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.

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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.

Sponsor a child on World Day against Child Labour

The International Labour Organisation had launched the World Day against Child Labour in 2002 which is observed every year on June 12th. This year as the world pledges to protect children from child labour in conflicts and disasters, let us pledge to sponsor a child in order to secure his healthy upbringing and educational growth.

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The World Day against Child Labour 2017 focuses on the impact of conflicts and disasters on child labour. Around 200 million people are affected by disasters every year, of which a third are children. A major proportion of the 168 million children engaged in child labour live in areas affected by conflict and disaster. The challenge is to feed the children, protect them from mental and physical consequences of disasters and provide them with the basic necessities of life.

Child labour is equally rampant in India and several charitable organisations are striving hard to eliminate the evil through awareness and protection. A lot of these children are found working haphazard conditions and are dropped out of school due to financial responsibilities. A charitable organisation in India Akshaya Patra, thus, is trying to root out this problem through taking mid-day meals to schools. That way, the organisation is able to feed the children, thereby, luring them to attend schools. The parents, therefore, understand now that the whole challenge of feeding all their children is met by simply sending their children to schools. This has significantly raised the school attendance in government schools while also reducing the number of child workers around the country.

Many charitable organisations in India are encouraging individual donors to sponsor a child by donating a meager amount. Akshaya Patra also has a simple plan for sponsoring a child by contributing merely Rs 950/- that would help feed a child for a year. As a result, the child automatically gets education since he is motivated to come to school for his share of wholesome lunch.

One of the most efficient ways to eliminate child labour would be to eliminate the reason for child labour. These reasons are orphaned children, financial responsibilities on children due to a large number of family members to feed, dropping out of school due to disinterest, illiteracy and so on. These children are often desperately put on jobs and therefore must endure the haphazard conditions, low salaries and over-work. Charitable organisations like Akshaya Patra are engaging volunteers to feed the children and use mid-day meals as an incentive to attend schools. Several stories of hope tell the tale of the success of this approach since beneficiary children are learning the importance of education and are working hard. Many of these children are learning to have dreams and aspirations in life, they are inspiring others to study hard and are bringing their siblings to school.

This is surely a good way to eliminate both hunger among children and exploitation of children. As the world observes the day against child labour, you can choose to join the cause of feeding the children and thus indirectly impacting the cause of eliminating child labour.

Sponsor a child today. Donate for Akshaya Patra.

What happens when you sponsor a child?

Bhanupriya is a student of Class VII at the Government Higher Primary School in Jyothipura, Bengaluru. She is 13 years old now and wishes to be a doctor. This young girl loves to wear the doctor’s coat and do a mock examination of patients with the stethoscope and listen to their heart’s beats. When she grows up, she wishes to treat poor patients free of cost. This is what happens when donors sponsor a child. It is more than just a charity donation.

bhanupriya - Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Bhanupriya, who is a beneficiary of children’s charity Akshaya Patra in Bengaluru, is not alone. Like her, there are millions of children who are now motivated to attend schools regularly since they get a wholesome lunch free of cost at the premises. So families that may not be able to afford to feed their children with wholesome meals three times a day, have to simply send their children to schools. In school, there is an assurance of receiving freshly-cooked lunch!

Sponsoring a child thus has now become more than just a charity; it’s now taken the shape of a revolution for incentivising children to attend schools. The children, on the other hand, have learnt to value education like never before. They have clear goals. A lot of beneficiaries of this children’s charity in Bengaluru make their career plans when they enter their teen years.

Teachers and staff often testify about several children who have inspired their classmates about the importance of pursuing goals in life. Every school year thus brings the excitement of not only getting nutritious meals every day but also as a lucrative prospect for making and realising life’s goals for the children.

As a donor, here’s the volume of difference that a small amount towards sponsoring a child can make. All you need to do is choose to donate today.

Get Insights on How to Make a Difference by Donating

Have you experienced the feeling of making a difference? It’s fulfilling. Many Akshaya Patra donors have helped Mid-Day Meal Programme in reaching out to millions of school children every day. Whether it’s a small or big amount, we are sure that the amount has made a big impact. Donating not only creates a positive environment for children’s future, but also ensures your good health by leaving you joyous. Incredibly!

How to make a difference by donating?

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If you have not tried donating earlier, you might be a bit skeptical about donating for a cause. What we would like to say is try something small. For example, a simple thing you can do is gift a stationery kit or an exam kit to a child who comes from an economically weak background. Here are two ways you can make a difference by donating towards children’s growth.

Sponsor a child

There are millions of Akshaya Patra beneficiaries whose responsibility could be in your hands. Out of millions of children we reach out to, you could take responsibility of one by donating Rs 950. This amount ensures the child receives mid-day meals for an entire year! Also, the good news is your donation, under section 80G of Income Tax, can get you 100% income tax exemption benefit. All you have to do is choose to sponsor a child.

Pay someone’s fees

Many children drop out of school and colleges due to the burden of fees. While the Indian Government has taken a great initiative to provide free education for children between 6 to 14 years, many children, once they move out of high school, their expenditure blocks them from studying further. You can take the responsibility to identify the person and pay his or her fees for the year! This will fulfill their dreams to learn!

What does Akshaya Patra do?

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and many other states, feeding over 1.6 million school children every day. The organisation takes pride in having encouraged millions of children, through mid-day meals, to enroll in schools and be a part of education system. What makes this organisation the world’s largest NGO-run feeding programme is noteworthy; the organisation began its humble service in the year 2000 with immense support from government, corporates, donors and many volunteers who have contributed to the cause and also donated to charity, the organisation has grown in leaps and bounds.

You can support Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme by donating for this cause while you also have the option to fundraise on our website.

Three Important Reasons Why You Should Give Back

The word ‘Give’ in the context of ‘Giving Back’ has a very interesting meaning to it. According to Etymonline, “The Middle English noun yeve (Give), meant “that which is given or offered; a contribution of money,” often as tribute, or in expectation of something in return.”

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‘Giving back’ usually supersedes with the word society. Ever since, people realized that humanity could make a great difference, the race has been helping communities by empowering them. Similarly, Akshaya Patra has been feeding the children in India to ensure they do not experience classroom hunger.

If you have been thinking of giving back to society, now is the time! We collated three important benefits of giving back and here they are:

You will help someone grow

As an individual, you may want to give back to society by paying someone’s school fees. Many families who come from difficult background are burdened by their children’s schools fees and unable to pay, they choose to send them on work. This could be your chance to give back.

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Giving back will not only help the child be a part of school system, but will also help you grow as a person. To understand the issues deeply and to step up to correct them is our responsibility and by giving back, you will have contributed to the growth of an individual, their family, and their community.

You will build stronger communities

Among many activities, Akshaya Patra regularly organises Health Awareness Programmes for school children with the help of corporates; these programmes include discussions and hygiene kit distribution.

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Kit Distribution

When we as a community go out to help another, it transforms and structures their living standards and also contributes to their health. This includes helping a community with a nursing home, a school, awareness programmes and basic infrastructure. For Akshaya Patra, a children’s charity, registered under section 80G of Income Tax Act, providing a mid-day meal is one way to empower a network a students.

And finally, you will spread happiness!

This is probably the most important reason for the giver and the receiver; happiness. The experience of giving back to society keeps you content! The inner joy of having transformed a life, without expecting returns, is a feeling that words cannot describe.

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Shoe Distribution

To experience this joy, go out and do your noble act that you’ve always wanted to do. Try visiting a school, buying stationery for a child or maybe even a pair of school shoes. The simple things in life tend to leave a curve on your face. Happiness is contagious and so is an act of giving back.

As you call it a day, think of reasons why you should give back to society and when you do, Akshaya Patra’s children will be waiting for your help.

Sponsor a child today!

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!

Eliminating Hunger is a Crucial Step for India

The Global Hunger Index (a tool designed to measure global hunger) released by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) shows that India ranks 97 out of 118 countries – ‘Serious’ hunger. As many as 43 countries are under the ‘Serious’ category whereas 45 countries are low. For India to tackle the hunger problem by feeding the hungry, the current policies have schemes have to be more stringent and accessible to people in need.

While the government and many NGOs are working towards feeding the children with wholesome meals, there is a need for us to act together as a society. Given the number of children who require food in our country, Akshaya Patra, a children’s NGO based out of Bengaluru, is providing healthy meals to over 1.6 million school children in 11 states in India. The Foundation is also focusing on reaching out to 5 million children by 2020.

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Why should we focus on children’s food demands?

Children are the future. Considering the magnitude of hunger problem in India, many NGOs are setting up initiatives to eliminate hunger especially among children – they are stunted, poorly nourished and do not receive one square meal a day. Going by the GHI score, 38.7% of children below five years are stunted – it means that the weight is not appropriate for their height (they are too thin). In 1992, this score was 61.9. That’s a difference of 23.2% in the last 24 years.

With an initiative like ‘Food for Education,’ by Akshaya Patra, the advantages are doubled to make hunger a history – the child is educated and also, he or she is completely nourished with nutritious meals.

Inclusive development and addressing issues using this method is more important for India. That is, simultaneously focus on development of education, citizens’ rights, health care, housing facilities, job opportunities and so on. However, when one issue is looked down as least important, it multiples and becomes far more challenging.

Here’s what you can do to eliminate hunger in India

It has been proved over and again that India has sufficient resources to eliminate hunger. However, the existing challenges are a drawback. Distribution of food among families with low-income, building infrastructure to reach certain towns and villages, educating the farmers, ensuring fair-trade are some of the challenges.

Akshaya Patra’s school lunch programme benefits children from many small towns and villages to consume a square meal on every school day. Today, the organisation reaches out to 13,210 schools to feed the children. Keeping hygiene and quality in mind, mid-day meals are freshly prepared and are delivered to schools during lunch time.

You can get involved in this cause too! Contribute to the cause by sponsoring a child’s mid-day meals for an entire year. Also, you can learn how Akshaya Patra operates its Mid-Day Meal Programme by visiting our blog.

Giving for Charity Changes Everything! Read the Story

Ask us what’s the most meaningful aspect of our work and we would be happy to shout out our answer – feeding India’s school children nutritious and healthy meals every day.

In the state that promotes itself as ‘One State, Many Worlds’ to the globe, The Akshaya Patra Foundation was born with a mission to curb classroom hunger. Karnataka is not only rich in history but is also home to over 64 million people. While this number can boast of manpower and productivity, we also ought to focus on crafting a healthy future for children in Karnataka.

In an effort to make this state a better place for school children, Akshaya Patra, a charitable trust in Bangalore has implemented its Mid-Day Meal Programme across the country to feed the hungry and provide freshly-cooked meals to over 4 lakh students in Karnataka.

Everyone has a beautiful story

Recently, one of our representatives from Akshaya Patra visited a beneficiary school in Jyothipura, Bengaluru and came back with an enthusiastic story of a girl studying in Standard VIII.

Support Kirti

Meet Kirti. She is simple, innocent and full of life. Inspired by dance shows on television, Kirti has built a dream for herself – to become a professional dancer. In fact, to mould her dancing skills, she travels to Hoskote located 15 km away from her residence only to learn the art from her master. While this is not a common dream for a girl whose family depends on daily wages, Kirti receives complete support from her father, who is a construction worker in Bengaluru.

Good music is a requisite for great dance. When we spoke to her about her interests, she said, “I love songs with peppy tunes and would love to participate in competitions.” Although dancing defines her, Kirti does not compromise on studies. She is a lover of math and enjoys solving puzzles and math problems. According to her, problem-solving gives her the skills to tackle everyday concerns.

Is there anything else that motivates Kirti to attend school? Mid-day meals have encouraged many families to send their children to schools because they are assured of one wholesome meal. Kirti loves Akshaya Patra’s food as it helps her concentrate on studies and also gives her strength to dance. Her story shines bright.

How impactful is Mid-Day Meal Programme?

According to a report in Times of India, Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme in Karnataka has witnessed an increase of school enrolment in the last two years – growth of over 6,000 children in 2015-16 as compared to 2013-14 and provides meals to 678 schools as compared to 568 in 2013-14.  Above all, the Foundation focuses on empowering children through education by eliminating classroom hunger.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/Karnatakas-dropout-rate-dips-as-midday-meals-lure-kids/articleshow/51690096.cms

Although Akshaya Patra receives significant support from the government to address hunger among children in India, it is collective support from donors that has stabilized its service.

To make this initiative more effective, you can sponsor a child’s mid-day meals for a year by contributing only Rs 750.

Giving – A Hallmark of the Extraordinary

In these times of fast cars and faster jobs, a sense of forlornly meandering through a mindless existence often sets in. Leisure, pleasure and privilege often find themselves helpless against this undercurrent. One thing, done in however small a quantity, that always warms the spirit and lifts it, is the act of giving. Those who feed the hungry or donate to charity, offering financial aid or time and resources, will vouch for the exhilaration they feel upon making worthy contributions. Giving undoubtedly makes one an extraordinary individual – in their own eyes as well as in the eyes of others.

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One might scoff at the surety with which the statement has been articulated, but there are numerous reasons why it stands true. Firstly, one’s self-image is of paramount importance. Ironic though it is, giving enhances one’s self-worth because the act puts others before oneself. In a world that believes that individuals are wired to be selfish, doing something truly selfless makes one remarkable indeed. Secondly, with the suffering, wealth disparity and wars that are a common fixture, the smallest measure, be it charity fundraising or sponsoring the education of an underprivileged child, matters in making the world a kinder place.

Charity is also a mutually beneficial relationship for all those involved in the exchange. It helps one connect with individuals who are in a vastly different place in life as compared to themselves. This gives one the power that is rare indeed – one to empathise with one’s fellow beings, rather than just sympathise with them. Empathy – the ability to truly understand the other person by putting oneself in his/her shoes – is a hallmark of a mind that has grown and evolved. It allows one to be humane, instead of just human.

In the age of materialism, giving also helps one manage its stresses and uncertainties by nudging one towards the spiritual. Spiritual wellbeing is as important as material success. Giving, which helps one look beyond oneself to the oneness of the universe, is a spiritual activity that helps individuals love and be at peace with themselves. The greatest minds in the world have all extolled the benefits of charity, and now, scientific research backs these ideas, which go back thousands of years. Giving, in its essence, is a way towards self-realisation.

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Help nourish a schoolchild’s dream of uninterrupted education by supporting Food for Education. Donate to Akshaya Patra for mid-day meal programme now!

5 Reasons You Should Donate to Akshaya Patra

Donating to charity today has become more hassle-free than before. You can opt to donate online and avail the benefits of tax deductible donations. A little effort can make a huge difference in the life of a child. At Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal programme in schools, each drop counts.

If the money we donate helps one child or can ease the pain of one parent, those funds are well spent. American restaurateur Late Carl Karcher’s contemporary quote on donating to charity stands relevant today. India struggles to remove hunger while battling with illiteracy. So every contribution counts. A tiny gesture of donation may feed a child during a mid-day meal programme in a remote school or a few hours of volunteering may brighten up someone’s day.

Akshaya Patra Foundation is able to make a huge difference in the lives of 1.5 million children simply because people like you choose to contribute.

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Here’s why you should donate:

  1. You are bringing food and literacy

By donating to Akshaya Patra, you make a two-fold contribution. Akshaya Patra strives to address issues of hunger and illiteracy. Your contribution will incentivize food, bringing many children to school. You become part of our ambition of feeding 5 million children by 2020.

  1. You know where your money is going

When you choose Akshaya Patra, you become part of a completely transparent system of donation. We comply by International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Transparency Indian Accounting Standards issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and publish our annual report with financial audits. On an average, 84% of the total cost is used towards meeting the programme cost and 10% towards the programme management cost. 6% of the total cost is steered towards meeting fundraising and communication costs. You can read more on how Akshaya Patra spends your money here.

  1. Your contribution is futuristic

You may rest assured that your charity is going to a project that’s ongoing and intends to run until the day no child goes hungry. Our programme is technology-intensive using centralized and decentralized models that can be efficiently scaled and replicated. Akshaya Patra has kitchens in 24 locations spread across 10 states in India and growing. You are investing in a more promising future of the children.

  1. Tax deductions and CSR

All donations with Akshaya Patra are tax deductible donations so you can avail tax exemptions as per the government norms. In addition, many CSR opportunities such as cause-marketing initiatives, strategy philanthropy through funds and in-kind contributions or events and sponsorship are available for your company. Read more on CSR opportunities with Akshaya Patra here.

  1. You get to donate hassle-free

You have the option of online donations through our website or a quick donation on our mobile application. With Akshaya Patra, you get the benefit of 100% tax deductible donations in a hassle-free process where donating for a big cause is as simple as the click of a button. With as low as Rs 750, you can provide an entire academic year’s meal to a child.

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Your donation can become a lasting gift in the life of children by not only feeding them, but also bringing them to the lighthouse of education. Donate to charity today!