How mid-day meal plays an important role in Government Schools

The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is one of the most important interventions by Government of India to promote education. On 28 November 2001, the Supreme Court of India passed a mandate stating, “We direct the State Governments/Union Territories to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme by providing every child in every Government and Government assisted Primary School with a prepared mid-day meal.” Hence, under this scheme, children of government school receive free and nutritious meals on school days. It has been observed that the Mid-Day Meal Scheme has had a significant impact on the nutritional and educational status of children. During 2016-17, 9.78-crore children from 11.40-lakh schools had benefited from this scheme.

mid-day meal benefits

The government encourages the participation of NGOs by providing ample support with the intention to multiply the mid-day meal benefits i.e.:

  • avoid classroom hunger
  • increase school enrolment
  • increase school attendance
  • improve socialisation among castes
  • address malnutrition
  • empower women through employment

Since NGOs work at the grass root level and the role of NGOs is very crucial in furthering the benefits of mid-day meal, the government has set certain criterions as per NP-NSPE guidelines to select a partner NGO. Only upon fulfilment of the criterions the NGO will be considered for government partnership and also receive aid from the government in the form of grants and subsidies. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one of the main mid-day meal NGOs in India that fulfil and adheres to the NP-NSPE guidelines. The NGO had begun implementing the mid-day meal programme in June 2000. And, after the Supreme Court’s mandate, it partnered with the government to continue the programme. This partnership was a welcome progression for the Foundation in providing nutritious meals and supporting the education of children.

Undeniably, school plays an important role in the socio-economic development of society. It is a place where children from various backgrounds mingle together promoting the culture of unity and brotherhood. The education they receive at school prepare them to achieve their goals and become successful in their lives. But, children of government schools mostly come from economically challenged backgrounds. So, even though education schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan are being implemented, the difficult financial conditions force these children to choose work over school. And, this is where the real potential of mid-day meal surfaces. Mid-day meal acts as an attractive incentive for parents to send their children to school with the sole hope that the young ones will receive at least one plate full of meal for the day. Thus, by giving the assurance of food, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme brings children to school, regularises attendance, checks drop-out rate, and helps children to receive the education they rightfully deserve.

Akshaya Patra is aware of the tangible and sustainable impact of mid-day meal. Hence, taking the onus, it conducts regular impact studies of its school lunch programme, the results of which are heartening. The several impact studies suggest that there has been a marked improvement in factors related to enrolment, attendance, health, and socialisation. To multiply this impact and bring more children under the purview of its school lunch programme, Akshaya Patra seeks supporting hands. And to make it easy for donors, it offers a quick and secure online platform. Through this platform, one can donate for the mid-day meal programme instantly from anywhere and at any time, with the provision of receiving tax exemption benefits too. It will be worth a step if you donate to charity. It will provide food and education to many deserving children while making you an important link in the chain of social development and national progress.

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How Akshaya Patra is Contributing to Development of Society

NGO for children

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme for the past 17 years. The very establishment of this NGO was based on the vision, ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’, implying that food and education are vital for the proper growth of children; and healthy and educated children are a sign of a progressive society.

Akshaya Patra commenced the Mid-Day Meal Programme from Karnataka’s Bengaluru location in June 2000 by providing school lunch to 1,500 children in five government schools. Over the years, the Foundation has strategically expanded its reach across the length and breadth of the country, impacting millions of young lives.

The impact of the NGOs’ school lunch programme becomes evident in the conclusion of many studies done in association with third-party research agencies. The impact studies conducted at regular intervals indicate that the mid-day meal has significantly increased school attendance and enrolment, decreased drop-out rate, improved health, as well as enhanced socialisation among children. This has also been acceded by school teachers and headmasters of beneficiary schools across the country. Appreciating the Mid-Day Meal Programme:

ismail-malik-principal-gujarat-school

Ismail Malik, Principal, Antti Kumar Prathamik Shala, Padra Taluk, Vadodara, Gujarat said, “The mid-day meal has brought a tremendous decline in the student drop-out rate. In the primary school, the increase in attendance is nearly as high as 60% to 70%. The numerous awards that now decorate the school office are a testimony to this.”

 

g-ranganath-policy-colonyG Ranganath, Head Master, Government High School, Policy Colony, Karnataka said, “The government, by partnering with organisations like Akshaya Patra have ensured that children receive tasty and nutritious meals. The programme has been successful in reducing child labour and improving school enrolment and attendance.”

In an effort to ensure overall development for children, this Indian NGO has also taken various ‘beyond the meals’ initiatives alongside its core school lunch programme.

Akshaya Patra Initiative

This NGO in India has seen the tangible result of the Mid-Day Meal Programme and to multiply its impact and benefit more children:

mid-day meal objective

Presently, Akshaya Patra provides mid-day meals to 17,12,460 children studying in 14,173 schools in 36 locations across 12 states of India.

Akshaya Patra ReachThe Foundation aims to increase this reach to millions more. A humongous task indeed, but possible to achieve with the support of everyone! There are many ways by which you can transform young lives: sponsor a child, become an Akshaya Patra Ambassador, volunteer with the organisation, be an online mascot, be a CSR partner, celebrate special occasions with the organisation, and spread the word about the Foundation’s cause.

In conclusion, by providing a meal per day to each of the 1.7 million children, Akshaya Patra is nurturing young individuals who are cognisant of their current unfavourable situations and have all the willpower and zeal to make their future better. It is creating a sustainable change for the whole society by developing generations of abled and dependable individuals whose resolute will take the society and the nation in the path of progress and prosperity. By associating with Akshaya Patra you too can be a strong link in the chain of change-makers.

Choose to sponsor a child. Choose to support their meal. Choose to uphold determined dreams.

Akshaya Patra Beneficiary – An Engineer in the Making!

Dreaming is one thing and the quest to achieve it despite all odds is altogether a different story. As children, we must have had our special dreams of pursuing a particular profession. But, over time many of us negotiated with our dreams either due to lack of resources, unavoidable circumstances, or maybe we didn’t hold on to our dreams as much as we should have. However, that’s not how Manikanta possesses his dream! And, that’s not how The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO in Bangalore perceives each dream!

manikanta-inner-page

Manikanta is a Standard VIII student at GHPS School, Doddabettahalli, Karnataka. He aspires to be an engineer and does not let any challenges and hurdles come in the way of his aspiration. Manikanta hails from an economically challenged background. He is well aware of his family’s situation and the struggle his parents go through every day to support the family of six. Manikanta’s parents work as labourers and their earning isn’t sufficient to support his dream. Yet, this has not deterred this young boy’s zeal and determination to become an engineer.

An Akshaya Patra beneficiary, Manikanta says, “I love the pulav (a dish made of rice and vegetables) served at school. I love Akshaya Patra’s meals as it is hot and tasty.” He is one of the millions of children getting benefitted by the Foundation’s mid-day meal programme in schools. The programme ensures nutritious school lunch for over 4 million children in Karnataka and over 7 million children across India, on each school day.

The mid-day meal is a source of nutrition for children. It is a significant factor that brings children to school every day, provides them with the required nutrition, and allows them to get closer to their dreams. So that Akshaya Patra can continue providing wholesome meals to Manikanta and many children like him, it requires your support.

Change occurs only when you act! So, step up and actively contribute your time and resources towards this NGO in Bangalore. Your involvement will open avenues for millions of young children to achieve their aspirations and dreams.

Read Manikanta’s full story at Meet Manikanta: Our Would-be Engineer!

Akshaya Patra’s Highlights of 2017-18

Akshaya Patra Kitchen

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme. It is an Indian NGO implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme across 12 states in India covering more than 14,000 government schools in 36 locations. Over the past 17 years, with the vision of ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’, this charitable trust has impacted lives of over 1.7 million school going children. Strategic planning, execution, and its operational model of Public-Private Partnership have contributed to Akshaya Patra’s sustainability and expansion. It has been continuously progressing towards its mission of ‘feeding 5 million children by 2020’. Each year the NGO plans futuristically and steers its efforts to achieve it. As the journey for the new fiscal begins, here are the highlights of the past Financial Year 2017-18:

Akshaya Patra Achievements

In keeping with two of its core values – accountability and transparency, Akshaya Patra discloses its audited financial statements and operational progress of every financial year in the form of Annual Reports. The NGO Annual Report updates all its stakeholders on its overall developments and achievements along with stating the plans for the next fiscal. Each year, the Foundation’s Annual Reports have received much appreciation at the global and national platforms. During 2017-18, the report received the prestigious:

  • Golden Shield Award 2017 for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
  • PRCI Collateral Awards 2017 at the 11th Global Communication Conclave.

With respect to operations, Akshaya Patra expanded its reach to nine more locations across the country:

Akshaya Patra kitchen locations

This Indian NGO is leaving no stone unturned to maximise the impact of the Mid-Day Meal Programme. And, the progress by far affirms that the Foundation will continue to move ahead and transform lives of children to create generations of healthy and confident citizens.

Read our beneficiaries hope stories at: https://www.akshayapatra.org/stories-of-children

5 ways an Indian NGO is empowering children

Empowering children

NGOs address a wide range of social, economic, and environmental concerns. But, every NGO has its own core area of work and influence. Similarly, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an Indian mid-day meal NGO focussing on providing nutritious school lunch to government school children to counter classroom hunger and promote education. The NGO began its service way back in 2000 by serving meals to only 1,500 children in five schools of Bangalore. Over the 17 years of service, this NGO in Bangalore has progressed to become a nationwide movement to promote education and health among children through the Mid-Day Meal Programme.

By implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme in schools, Akshaya Patra wants to provide nutritious food to children, encourage uninterrupted schooling, improve health, and provide an avenue to explore aspirations so that children grow up to be confident and reliable citizens of the nation. In simple terms, Akshaya Patra is empowering children to be the future leaders of the nation.

Mid-day meal benefits

Broadly speaking, the Mid- Day Meal Programme has had a significant impact on the education sector of the country. Studies report that there has been an increase in enrolment and attendance rate, improved health has been observed among children, and there is a decrease in the drop-out rate. This programme has proved itself to be a supporting pillar in bringing and retaining children at school. Working in a Public-Private Partnership model, Akshaya Patra is extending the mid-day meal benefits to children right at the grass root level. Currently, it is providing mid-day meals to more than 1.6 million children on every school day across 34 locations in 12 states.

Observing the impact of the school meal programme, Akshaya Patra aims to feed 5 million children by 2020. Indeed a humongous task, but is achievable with a concerted effort from all of us. Hence, Akshaya Patra has provided an online platform to contribute to the cause. You can opt to donate online, start a campaign, sponsor a school or kitchen equipment, or just spread the word about Akshaya Patra’s cause. Your involvement will enable this NGO to empower more children across the country. So, be a part of nation-building by getting involved with Akshaya Patra.

Fundraise for Akshaya Patra for your special occasion

Doesn’t it feel good to celebrate your special days with much fun and fervour? Sure, it does. Now, how about including a few more guests in your celebration? These guests are young, ambitious, and for whom a plate full of sumptuous meal makes a day special! To know what struck this idea in me, just read on.

Fundraise for Akshaya Patra

Recently, I came across The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO meeting the mid-day meal requirement of children across India. While I was going through their sphere of work, reach, and impact, I came across an interesting way to get involved with the organisation and thus came upon the above-mentioned idea of making our special celebrations more meaningful. The NGO provides a platform to make a donation in honour of someone, in memory of someone, and also for all your special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and festivals. Just by contributing Rs. 2,850 from our celebration fund, we can feed three children for an entire year. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Akshaya Patra has been in the service of children for the past 17 years. Currently, the NGO feeds 1.6 million children in 13,839 schools across 12 states in India. Aside from the visible improvement in the nutritional levels of children, the mid-day meals have also resulted in better concentration among children, increase in regular attendance, and a progressive decline in school dropout rate. The NGO aims at feeding 5 million by 2020. Indeed a herculean task, but it is definitely possible if we all pull in to support this cause. The online fundraising platform of Akshaya Patra is a convenient and reliable way to contribute towards the cause. Further, this platform also gives you the opportunity to create your own online fundraising campaign.

The ambitious stories of Akshaya Patra’s beneficiaries testify the committed and sincere effort of the organisation. This charity for children is not only feeding the hungry stomachs but also feeding the hidden hopes and dreams of millions of children. So, when we make them a part of our special occasions, not only will we spread hope, but also nurture a generation of well-fed, well-read, and self-reliant citizens. Let us together contribute towards a meal-full present and a resourceful tomorrow!

Akshaya Patra’s role in children’s development

The vision statement of Akshaya Patra states: ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ In June 2000, the Akshaya Patra Foundation was founded with the objective of ensuring that no child missed schooling for want of food.

Akshayapatra Role

Over the last 17 years, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been playing a pivotal role in the emotional, social and physical development of young school-going children. In fact, these have a direct effect on their overall development while growing up into an adult. That is why it’s important to understand the need to invest in young children.

Young children are like sponges when learning. Hence, these formative years are very important. A major role is played in ensuring children get the best by many a charity for children that facilitate learning.

While the Foundation ensures adequate nutritious food, it also does some other work too that ensure the holistic development of children:

  1. It holds after-class tuitions for children to ensure even those children who may not have anyone to guide them at home too are on a par with other children.
  2. It also holds community health camps. This ensures that children, their families and the whole community get access to the best in healthcare.
  3. It conducts health check-up camps which helps provide treatments on time to the needy, especially children.
  4. The Foundation organises life-skills programmes that makes the deprived children fit enough to have a fair shot at success and can compete in this highly-competitive world, and
  5. The Foundation also has scholarship programmes for children from families that are economically challenged which allows them to afford the best of books and study materials.

Molding children

Referring to a few studies, former US President Obama had said in an address in 2013 that early childhood education had a great impact on life’s outcomes. This is a universal truth and hence even the deprived children should get adequate quality education. One can donate for education in India to ensure these children are able to go to school and are able to study like normal children.

The approach to building a strong foundation for a child’s emotional, social, physical and mental development, which will prepare them for a lifetime can be used during the schooling. Socializing with people other than one’s family in a safe environment is an essential foundational element and a school provides the right environment. This is facilitated by the mid-day meals provided by Akshaya Patra which makes children stay on in school and gain most out of the opportunity.

One can sponsor a child and ensure they are able to play a part in the whole process of a child’s development. One can do their mite by donating to education of children from deprived sections of the society. One can contribute to ensure that at a least child can get good education without having to worry about hunger while concentrating on the studies.

How Does Akshaya Patra Manage Food Production Process

Cooking for a large number of people is challenging as it requires that the chef ensures all elements are in place. In the kitchens of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, it’s an everyday operation that runs like clockwork.

Stop Hunger

The Foundation, an NGO in Bangalore, which runs the school lunch programme for children across 12 states in the country, now serves hot lunches to over 1.6 million school children every day. It supplies freshly-cooked food from 34 kitchens and is scaling up with every passing day. The food prepared here is distributed in 13,800+ schools.

Akshaya Patra’s established systems and process have been dealing with an emergent situation with ease.

Quality Assurance during procurement

The Supplier Quality Management System (SQMS) process covers subprocesses like supplier selection, supplier qualification, supplier rating, etc., to ensure the right and best raw materials are procured. One can sponsor a child to ensure a needy child is part of the system.

Storage and Handling 

Fresh vegetables are procured on a daily basis. Cold storage is used to store ready-to-cook cut vegetables to retain freshness. Rice is supplied by the Food Corporation of India.

Quality and Safety during cooking 

All kitchens of Akshaya Patra follow a standard process. This process is charted out to ensure hygiene and quality. Personal hygiene and Food Safety training are provided regularly to the kitchen staff to ensure hygiene standards are met.

Food Packing and Transportation 

The distribution staff picks the food from kitchens and delivers it at various schools around the kitchen. They travel by delivery vans fitted with a honeycomb structure to prevent food from spilling. The vehicles are also insulated to maintain the temperature of the cooked meals. The vans are also equipped with GPS, which makes it easy to monitor the van and ensure the food reaches the school on time.

The large centralized kitchens, on an average, have the capacity to cook up to 2,00,000 meals. For running such large scale operation, one can donate to charity to be part of the operations.

Spreading Smiles Through Food Every Day

The humble beginnings of The Akshaya Foundation started with it serving mid-day meals to about 1,500 children in the year 2000 to five government schools in Bengaluru. The foundation, known for its dedicated service, now aims to reach 5 million children every day by 2020.

NGO for Children

Having started with just one van transporting food from a kitchen in Bengaluru across the schools, the Foundation today serves over 1.6 million children across 13,800+ schools in 12 states across India. The food supplied is cooked in 34 centralised and decentralised kitchens operated by the Foundation. Corporates and Individuals donating for education in India have been a major support to the Foundation.

Built on a public-private partnership model, Akshaya Patra combines good management, innovative technology and smart engineering to deliver a nutritious and hygienic school lunch. It has taken one baby step at a time, and over time adopting a near corporate-style of functioning, including annual auditing by highly respected auditors. This has ensured that it is trusted by every donor. It also got the respect of many multi-national companies to support the cause of a top NGO like Akshaya Patra.

The Foundation’s kitchens are built leveraging the state of the art technology. The meals are prepared with a minimal human contact with the food and thus are extremely safe and hygienic.

Started with a vision that “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”, it has been very successful in meeting the aim to a very great extent. Despite the huge and daunting task ahead of it in a country where millions of children are born into economically-challenged families, it did not deter the Foundation.

But, to keeps its good work going, it needs continuous flow of funds. It’s only the NGOs’ role in India that ensures the needy children are reached across the country.  It has today come to be one of the largest such mid-day meal schemes in the world and it’s growing rapidly.

This NGO in Karnataka is contributing to eradicate classroom hunger

Karnataka celebrated its formation day recently. Akshaya Patra has many memories related to the state. Starting from first school to be benefitting from the meals cooked by Akshaya Patra, the non-profit organisation in Karnataka currently serves 2,968 Government and Government-aided schools in the state over 17 years of its existence in the state. It has been instrumental in bringing down the dropout rate among schoolchildren.

feed the children

Many NGOs work towards countering hunger and malnutrition. The Akshaya Patra Foundation has come to be seen as a major participant in the mid-day meals that reach thousands of children, mostly from the economically-challenged backgrounds. Given the reach and impact of the NGO, it is among the list of NGOs in Bangalore that are helping the children in many ways.

The State Governments have been partnering NGOs like the Foundation in implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme in their efforts to increase the number of children in schools.

The NGO has been using the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model as a route to improve the quality and reach of the programme. The NGOs selected in this scheme are picked based on many variables set by the State Government. Such organisations must be transparent and of proven integrity. Akshaya Patra has been feed the children a wholesome meal every day.

The Foundation today helps feed over 4.86 lakh children in 2,968 schools in Karnataka. Over 2 lakh children from Bengaluru benefit from this initiative. They are supplied freshly-cooked food from kitchens in the city. Many corporates and individuals come together and make charity donations to enable the NGO to feed school lunch to these children.

The programme has only been increasing in its scope and reach over the years and is widening its reach fast.