The rise and role of an NGO in the development of a country

Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) play a crucial role in developing countries through their works in community development and contribution to achieve sustainable goals of the nations. In India, where hunger and illiteracy are two of the major challenges hindering many children’s ability to learn and grow, NGOs form Public-Private Partnership with the Central and State Governments to counter these obstacles.

Significant role of NGOs in empowering children

On 15th August 1995, the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme to eliminate classroom hunger and increase enrolment, retention, and attendance. Since then, the Mid-Day Meal Programme has been implemented nationwide to provide wholesome, nutritious meals for children studying in Government and Government-aided schools.

The implementation of the Mid-Day Meal Programme relies a lot on the role of Indian charity like The Akshaya Patra Foundation. The role of an NGO in this programme is to support the Government in the expansion of the scheme in order to reach out to more children, thereby reaching the goals of eliminating classroom hunger and achieving equal education for all children in India.

To establish this partnership, an NGO is selected based on its transparency and “of proven integrity” by the Government. Chosen NGOs must also have a set-up kitchen, operate daily meal preparation, and sustain themselves financially. These NGOs are supported by the Government by the way of subsidies and grants to implement their programmes. This solution allows community engagement and has greatly improved the implementation of the Central Mid-Day Meal Scheme: all layers of society are involved, more than 120 million children are reached out, and the scale of the programme has expanded to over 1,265,000 schools and centres.

“No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger” – The Akshaya Patra Foundation

students and books

The Akshaya Patra Foundation started feeding children in June 2000 by feeding 1,500 children in five Government schools in Bengaluru, Karnataka with one wholesome, nutritious mid-day meal per day, every school day. In the past 18+ years, the organisation has expanded its Mid-Day Meal Programme to 1.76 million children in 15,024 Government and Government-aided schools. Up till date, Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programme that has cumulatively provided over 3 billion meals to children and is working towards its mission to feed 5 million children by 2025.

 

Advertisements

Ensure right to education for every child in India – Support ‘Back to School’

Children at school and children outside school – the two states into which India stands divided at the moment. But the good news is, this can be altered with focussed, intensive, and collective effort of government, NGOs, business community, and the civil society. Yes, when each segment of the society come together, millions of children from challenging backgrounds get a chance to attend school and continue their education by coming back to school each academic year.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world

Akshaya Patra’s effort

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO in India has been supporting education of children by providing them with freshly cooked nutritious meals on each school day. The Foundation has been able to benefit more and more children in a sustainable way and looks forward to further expand the school meal programme. Over the past 18+ years of its service, Akshaya Patra has witnessed transformational change in the lives of its beneficiaries.

CURRENT REACH OF AKSHAYA PATRA 17,62,133
children
15,024
Government schools & Government-aided schools
42

Locations

12
states

It has also contributed to the overall development of its beneficiaries by initiating various child-centric programmes such as Scholarship Programme, Talent Development Programme, and Student and School Transformation Programme. Since it is important for children to attend school regularly to reap the benefits of these programmes, Akshaya Patra conducts ‘Back to School’ campaign annually. The objective of this campaign is to ensure continuity in education of all the beneficiaries by supporting their school meals for the new academic year.

Your support matters

When you support the ‘Back to School’ campaign, you give children,

  • Access to the much-needed nutritious meals;
  • Opportunity to attend school regularly and complete their education;
  • A platform to explore, learn, and hone their talents;
  • The confidence to achieve their goals and make their lives better by being resourceful.

And, what do you get in return?

  • You get the amazing opportunity to give back to the society.
  • You get a chance to actively involve yourself in the progress of the country.
  • You become a valuable link in the chain of changemakers.
  • You become eligible to receive tax benefits under Section 80G of the Indian Income Tax Act for your donated amount.

ACT to make a difference

Malala Yousafzai precisely said, “Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.” Thus, more the number of children you bring back to school, greater is the impact. Spread the message of the need of nutrition and education in proper growth of children and steady progress of the nation. It’s time, India must stand united to bring equality in health and education of children. And, to attain this desirable state, generosity has to be combined with concerted effort. So, act now. Donate for children.

Send 1.76 million children back to school with Akshaya Patra

Each year, during the months of April and May, you will come across ‘back to school’ advertisements especially in malls and e-commerce sites. At around the same time, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a charity for children, holds a ‘back to school’ campaign too. So, what’s the difference between the two campaigns? Well, the former is a call out to parents to fulfil school needs of their own children whereas the latter is a call out to public sector, private sector, businesses and individuals to fulfil the wish of not-so-privileged children to go back to school. And, by choosing to donate for children through Akshaya Patra, you can secure a whole year of education for more than 17.6-lakh children!

School - the right place for children

 

Akshaya Patra is an 18-year old NGO supporting education of children across India by implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme. Each school day, it serves school meals to 17,62,133 children studying in more than 15,000 government schools and government-aided schools in 42 locations across 12 states. The Foundation aims at bringing each of its beneficiary back to school for a new academic year so that continuity in education can be ensured. Cognisant of the power that school meals and regular schooling can have on the development of children and future of the country, here are some supporters who have generously spread the message and contributed towards Akshaya Patra’s ‘Back to School’ campaign:

  • Eros International’s partners with Akshaya Patra for #BackToSchool campaign. Click here for more details.
  • Ram Sampath, famous Indian composer, music producer, and musician supports Akshaya Patra’s #BackToSchool campaign. Click here for more details.
  • Suzzanne Bernert, German-born Indian actress extends generous support to the #BackToSchool campaign by Akshaya Patra. Click here for more details.

This charity for children encourages more and more supporters to generously contribute to this campaign because when children come to school, they are benefitted in multiple ways:

  • Receives nutrition-rich meals daily.
  • Receives rightful education.
  • Improved health.
  • Strengthening of goals and dreams.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Aware and confident of a better future.
  • Better academic and co-curricular performance.
  • Become a part of Akshaya Patra’s holistic initiatives: talent development, scholarship, and student and school transformation programmes.
  • In all, children grow up to be healthy, educated, skilful,
    and resourceful citizens of India.

 

To conclude, there are millions of children out there, for whom there is nothing more valuable than being able to come to school. These children are determined and zealous; all they need is a little support from you and me. When we donate for children or choose to conduct an online fundraising campaign in support of these children, we take a step towards transforming their life for the better; the result of which will be explicitly visible in the near future. So, this summer, support ‘Back to School’, support children! Act now!

Infographic Support School Lunch Of Children With BackToSchool

Book a bench to bring children back to school with Akshaya Patra

Remember those whispers during classes, those notebook games, those little help when the teacher asked you a question, quiet attack on the lunch boxes… those were the good old school days with our bench mates!

Even after so many years of graduating from school, the memories are so fresh as if it happened just yesterday. We still smile and feel overwhelmed about those days. And, more often than not, bench mates were a strong motivating factor for us to go back to school the next day. But little did we know then, that for millions of children coming to school acts as a ray of hope for a better future.

In view of this, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a charity for children strives each year to bring back as many children as possible to school. The Foundation is one of the oldest mid-day meal NGOs in India with a history of 18 years in service of children. Presently, the Foundation provides freshly cooked nutritious meals to 17,62,133 children of Government school and Government-aided schools in 42 locations across 12 states in India. The beneficiaries of this NGO hail from socio-economically challenged backgrounds and for them the mid-day meal bridges the distance from their homes to school.

Book a bench to bring children back to school

Studies reveal that mid-day meal is a strong incentive for parents to choose school over labour for their children. This meal programme has also positively impacted the enrolment rate, attendance, health, and performance of children. By bringing children back to school day after day and year after year, the mid-day meal programme promotes continuous schooling. Regular schooling and nutritious meals empower children to become resourceful and independent citizens of the country in future.

With the objective to ensure continuous schooling of its beneficiaries, each year Akshaya Patra conducts the ‘Back to School’ campaign. It is an attempt by the Foundation to garner support from all sections of the society. ‘Book a bench’ through this campaign and support health and education of at least three children among millions of children. Online donations in support of this campaign will instantly ensure a year full of nutritious meals and goodness of learning for many deserving children.

Step forward and support Akshaya Patra, the charity for children that has left no stone unturned to bring more and more children under the ambit of the mid-day meal programme. ‘Book a bench’ now to witness a brighter, better, and transformed India!

All you need to know about Akshaya Patra’s Anganwadi Feeding Programme

The Anganwadi programme is an initiative of the Government of India to facilitate mother and child care across the country. Currently, there are 14-lakh approved AWCs and 7,076 ICDS Projects across the country (as per Government press release, 7 February 2014). To further the efforts of government and extend the benefits of Anganwadi programme, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO for children.

Primarily, Akshaya Patra is an implementing arm of the Government’s Mid-Day Meal Scheme. Every school day the Foundation serves freshly cooked wholesome school lunch to more than 17-lakh children in 36 locations across 12 states of the country. It strives to support education of children by providing nutritious meals to them at school. However, aside from this core programme, Akshaya Patra has also undertaken several other feeding and social initiatives, the Anganwadi feeding programme being one of them.

Here is a quick overview of the Akshaya Patra’s Anganwadi feeding programme:

  • By implementing this programme Akshaya Patra aims to provide nutritious meals to children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers of Anganwadi centres;
  • Presently, Akshaya Patra is serving nutritious meals at 4,786 Anganwadi centres in nine locations of five states – Hyderabad, Jaipur, Baran, Vadodara, Surat, Ahmedabad, Vrindavan, Narsingi, and Warangal;
  • The NGO has a beneficiary base of 1,61,410 young children and 6,410 pregnant and lactating women;
  • Akshaya Patra carries out the Anganwadi food supply by preparing meals in their centralised kitchens that deliver it to the centres in their customised meal delivery vehicles;
  • The cost incurred to provide meals to one beneficiary for one year is Rs. 675.

By providing food in Anganwadi centres this NGO is aiding one of the main services of the Anganwadi centres i.e. nutrition and health. The Foundation has witnessed tangible change among the beneficiaries and strives to expand this programme to other locations too.

However, to do so, it requires support from the entire community because only when community, government, and NGOs work together, the necessary changes can be achieved. So, support Akshaya Patra by opting to contribute online donations for NGO. Your contribution will ensure nutrition-rich diet for millions of young children and will provide the needed nourishment for expecting and lactating mothers.

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!

National Education Day: There’s a need to strengthen educational institutions

National Education Day

The National Education Day, the annual observance to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first education minister of independent India. It is the day commemorated to strengthen the educational institutions in the country and raise the quality of education.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad served from August 15, 1947 to February 2, 1958. He laid foundations of the education system after the country became independent. He was instrumental in establishing national education system wherein free and compulsory education, until the age of 14, was introduced. An institution like Indian Institutes of Technology was also brought in under his guidance in the year 1951. He introduced University Grants Commission in 1953. His contribution in the development of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and the Faculty of Technology of the Delhi University has been phenomenal. He gave importance to adult literacy.

The late South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela said: ‘‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’’ Mandela hit the nail on the head in a way that the informed individuals understand their rights and duties.

Role of NGOs is crucial in ensuring that no one is left out of the education system. The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been playing a major role in ensuring that children stay in school and hence, it today reaches over 1.6 million children across the country.

The objective of celebrating the National Education Day should be to strengthen our educational institutions and raise the quality of education. It should be an occasion to remember Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s contribution in laying the foundations of the education system in Independent India as well as to evaluate performance in this field. This would go a long way in advancing India as a knowledge economy and society.

It’s also an occasion to focus on finding means to educate the people left out of the system for various reasons. Any help extended towards achieving this, through NGOs, for instance, are considered tax deductible donations.

For strong institutions and a robust education system, we not only need the adequate infrastructure, but also need good teachers who not only teach what’s prescribed in the syllabus, but are in fact, inspiring and turn the students thinking individuals.

For achieving this, the system needs to ensure that there is the right type of training given to teachers. While Akshaya Patra ensures children attend school every day by incentivising them with food, charity donations from individuals can ensure that this can be minimised.

What charitable organisations in India are truly practising?

Phillips Brooks had said – charity must begin at home but must not stay there. There are hundreds of charitable organisations in India that are taking their work to the whole world. They are making the world notice vital causes that influence mankind. One such charity in Bangalore is the Akshaya Patra Foundation that has combined the cause of education with feeding the children.

meals-with-a-motto

It’s a charitable trust in India that’s dedicated to serving mid-day meals to school children. Its centralised kitchens are located in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and UP.

Charitable organisations such as this are practising fair ways of carrying out educational missions for children in India. The charity in Bangalore has set standards of transparency in terms of accounts, funding, online fund-raising and distribution of resources. Every charitable act conducted by organisations such as this has been influencing a whole life of a child.

These organisations are also setting great examples of accountability – a trait that’s especially needed in today’s world replete with corruption. Channelising technology and social media, these charitable trusts are involving people actively in their missions in India. Today, these organisations are tech-savvy bodies that move intelligently and keep their donors in complete knowledge of their processes and execution.

This is steadily building the confidence of people and encouraging them to donate towards charitable trusts in India. Education and children are the two factors that are crucial for a more intuitive and futuristic society. Investing in these is equivalent to investing in your own future. This apart from the satisfaction that you get to positively make a difference into the lives of children is personally gratifying. Donate for this charity today.

Give Something Back to Society by Volunteering

Volunteering gives you an opportunity to become an attentive citizen of society

Summer holidays have begun! If you have decided to educate your children or peers or even yourself on development issues this summer, you can get in touch with Akshaya Patra to learn about classroom hunger and how the organisation is tackling the issue. In addition to that, you can also volunteer at the kitchen and visit our beneficiary schools.

At Akshaya Patra, an NGO in Gujarat and 10 other states, we identified hunger to be an issue that affected children’s enrolment in schools. For instance, there are more than 3 lakh children who are benefitted by Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme in Gujarat. If not for this incentive, many children would have irregular attendance, a few would choose to opt out of school and others would have to bring food from home which becomes a challenge.

Today, we are feeding fresh meals to over 1.6 million children from government schools and government-aided schools. While the programme continues its operations in 11 states across India, many volunteers have pitched in their time and energy towards Food for Education initiative!

VolunteerMakeaDifference

Akshaya Patra offers various volunteering opportunities in two areas:

(i) Kitchens

Akshaya Patra operates 26 centralised kitchens across 11 states in India. As a volunteer, you can get involved in mid-day meal operations – peeling coconuts, sorting grains, loading and unloading of food, and so on.

(ii) Schools

We currently reach out to over 13,000 schools across the country. As a volunteer, you can serve mid-day meals, interact with children and organise activities for them. If you would like to propose a programme that will benefit the school, you can share the same with us.

By volunteering, you will help society and yourself by lifting up your spirit. If time does not allow you to take up volunteering services, you can sponsor a child’s mid-day meals for a year!

This Holi, Colour a Child’s Life | Donate for a cause

SEO-Holi_600X400_V3

Celebrated across India with great energy and abundant love, the festival of colours now knocks at your door for a new meaning. Holi 2017 is here and the celebration in India is as exciting! While we create a vibrant atmosphere with colours on this day, let us take a moment to understand how we can make the festival more meaningful.

But before that, why do we celebrate Holi?

A festival for all, Holi marks the arrival of spring with the sky donning a full moon. On this day, farmers come together to offer prayers for a good harvest. The history of Holi from is quite interesting and has great significance; a time when Hiranyakaship’s sister, Holika, protects Prahlad from two obstructions – fire and his father’s pride; depicting a fight of good over evil.

Holi gets its name from this historic event and is in reference with Holika. Even today, many follow the custom of burning Holika’s effigy (known as Holika Dahan). The importance of Holi is not just the fight but letting truth prevail. This Holi, you can pledge to give this day a new meaning – you can help us fight hunger among children.

Being an NGO in India, Akshaya Patra plays the role of children’s guardian. The Foundation provides nutritious mid-day meals to school children and by this, it also encourages children to attend school. Considered as one of the top NGOs in the country, Akshaya Patra reaches out to over 1.6 million school children in India.

How can you make a difference? By supporting a child’s education

As we talk about fighting evil, we would like to highlight the importance of erasing hunger among children. Mid-day meal benefits every child studying in government and government-aided schools while for a few, this meal is the only full meal that they consume for the day.

India is home to millions of malnourished children. To change this condition, many schemes and initiatives have been undertaken by the government and NGOs; Food for Education is one of them. By providing children mid-day meals that are freshly cooked and nutritious, Akshaya Patra aims to achieve two critical UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) – Zero Hunger and Quality Education.

Sponsor a child for year

This Holi, you could take responsibility of a child by donating Rs 950. By contributing this amount, you choose to sponsor the child’s meals for an entire year. Also, the good news is your donation, under section 80G of Income Tax Act, can get you 100% tax exemption benefit. All you have to do is choose to sponsor a child.