healthy mid-day meals in schools and hence, feed the hungry to give them a chance to lead a better life. So, let us donate for education in India and support this noble mission of Zero Hunger and Quality Education.

A chance to repay their parents’ hardwork

At a very young age, children start to realize the fact that their parents work very hard and sacrifice a lot to provide them all the comfort and grant them all their wishes. They see education as a chance to repay these efforts with good grades and making their parents proud. If we help these kids by providing them a chance to go to school, they can not only prove themselves as harbingers of hope but also provide better living conditions to their parents when they grow up as independent individuals.

A chance to make themselves capable of helping others

Only he who wears knows where exactly the shoe pinches. Students who are deprived of daily meals and education very well know how effective mid-day meal benefits are. They also know how it feels to be plunged into a situation they cannot control. Children with such thoughts, see education as an opportunity to become capable of helping others first and themselves being benefitted later. We ought to appreciate this spirit and provide food for the education of these children who even have to go to bed hungry at times. There’s nothing more satisfying than feeding the hungry.

A chance to create their identity in this whole wide world

Education has different meanings and forms for different children. For some, it is language, science or mathematics while for some it is music, dance or art. Children are always very passionate about chasing their dreams and if provided with all the opportunities, they can excel at their interests. They wish to make their parents proud by doing something extraordinary for themselves, their families, society and their country. If such determined kids do not get a chance to get an education, in spite of our capabilities to help, what sense does our education make?

We ought to come forward and donate for education in India. Let the children continue having faith in humanity and kindness. Sponsor a child today and win tax exemption in India!

Be a Child’s Santa this Christmas | Sponsor a Child

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Christmas season is here which also means it’s time to give something back to society! While we all get busy looking for best Christmas gift ideas for our friends and family, Akshaya Patra has one compassionate idea that will leave you with pride! How about sponsoring a child’s meal for an entire year? And what if we told you Rs 950 covers the cost of meals for an entire year?

In the midst of everything that’s on this planet, children teach us the meaning of innocence, spark a lot of fun and are the most curious little beings. Unfortunately, not all children get a fair chance to experience freedom. Unfortunately, some children are not even students. Akshaya Patra touches upon these lives by given them one basic need which is also the source of everyone’s survival – food. The organisation provides nutritious mid-day meals to children in government and aided schools thus encouraging children to enroll in school and continue their education.

To ensure more children receive food and education through this charity for children, you can make a thoughtful donation to Akshaya Patra: sponsor a child. By donating, you will receive 100% tax exemption as per Section 80G of Income Tax Act. But we’d also like to tell you that this is not just a contribution but an attempt to transform a young life and give them the freedom to dream big.

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If there’s more you would like to do for children, you can try creating charity fundraising campaigns on our website in a few simple steps. The funds received from online fundraising campaigns help us reach out to more children. This Christmas, while you wait for your gift to be kept under the Christmas tree, why don’t you make it special for a child by being his or her Santa? Gift a child an uninterrupted education by making a donation of Rs 950!


Akshaya Patra, NGO for children head quartered in Bengaluru, is present across 11 states in India. Every day, the Foundation reaches out to over 1.6 million children with nutritious mid-day meals to ensure their school attendance is not affected due to hunger. You can sponsor a child and receive 100% tax exemption as per section 80G of income tax act.

How Effective are Food for Education Programmes

If you’re reading this, you should call yourself fortunate. If going back home reminds you of delicious home-cooked food, you should call yourself fortunate. You’re fortunate because you’ve had the opportunity to learn and you’ve always got a tiffin box to carry in your bag or some money in the pocket for buying lunch.

Not many know that India is a home to 33% of world’s undernourished children. How can we not think of helping them? When you’ve more than you need, you should build a bigger table, not a higher fence. Seeing the present context, we need more supporters and food for education programs to get down to showing deep concern, spreading awareness, donating funds and providing healthy meals as an incentive to boost enrolment.

Akshaya Patra recently published its NGO annual report 2015-16 which gives insights into how the organisation reaches out to millions of children. Here’s how Akshaya Patra set forth in the path of reaching out to millions of children and are changing their lives.

A growth that’s no less than massive

Akshaya Patra has grown slowly and steadily. From 1,500 children a day to over 1.6 million children, the growth has been rising. It demonstrates that the role of NGO has always been aboard and determinant toward the goal of providing unlimited food for education. They’ve gone the extra mile, not only in well-managed technology, logistics, quality, and finance but also in strategies for sustainable working. The Foundation has gained trust of the philanthropic donors and beneficiaries as well.

Food for Education motivates children to pursue their dreams

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Children from the marginalised sections of society often wait to pursue their dreams. Food for Education programmes help them in doing this. The blue buses at Akshaya Patra not only carry freshly cooked nutritious meals to 1.6 million children across India but also the smile and hope to get good food. Ambitious beneficiaries like Dashrath Chauhan, Anjali Batti, Saraswathi, and Chetan are some of our much prized stories of hope.

Involvement of public

It is essential for a public-private relationship based organisation to have provisions for public’s involvement. Without the generous help from well-wishers, it is not possible for an NGO to function at all. These organisations act as a medium for the society to show compassion towards the needy. Akshaya Patra provides several opportunities such as fundraising, campaigning, volunteering, partnering and donating online to get involved in this endeavor of eradicating undernourishment and ensuring access to education for all. For accomplishing its mission of feeding 5 million children by 2020, Akshaya Patra gives a shout-out to everyone who is willing to help those in dire need.

Akshaya Patra, an NGO based in Bengaluru, runs Mid-Day Meal Programme in 11 states of India.

To read in Hindi, visit: about NGO in Hindi.

Mid-Day Meal Components that define Child Nutrition

We know about nutrition and we ensure it as well. We take utmost care of our kids and provide them all the amenities. But what about those children who belong to marginalised sections who have to go to bed hungry at times, who have never had more than a quarter of chapati in their meals, whose parents are dependent on daily wages which cannot fulfil daily needs – who would take care of them?

Shouldn’t we?

Along with love, acceptance, appreciation, encouragement, and guidance; good living conditions including healthy meals are also essential for the cognitive development of children.  A diet comprising all necessary components facilitates their all-round development. A balanced intake of proteins, carbohydrates, fats etc., is mandatory for their bodies to stay healthy and minds to function well. All parents ensure this for their kids and so must we for every child who does not get a fair chance.

But it is shocking to know that India, which is developing otherwise, is a home to millions of children who are underweight. Their parents often cannot afford a healthy living. In such scenarios, should we do something to empower the children? Yes, without a second thought.

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Akshaya Patra, one of the top NGOs in India, has come forward to address this issue by feeding the children. We should also educate people about the importance of a healthy diet and ways to ensure it. So what are the necessary components that define child nutrition?

Calories and Proteins

According to dietary norms stated by Central Mid-Day Meal Scheme, 450 Calories and 700 Calories as well as 12 grams and 20 grams of proteins are required for Primary and Upper Primary groups respectively. The quality of meals protects children from a sluggish metabolism, low energy levels, low immunity, underweight etc. Mid-Day Meal benefits more than 1.6 million children every day!

Fats and Carbohydrates

Fats are a source of energy for the body. Besides keeping children high on energy for a long time, they also strengthen their immune system, help in absorption of vitamins, production of hormones and insulation of body. Carbohydrates also act as energy suppliers. They help in regulation of blood glucose, the breakdown of fatty acids and act as a dietary fiber. Potatoes, beans, milk, grains are rich in carbohydrates. Both these components are an essential part of child’s nutrition because they help in their vital growth and keep them energetic. Akshaya Patra ensures that the meals provided by them have the required quantity of fats and carbohydrates so as to ensure proper nutrition, energy supply, and growth of the children.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are the micronutrients that are required by our body to carry out several metabolic functions. Vitamin A helps maintain soft tissues, mucous membranes, healthy skin and good eyesight. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that promotes healthy gums and teeth. It helps in the absorption of iron and promotes wound healing. There are many other vitamins like Vitamin E, K, B6, B12 that are important for the body. Like vitamins, minerals also help the body to grow, develop, and stay healthy. Minerals are used for several functions- from building strong bones to transmitting nerve impulses. Some minerals are also used in the production of hormones and maintaining a normal heartbeat.

Akshaya Patra ensures that their meals are of good quality, hygienic, and include all these components. It has a mission of serving healthy meals to 5 million kids by 2020. You can make a donation in honour of someone to help children get the best diets for their growth. Let’s donate today!

The Beginning of Quality Education

‘Education for all’ has been resonating in everybody’s mind and yes, India is on the path to achieving this. However, education does not always synchronise with quality. United Nations, in one of their papers presented at The International Working Group on Education Florence, Italy in June 2000 defines quality education in five points:

  • Learners who are healthy, well-nourished and ready to participate and learn, and supported in learning by their families and communities
  • Environments that are healthy, safe, protective and gender-sensitive, and provide adequate resources and facilities
  • Content that is reflected in relevant curricula and materials for the acquisition of basic skills, especially in the areas of literacy, numeracy and skills for life, and knowledge in such areas as gender, health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS prevention and peace.
  • Processes through which trained teachers use child-centred teaching approaches in well-managed classrooms and schools and skilful assessment to facilitate learning and reduce disparities.
  • Outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes, and are linked to national goals for education and positive participation in society.

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The first point in particular talks about children who are well-nourished learners. What Akshaya Patra, a charity for children, is focusing through their Mid-Day Meal Programme is – increase a child’s nutrition intake as well as ending classroom hunger. Through charity fundraising activities, the Foundation receives sustainable help from several people and corporates across the globe.

Divya, one of Akshaya Patra beneficiaries, says she likes ‘warm and nutritious food.’ This one incentive that children receive every day encourages them to pursue their education without fear and also makes them aware of societal issues. Some of our beneficiaries testify that they would want to grow up to help the society – a value that helps spread kindness.

As we expand our Mid-Day Meal Programme to more schools and locations, we urge the people to contribute to a healthy future. Akshaya Patra’s donors can avail 100% tax exemption for donations above Rs. 500 as per section 80g of income tax act. This article gives you an overview of how you can avail the exemption and why it is important to donate for education in India.

What should be our Future Goals: National Energy Conservation Day 2016

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

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The 21st century has been the chief consumer of energy. We have dramatically transitioned from natural resources like fire, water and wind, to oil for large-scale production. Compared to the years before Industrial Revolution that took place sometime in 1740 (new machineries were introduced for agricultural revolution), the energy consumption was less and our activities did not threaten the environment the way it does today. Today, as we sit comfortably in our office or home, energy is at the verge of depletion simply because it is not being used efficiently.

In India, Energy Conservation Act was passed in 2001. It provides a policy framework and enforces large energy consumers to follow certain norms to ensure the usage is efficient.

We at Akshaya Patra, a charity for children, use renewable energy during our mid-day meal operations. Our Vasanthapura kitchen in Bengaluru has a solar plant which produces up to 70 units of power a day. This energy is used to power applications like fans, computers and other basic systems. Apart from solar plant, biogas plants are also employed at Akshaya Patra that produce 40-50 kg of biogas and will consume about 1000 kg of waste. With support from donors and the government, this Foundation feeds over 1.6 million children on every school day.

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Today, the challenge is not just shifting from excess energy usage to renewables; it is also about educating children and ourselves on how to save the planet’s resources.

Energy depletion is not a nation-specific issue but a global one. On National Energy Conservation Day, 2016 (observed annually on December 14), let us understand how we can conserve energy as individuals and contribute towards a better tomorrow.

Tips for Conservation

  • Turn off the water taps and try rainwater harvesting
  • Switch to LED or CFL bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs
  • Limit the use of car and bikes to avoid excess carbon emissions
  • Switch to solar power
  • Reuse and recycle materials

Why is it important for all of us to conserve energy?

It is a cycle – earth generates energy and we, as humans, depend on the energy to fuel our living. For instance, fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas are the primary source of our living and they are non-renewable resources. If coal (majorly used in power plants) gradually drop out of our sight, our existence itself will get crippled. If these fossil fuels and other natural resources continue to be utilized the way it is done today, there is a chance we would fail to protect the planet we call home.

Each one of us (7.5 billion people) is responsible for our actions. When we take up the responsibility of protecting the Planet, we may get to see a better future!


Akshaya Patra is an NGO based in Bengaluru. With support from government and donors who choose tax deductible donations, the organisation continues to provide nutritious mid-day meals to over 1.6 million children in India. As a donor, you will receive 100% income tax exemption. Donate today!

Photo Contest 2016 – Online Photography Competition

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Click a Smile – the annual online photography contest, organised by The Akshaya Patra Foundation, is back this year. Take your camera out on a tour and capture the smiles of children! Participants can submit up to three photographs for the contests. The winners, who will be selected by photography experts, will receive trophies, certificates and gift vouchers!

  • Theme: Smiles of Children
  • Copyright: Image copyrights remains with the respective entrants.
  • Usage rights: The Akshaya Patra Foundation has the right to use the images (of all entries submitted) for marketing and promotional purposes.
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Entry deadline: 23 December 2016
  • Who can participate: Open to all
  • Image Specifications: JPEG images less than 4 MB and should have a minimum resolution of 800 pixels
  • Prizes: Trophies, Certificates and Gift Vouchers

Website link: https://www.akshayapatra.org/click-a-smile

Can You Feed a Child Today?

Even after gaining grounds on development in many sectors, India has been taking its own sweet time to combat against two major challenges of the present time – providing education and food to the underprivileged. According to 2016 Global Nutrition Report, 667 million children (in 129 countries) under the age of five have severe nutrition deficiencies which have resulted in: stunting, disproportion of height and weight, and overweight. Many organisations have been responsive to this but reaching the required level of pace is still a long way to go. This is where we need to realize our responsibilities towards society, donate generously to a cause, feed the children and do our bit in defeating all inhibitions to growth not as a gesture of tokenism but as a profound yearning to change the world.

Here’s how you can make a difference for children and help them to pursue their dreams by making a gift of an inexhaustible vessel of food and hope:

Why should you support Akshaya Patra?

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Akshaya Patra started off with 1,500 children a day which has now drastically grown to serve over 1.6 million children across 11 states of India. Seeing the splendid mid-day meal benefits, appreciations from many dignitaries including Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton, one need not have a second thought on contributing. The mission of this charitable trust is to serve 5 million children by 2020 which is achievable only if more of us care deeply about the cause and help in fundraising. Needless to mention, it is an overwhelming opportunity for us to contribute.

What can you do?

Akshaya Patra lets and urges you to help those in dire need of your sponsorship. And, you’ll be surprised to know that the amount to sponsor a child for a year almost equals a bill for two at a restaurant and so often, most of us do it fortnightly. Why not let the unfed taste some nutritious food as well? There is no better expenditure of money than donating some of it to a charitable trust who feeds the hungry. There’s so much to do and so fewer doers. Change the notion and make a donation in honour of someone!

How about the end-beneficiaries?

Mid-day meal is a strategic intervention to not only benefit children’s stomach but also to lay the foundation of a brighter India. It is a great satisfaction to hear beneficiaries like Aditya and Zinkal say that they are passionate about joining Indian army and serving the nation. Given the wings to fly, these ambitious kids would paint the sky in glory as Malala Yousafzai says, “One child, one book, and one pen can change the world.”

Do you know what the biggest threat to a needy is? It is a belief that somebody else, if not me, might help him. Embrace the humanitarian core and show that you care deeply about children who are underserved. Support us to feed the children!

Opportunities for Disabled Children in India

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According to Census 2011, over 26 million people are victims of disability in India. Of them, over 2 million are children and 71% of these children are from rural areas. If you look at disability around the globe, about 1 billion people (15% of the world’s population) are suffering from one or the other kind of disability.

These numbers are likely to grow simply because disability cannot be put to a stop. There are various branches of disabilities that root to multiple reasons. In such a scenario, it becomes important for every nation to deliver the right opportunities for the disabled section. A few years ago, United Nations produced a report on out-of-school children that said ‘34% of disabled children are out of school.’ Reason: lack of services made available for them.

Understanding Disability 

Disability, by no means, underestimates a person’s participation in a particular field. It is a condition that affects the person’s functionality. However, this can be solved by reworking on the environment. The gap between non-disabled people and the disabled must be bridged with support and care. For example, ensuring schools are fitted with wheel chairs and platforms for disabled are an advantage. There are many more aspects too such as – sign interpreters, audio aids, healthcare facilities, etc. Additionally, creating a framework to ensure the disabled are treated with equality helps us build a better nation.

The basic understanding of disability has changed over the years and there are less reports of discrimination; thanks to all the movements and opportunities through which people with disability could voice their opinions and demand for rights. International Day of People with Disability is marked on December 3rd to raise awareness and to create opportunities for disabled. Akshaya Patra, an NGO in India, feeds millions of children on every school day and many children we cater to are disabled (only the degree differs).

Akshaya Patra’s Role for the Disabled

Many children in government schools in India live with a disability. Akshaya Patra, an NGO that feeds underserved children with mid-day meals seeks to ensure children get equal opportunities so that they flourish with education. You can read the stories of Akshaya Patra beneficiaries (who are disabled) here.

The Foundation promises to build a sustainable programme to encourage children to attend school. One meal a day is not just to curb the hunger but to also ensure they receive their daily dose of nutrition. Mid-day meal benefits over 1.6 million children with freshly-cooked meals and this can be continued only with your support. On World Disabled Day, choose to make a donation in honor of someone. Let us ensure that 34% of disabled children who are out of school are inside the classroom.