How is this NGO in Uttar Pradesh reducing school dropout rate

Akshaya Patra, an NGO in Uttar Pradesh, has been serving mid-day meals to children from its two kitchens in Lucknow and Vrindavan. The experience has been such that the schools which are benefiting from the initiative are experiencing better attendance than before. Apart from Uttar Pradesh, similar results have been observed in other states where the NGO runs its Mid-day Meal Programme.

Gift-for-children

This NGO in Uttar Pradesh is currently serving meals to 2,11,680 children alone. This charity for children is now changing the way parents there look at education.

One of the most thickly populated states in India, Uttar Pradesh, houses several children who drop out of schools, either due to parental pressure or because of the need to earn their own meals. The only way to retain these children in school is by serving mid-day meals on a daily basis. The charity for children – Akshaya Patra – aims at opening 11 new kitchens in the state in districts of Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Allahbad, Kanpur, Etawah, Kannauj, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Rampur and Ballia. As a result, this charity would serve 1.3 million children as part of its mid-day meal programme in Uttar Pradesh.

The kitchens run by this NGO are state-of-the-art when it comes to the quality and volume of cooking happening on a daily basis. Hygiene and nutrition are the two most important criteria of cooking here apart from timely delivery of meals.

You can help this charity for children continue serving meals to children with your contributions.

A sneak-peek into Akshaya Patra’s mega kitchens that feed millions of children

Akshaya Patra Kitchens

Imagine 100,000 meals being cooked in a single kitchen under strict norms of hygiene and quality control. Akshaya Patra’s state-of-the-art centralised kitchens process these meals on a daily basis. Due to their standards of hygiene and technology, they have been featured in National Geographic Channel’s India’s Mega Kitchens as well.

The kitchens follow the six sigma methodology with a pre-scheduled menu and equipment that’s relevant to the specific region. For instance, North Indian kitchens have rice and dal cauldrons with roti making machines while South Indian kitchens have rice and sambar cauldrons.

Ensuring quality every day

The NGO’s kitchens ensure quality all through its centers in India right from the procurement of the raw material. The quality inspection, storage and preservation of raw materials follow the standards set by Food Safety Standards Act 2006 (FSSA); the rice is supplied by the Food Corporation of India (FCI); all the kitchens follow First in First Out and First Expiry First Out methods while using the raw materials for cooking.

All the vessels used during cooking are of stainless steel 304 food grade material. Well-trained cooks and supervisors ensure quality control during the cooking for these kitchens run by the top NGO that’s on a mission to feed the children.

Here are few photographs that give you a glimpse of our kitchens:

Big couldrons

Big Couldrons

Centralised Kitchens

Centralised Kitchens

Chopped Vegetables

Chopped Vegetables

Roti Cutting Machine

Roti Cutting Machine

The NGO also conducts training programmes for the cooking staff in various parts of India to make them aware and conscious that since they are feeding nutritious meals to the children, they need to be strict about personal hygiene. Akshaya Patra’s newest kitchen opened recently in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. The kitchen has the capacity to cook mid-day meals for 50,000 children. About 28,000 children from 57 government schools In Bhavnagar will be benefitted by Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meals in the area. Now Akshaya Patra, as one of top NGOs in India, has 28 centralised kitchens and two de-centralised kitchens across India. The Akshaya Patra Foundation operates in 29 locations across 12 States in India feeding over 1.6 million children.

Revisiting 2016: Akshaya Patra’s Achievements and Future Plans

foodforeducation

Two billion meals and counting. One of the greatest achievements of Akshaya Patra during 2016 was undoubtedly the feeling of reaching this number that got us all thrilled and excited. We became conscious that 2016 was just one of the several years that has contributed towards reaching out to millions of children through Food for Education initiative. It was a result of year-to-year and day-to-day hard work of several people. The Akshaya Patra Foundation celebrated the serving of 2 billion meals, in the presence of Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Honourable 13th President of India in August 2016.

Methodical approach to reaching out children

As we surged ahead to achieve our targets in 2016, we kept our eyes on a very methodical approach to achieving goals. Akshaya Patra didn’t start off as simply a children’s charity. We knew the depth of the problem of hunger among children and so we started from the root.

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KIGA 2016

On October 15, 2016, The Akshaya Patra Foundation was awarded the prestigious Kalam Innovation in Governance Award 2016 (KIGA 2016). The award was presented during the 1st Edition of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Summit on ‘Innovation in Governance’ held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Though our children’s charity bagged several awards such as AVA Digital Award, Six Sigma Award, Nikkei Asia Award, this specific award on governance inspired us the most to reach out more and more children and set loftier goals.

More centralised kitchens in 2017

akshaya_patra_kitchen_karnataka

Centralised Kitchen

The largest Akshaya Patra kitchen can cook nearly 100,000 meals every morning. Currently 25 centralised (automated) kitchens and 2 decentralised kitchens are established across India. This has been made possible due to several charity donations through which people have sponsored kitchen equipment to expand our reach. A similar initiative was taken in December 2016 when Akshaya Patra and the Infosys Foundation laid the first foundation stone of Telangana’s first high-tech, Centralised Mega Kitchen in Khandi. The Infosys Foundation had given away Rs 18.03 crores, generously as charity donation committing to cover the entire construction cost of this kitchen, which will use highly advanced technology. Over 1,00,000 children in Telangana will be fed nutritious mid-day meals prepared in this kitchen, beginning the next academic year.

khandi

Partnership with Infosys Foundation

And now Akshaya Patra is all set to feed its nutritious mid-day meals to a greater number of beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh (U.P). The Foundation will launch 11 new kitchens in the state. The groundbreaking ceremony for the same was performed by Honourable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Akhilesh Yadav on December 26, 2016 at Lok Bhavan, New Secretariat, Lucknow. These new kitchens will be established in the districts of Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, Etawah, Kannauj, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Rampur and Ballia.

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Groundbreaking ceremoney

In U.P, Akshaya Patra currently feeds 1,05,000 children and 66,000 children from its Vrindavan and Lucknow kitchens respectively, totalling to 1,71,000 children across 3021 schools. The introduction of the 11 new kitchens will take its nutritious meals to a total of 13 lakh or 1.3 million beneficiaries every day in the state, making this the Foundation’s largest intervention in India. Thus, every kitchen will feed over 1 lakh children from the next academic year.

All these initiatives have been happening with the help of several volunteers, Akshaya Patra staff, the Government of India and hundreds of donors. Like every year, Akshaya Patra has published audit reports keeping the finances transparent. Our charity donations are as per the rules of tax exemption in India and we keep our donors in the loop as to how their money is spent. You can join hands with us as we strive for another fruitful year of our quest for curbing hunger among children.

Akshaya Patra applies technology to run the mid-day meal programme

There are several advancements in technology that has indeed made our lives easy but how much of these development can benefit society from a three sixty degree view. Technology has indeed made impactful interventions but are we able to harness enough to benefit all?

Talking about mid-day meal we can have a distinct view on its applications and benefits. The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is one of the largest free school lunch programme initiated by the Government of India. It is to ensure that children receive nutritious meals and can concentrate on studies rather than on earning a square meal. It is to tackle classroom hunger and promote education. In order to implement this, there are kitchens across the country to run the programme. As these kitchens have to cater to thousands and millions of children every day, they are categorised as centralised kitchens and decentralised kitchens. Centralised kitchens are mechanised kitchens equipped for mass production of mid-day meal and they also act as nodal kitchen for a set of schools in a particular region. This model of kitchens is viable and largely seen in urban areas.

Akshaya Patra Centralized Kitchen

Signs of technological intervention are a sure sight in all the kitchens of The Akshaya Patra Foundation. A walk into any kitchen unit of the Foundation will give a well maintained factory-like feel. A closer look will reveal that it is a kitchen that bustles up every morning to prepare thousands and millions of meal. Right from huge rice cauldrons beginning with 500 litres cooking capacity and dal cauldrons with capacity of 1,200 litres to 3,000 litres of dal, there are mechanised roti making machines that can roll out 200,000 rotis from 6,000 kilograms of wheat flour. Not just for cooking, Akshaya Patra also utilises technology in storage and delivery process. There are cold storages in each kitchen to store ready-to-cook cut vegetables to retain freshness. For delivering the cooked food, the NGO makes use of custom-made insulated vehicles to control temperature loss so that freshness of the cooked meal remains intact till it is served to the children. In order to ensure safety and on-time delivery, methods like logistic charting for route optimization and GPRS are adopted and implemented in the kitchens.

Akshaya Patra Mega Kitchen

There many more applications of technology that have helped in continuous increase of productivity, enhanced quality and improved service. These interventions have also potentially affected sustainability of each kitchen allowing the Foundation to increase its beneficiary base. Yet, Akshaya Patra continues to explore newer avenues to further advance its capacity of feeding millions of children and move forward in eradicating classroom hunger.


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Akshaya Patra – Facilitating the reach of nutrition

There has been no looking back for The Akshaya Patra Foundation since 2000, the year it began its journey in the service of children by providing mid-day meal. Akshaya Patra started the meal programme by feeding jut 1,500 children in five schools of Bangalore. During the course of time it realised that need to extend this programme to many more locations too so that children across the country can get benefitted through this programme. Working with the Government of India and employing the Public-Private Partnership model of functioning Akshaya Patra gradually started spreading its wings beyond its first location Bangalore.

Donate-Differently-to-help-the-cause

Akshaya Patra began introducing its kitchen in other parts of Karnataka. Slowly, with the invitation of other State Governments and philanthropic mission of various corporates and organisations the Foundation elaborated its expansion map to other states of India. The overwhelming support from the Government of India along with steady support from donors allowed Akshaya Patra to move on a continuous growth path. A recent and significant development came by as Akshaya Patra signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra Government and the Tata Trust to assist in the project of setting up of a centralised kitchen in Maharashtra. This project aims at providing wholesome meal at Ashram-shalas. The pilot projects are set to launch in two locations of Maharashtra – Mundhegaon in Nashik and Kambalgaon in Palghar on 1st August and 15th August respectively.

Akshaya Patra Centralised Kitchen

Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis said that the centralised kitchen will help in providing wholesome food at Ashram-Shalas that are run by Tribal Development Department and NGOs. Going forward the project will be launched in a large scale from December 15 covering the entire state of Maharashtra and especially areas where there is prevalence of malnutrition. Ratan Tata, Tata Chairman Emeritus was also present at the occasion.

Akshaya Patra works with the Government and the private sector in ensuring that every child receives their share of a nutritious meal every day.


The Akshaya Patra Foundation, NGO in India has implemented the mid-day meal scheme to feed the future of India. The organization is feeding the government school children of 24 locations across 10 states in India.

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Akshaya Patra Kitchen Story

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in India implementing the mid-day meal programme across the country. The Foundation began its service way back in 2000. Since then there has been no looking back. Beginning with feeding 1,500 children in five Government schools of Bangalore city of Karnataka state, the Foundation has strategically increased is beneficiary base while also expanding to different locations. From having kitchen at just one location, Akshaya Patra gradually moved on to having kitchens at 23 more locations. Today Akshaya Patra is operational in 24 locations across 10 states.

Mid day Meal

Initially Akshaya Patra had only Centralised Kitchen units but gradually the need was felt to feed in the remote areas too. This made way to the adoption of Decentralised Kitchen format. As the name suggests, The Centralised Kitchen format of Akshaya Patra is a mechanised unit that can cook up to one lakh meals per day. Centralised kitchen units are meant to for large scale feeding and thus serve as node kitchen for a group of Government schools in and around the kitchen location. The centralised format of Akshaya Patra kitchen is mostly followed in urban and semi-urban locations. The terrain, accessibility and construction challenges that prevail in remote locations make the decentralised format suitable for such areas. The decentralised kitchens are run by Women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) under the guidance and supervision of Akshaya Patra’s kitchen process and operations module.

Akshaya Patra Kitchen

The similarity that runs through each kitchen while preparing meal for millions of children each is the strict and mandatory process of maintaining hygiene, cleanliness and nutrition. How the Akshaya Patra kitchens achieve this day in and day out? The answer is – compulsory adherence to Food Safety Management System in handling, preparing and delivering food to prevent food borne illness. At present 10 of the total kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 Certified and the remaining are on the quest towards achieving the same.

The state-of-the-art kitchen of Akshaya Patra has received prime time slot broadcast – ‘Shiksha Ka Mahabhog’ in the popular series Mega Kitchen of National Geographic Channel. A click at Akshaya Patra Kitchens will provide you a detailed draft about the functioning of the kitchens in feeding over 1.4 million children across India.

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The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India works to eliminate classroom hunger through its mid-day meal programme Akshaya Patra reaches out to over 1.4 million children a day.

Akshaya Patra kitchen begins operation in Nepal

Akshaya Patra Kitchen in Nepal

The joint initiative of Jamsetji Tata Trust and Sipradian Sahayata Sanstha and The Akshaya Patra Foundation to set up a relief kitchen in Nepal began its operations on 19 June 2015. The first meal was served to 1,100 people of Bode location where people from worst affected areas have been provided makeshift accommodation. The kitchen provided fresh servings of rice, dal (lentils) and potato sabji(vegetable dish). Beginning with this Akshaya Patra will continue to provide freshly cooked food to the earthquake victims till stability is achieved in the Himalayan country.

The kitchen has been set up in a pre-engineered building with 2,500 square feet. 33 members of Akshaya Patra set up the entire facility in a record time of five days. This Akshaya Patra kitchen is equipped with four cauldrons- three with 600-litre capacity to cook rice and one with 1,200 litres capacity to cook dal. Other machines for the purpose of cutting vegetables and grinding are also a part of this Akshaya Patra relief kitchen. Strict adherence to hygiene and cleanliness has been employed in the kitchen. The kitchen is strategically located in Suryabinayak Chowk, Bhaktapur. Currently, this kitchen is serving food to 11 locations in and around Bhaktapur region namely Bhelukhel, Maheswari, Jella, Garun Kund, Kamal Binayak, Thulo Bayasee, Bayasee, Bode, Thali, Gokarneswar and Bhugmati.

Food for Nepal People

Akshaya Patra Chairman, Madhu Pandit Dasa thanked the Government of Nepal, Jamsetji Tata Trust and Sipradian Sahayata Sanstha for their continued support in setting up the kitchen facility to provide relief aid in the form of clean and hygienic food  to the affected population of Nepal.

Know more about Akshaya Patra Kitchen Facility at Nepal at: http://www.akshayapatra.org/news


The Akshaya Patra Foundation, NGO in India has implemented the mid-day meal scheme to feed the future of India. The organization is feeding the government school children of 24 locations across 10 states in India.

Follow us: @AkshayaPatra on Twitter | TheAkshayapatraFoundation on Facebook |

@AkshayaPatraFoundation on Rediff |  https://www.youtube.com/user/akshayapatra

Union Minister visits Akshaya Patra Rourkela

Union Minister visits Akshaya Patra Rourkela

The Rourkela kitchen in Odisha had a special guest recently. Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Steel, Mines, Labour and Employment accompanied by other dignitaries visited the Akshaya Patra kitchen on 2nd February 2015. They were welcomed by Pancharatna Dasa, the Vice President of Akshaya Patra – Odisha, and then taken on a tour of the kitchen.

After completing the tour where the entire Akshaya Patra operations process was explained, Mr Tomar gave a written testimonial of the work the Foundation is doing through the mid-day meal programme. He wrote, “The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an honourable project… 57,000 school children are getting benefitted out of this program which is supported by Rourkela Steel Plant. Best wishes.”

The dignitaries accompanying Mr Tomar included the Chairman of SAIL, C S Verma; Director (Technical) of SAIL, K K Mohanty; Director (Projects), T Suresh; CEO of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), G S Prasad; and General Manager (I/C), P&A, RSP, P K Pradhan.

The Rourkela kitchen was constructed due to the donation of The Steel Authority of India (SAIL) Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) who donated over Rs. 8 crore to Akshaya Patra as part of their CSR programme. The Rourkela kitchen today reaches out to Akshaya Patra beneficiaries across over 400 schools in the region.

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Akshaya Patra inaugurates 200,000 meal capacity kitchen in Ahmedabad!

 

Akshaya Patra Inaugurates 20000o meal capacity kitchen in Ahmedabad

Continuing its trend of constant innovation and improvement, The Akshaya Patra Foundation inaugurated its Ahmedabad kitchen in Gujarat on 03 August, 2014.

Replacing the kitchen in Gandhinagar, this kitchen is spread over two acres of land, and is one of the largest kitchens in India. The inauguration was attended by the Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel, as well as Vasuben Trivedi, MOS – Women and Child Development, Government of Gujarat.

This kitchen is equipped to produce up to 200,000 meals in five hours, and feeds 121,508 children across 666 schools in the districts of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. The kitchen following the centralised model utilises modern machinery ensuring excellent efficiency and large scale cooking.

The Ahmedabad kitchen which is ISO 22000:2005 certified, includes a full-scale bakery that can produce wheat items, has been constructed over three floors and uses the gravity flow system while cooking the mid-day meals.

This kitchen is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and cooking vessels to ensure tasty, safe and sufficient food to the children benefitting from the Akshaya Patra mid-day meal programme. The kitchen is fitted with Steam Generating Boilers with a capacity of 2000 kgs, a roti making machine, 7 stage rice cleaning machine, as well as rice and dal silos.

This kitchen has been constructed through the donation of some esteemed well-wishers. Chimanlal Agrawal & family, and Nandlal Agrawal & family donated the land for the project, while the Hans Foundation donated towards the capital expenditure, kitchen equipment and vehicles, and the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) co-sponsored the undertaking by donating kitchen equipment.

Speaking of her support towards The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Anandiben Patel said, “I strongly believe the mid-day meal from The Akshaya Patra Foundation will fulfill the goal of making Gujarat free of malnutrition. I hope the healthy and nutritious food provided to children from Akshaya Patra will build healthy minds and body. The Gujarat government is eager to support Akshaya Patra’s activities to build a strong society and a strong nation. I wish success to all the people working in the new centralised kitchen of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.”

This kitchen marks another milestone in Akshaya Patra’s mission to feed 5 million children by 2020.

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