The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is an initiative of the Government of India to provide nutritious school lunch to children of government schools and government-aided schools across the country. Over the years, this Scheme has proved itself to be a supporting pillar in the success of education-related initiatives too.
Studies show that mid-day meal has had a positive impact in increasing enrolment, attendance, and performance of children. It has also played a major role in reducing drop-out rate among children. To amplify this impact, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO has been sustainably expanding its operations and strategically increasing its beneficiary base so that more and more children can be benefitted. It began providing mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh by establishing a centralised kitchen in Vrindavan in August 2004.
Akshaya Patra has two centralised kitchens in the state – Lucknow and Vrindavan. On each school day, it provides freshly cooked, locally palatable, nutritious meals to more than 2-lakh children in Uttar Pradesh. The below table shows the location-wise reach of Akshaya Patra in Uttar Pradesh:
Akshaya Patra meticulously designs its meal menu to suit the local taste while keeping the recommended nutrition levels intact so that children readily consume the meal and gets nourished appropriately. So, as an NGO in Lucknow and Vrindavan, Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal menu consists of items such as plain rice, black chana pulao, vegetable pulao, roti, mixed dal, bottle gourd chana dal, palak dal, mix vegetable curry with soya chunk, aloo matar, aloo desi chana sabji, aloo rajma, raitha, and kheer.
Impact of the meal
Archana, a Standard VI student of Salempur-Pataura Primary School in Kakori, Lucknow, has become an inspiration for many at a very early age. An ardent athlete, her tryst with track-and-field began when she was in Standard III. Her Physical Education teacher has supported her and motivated her to keep improving in her talent.
Over the past years, Archana has won many medals and trophies in various field events, and the most celebrated among them are her gold medals in long jump, 100m, 200m, and 400m sprint. She says fitness and health is primary when she is training and practicing and hence she eagerly waits for Akshaya Patra meals because this meal provides her with the required nutrition. She looks up to P.T. Usha as her idol and the children of her school, her village, and neighbouring villages looks up to her as their idol. Archana aspires to serve the nation by joining the Police Force. And, believes that her sports background will be an added advantage in attaining her goal.
Archana is just one among the 2-lakh beneficiaries of the NGO in Lucknow who is gradually stepping towards her dream for the simple reason that she has got the opportunity to attend school and is receiving healthy meals every day. Now, imagine the effect and transformation among children when each of them is supported with mid-day meals!
Support school meals and get tax benefits
Join the efforts of Akshaya Patra in providing mid-day meals to children. Your donation will have a dual benefit – first, it will support education of children by providing them with nutritious school meals; second, your contribution will be considered as tax deductible donations. So, use this opportunity to benefit children in need and get yourself exempted from tax too. Donate now!