Mid-Day Meals in School Motivate Children to Aspire High

There are several benefits of the mid-day meal scheme being run by The Akshaya Patra Foundation in schools. Many of these benefits relate to the health of the children and their physical and mental growth. However, a bonus about this service is that children learn to have aspirations about their career.

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These children, who are beneficiaries of mid-day meal in states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka or Madhya Pradesh, become conscious of their career choices. For instance, Sanjana Borashetti, a student of Class VIII in a Government school in Huballi, scores highest in her class. She is motivated to come to school because she never wants to miss the benefits of the mid-day meal scheme being run in her school.

Since often her house is deprived of electricity, she wishes to work in the direction of public amenities. She wants to become a district collector when she grows up.

When Sanjana experienced the basic benefit of the mid-day meal scheme, she understood the importance of fulfilling basic necessities for others.

Be it in Tamil Nadu or Madhya Pradesh, the mid-day meal is being served keeping the local cuisine in mind. Thus, children enjoy food and never miss school. Regular attendance keeps them informed about the world and inspires them to compete with their peers.

Many of these children get sponsorships from various donors who give generously for Akshaya Patra. The donors get the benefit of tax exemption. But nothing makes the donors happier than reading success stories of children who dream for their future.

If you are someone who wish to help children receive the benefits of mid-day meal scheme, do lend us a helping hand. Your donations are eligible for tax exemptions. As Akshaya Patra observes the Hunger Action Month and focuses its attention towards states like Tamil Nadu, you can choose to help today.

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Her story teaches you two life lessons – to dream big and to save water!

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Vidhi is a student of Class VII in Surat, Gujarat. Her story was documented by Akshaya Patra, an NGO in Surat which provides mid-day meals to over 1.6 million children in India.

Today – a student, tomorrow – a doctor. That’s Vidhi’s dream. Although she is yet to decide a particular subject to specialize, she is well aware that the path will invite hard work. “I know it will be difficult and I will have to work hard for it, but I am willing to do it,” she says. We believe it’s her determination to experience her dream someday.

Vidhi, like many students, enjoys participating in extracurricular activities such as dancing, drawing and elocution competitions, etc.  The last time she participated in an elocution competition, her topic was ‘The importance of saving water’. “If we stop wasting water by doing something as simple as turning our taps off properly, some of our water scarcity problems will definitely be solved.” She also spoke about implementing drip irrigation system as an effective measure to minimise water usage in agriculture.

As an NGO in Surat, Akshaya Patra which provides mid-day meal is encouraging 1,43,293 children to attend school. Vidhi is also an Akshaya Patra beneficiary, who apart from receiving education also enjoys nutritious mid-day meals. She says, “The food provided to us is good for health as it contains many nutrients required by our body. We get soybean, Dal Bhaat, Dal Dhokli, Thepla, etc. I like soybean and Dal the most, but I also like other food items that we get.”

Vidhi’s father works in a mall, while her mother works as a house help. Because the day begins early in a hectic situation, there’s an assurance for the family that Vidhi will be given food in school. “Nobody will like it if Akshaya Patra stops providing meals to our school, because then, we will have to get our lunchbox from home and that will be difficult for most of us.”

Read more stories of Akshaya Patra Beneficiaries at: Stories of Children


Akshaya Patra’s primary focus continues to be Mid-Day Meal Programme which aims to end classroom hunger among school going children. In this journey, your contribution will make a difference for many children. You can donate for education in India by choosing to sponsor a child or more!

Gift a Happy New Year to India’s children – Akshaya Patra’s Message

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The curtains are closing on 2016 and the stage is set for 2017. Yes folks, New Year 2017 is here! It is a time to gather the lessons of the past year, celebrate its joys and let go of its pains. The New Year brings in new hopes, dreams and often a list of resolutions too! The end of a year and the beginning of the new one is also a period of reflection on the blessings received in the previous year.

One wonderful way of ushering in the New Year is to bring happiness to the most innocent of souls – kids. Donating to children’s charities is a great way of doing this! The Akshaya Patra Foundation works tirelessly for the cause of ‘unlimited food for education’. Founded in the year 2000 with the principle that no child should be deprived of education due to hunger, the organisation operates the world’s largest NGO-run Mid-day Meal Programme in India. Currently feeding over 1.6 million in the country through its state-of-the-art kitchens, the Foundation, registered under section 35AC of the Income Tax Act, 1961, strives tirelessly to eliminate classroom hunger. Why not join this fight against hunger and malnutrition and gift India’s children a healthy, wholesome school lunch a day by donating to the Foundation? That would be a noble and auspicious start to the New Year!

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Akshaya Patra’s immediate mission is to feed 5 million children by 2020. Every successive year brings an added hope to the Foundation – that of benefitting a greater number of people. Its programmes are the fuel that powers the dreams of young children across India. These kaleidoscopic dreams include becoming doctors, engineers, architects, pilots, soldiers. It is up to the people of the world to come together to ensure that they are fulfilled and the children’s tomorrows are lit with education and nutrition. This is possible through donations of generous patrons who feel strongly about the futures of India’s children. Every contribution above Rs 500 made to the Foundation is eligible for 100% tax exemption in India, under section 80GGA.

Make 2017 a great one for India’s school kids!

How Effective are Food for Education Programmes

If you’re reading this, you should call yourself fortunate. If going back home reminds you of delicious home-cooked food, you should call yourself fortunate. You’re fortunate because you’ve had the opportunity to learn and you’ve always got a tiffin box to carry in your bag or some money in the pocket for buying lunch.

Not many know that India is a home to 33% of world’s undernourished children. How can we not think of helping them? When you’ve more than you need, you should build a bigger table, not a higher fence. Seeing the present context, we need more supporters and food for education programs to get down to showing deep concern, spreading awareness, donating funds and providing healthy meals as an incentive to boost enrolment.

Akshaya Patra recently published its NGO annual report 2015-16 which gives insights into how the organisation reaches out to millions of children. Here’s how Akshaya Patra set forth in the path of reaching out to millions of children and are changing their lives.

A growth that’s no less than massive

Akshaya Patra has grown slowly and steadily. From 1,500 children a day to over 1.6 million children, the growth has been rising. It demonstrates that the role of NGO has always been aboard and determinant toward the goal of providing unlimited food for education. They’ve gone the extra mile, not only in well-managed technology, logistics, quality, and finance but also in strategies for sustainable working. The Foundation has gained trust of the philanthropic donors and beneficiaries as well.

Food for Education motivates children to pursue their dreams

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Children from the marginalised sections of society often wait to pursue their dreams. Food for Education programmes help them in doing this. The blue buses at Akshaya Patra not only carry freshly cooked nutritious meals to 1.6 million children across India but also the smile and hope to get good food. Ambitious beneficiaries like Dashrath Chauhan, Anjali Batti, Saraswathi, and Chetan are some of our much prized stories of hope.

Involvement of public

It is essential for a public-private relationship based organisation to have provisions for public’s involvement. Without the generous help from well-wishers, it is not possible for an NGO to function at all. These organisations act as a medium for the society to show compassion towards the needy. Akshaya Patra provides several opportunities such as fundraising, campaigning, volunteering, partnering and donating online to get involved in this endeavor of eradicating undernourishment and ensuring access to education for all. For accomplishing its mission of feeding 5 million children by 2020, Akshaya Patra gives a shout-out to everyone who is willing to help those in dire need.

Akshaya Patra, an NGO based in Bengaluru, runs Mid-Day Meal Programme in 11 states of India.

To read in Hindi, visit: about NGO in Hindi.

A Story of a Girl to Become a Lawyer

They say lawyers around the world are sentinels of justice and it is important that every country gets sincere lawyers to defend citizens’ cause. An Akshaya Patra’s beneficiary’s dream belongs here and the organisation takes pride in sharing children’s success stories.

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Meet the 12-year-old Saraswathi who dreams of becoming a lawyer to protect the rights of citizens. She studies in Std VI at Kannavi Honnapura Higher Primary School, Hubballi in Karnataka. Saraswathi says she would like to uphold the most vital aspect of being a legal professional –honesty. “I want to be a good lawyer. I will not accept bribes. I will stand for justice. I will remain true to my profession,” she says.

(Full Story: https://www.akshayapatra.org/stories-of-children/aspiring-lawyer-saraswathi)

Like most children, uniforms hold an appeal for Saraswathi too. She says “The lawyer’s robe signifies their power. Wearing a lawyer’s uniform will fill me with greater pride for my profession.” The Akshaya Patra Foundation serves mid-day meals in her school and many students including Saraswathi are humbled by the organisation’s service. With smile she says, “I like the food served, since it is warm and fresh. I especially like the Pulao. The lunch makes me happy and is one of the reasons I like coming to school.”

Akshaya Patra, an NGO in Hubballi and other parts of the country, wishes all the best for Saraswathi’s future endeavours. Join Akshaya Patra in bringing children closer to happiness through mid-day meals.

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!

Giving Every Dream A Chance- An Akshaya Patra Initiative

Akshaya Patra serves wholesome nutritious meals to the children. The NGO for children aspires to be the mentor for these torchbearers, so that they would not be devoid of their dreams. Akshaya Patra understands that nobody is bigger than their dreams and that every dream should be given a chance. So the dream project ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance’ was propelled where dreams would become a reality and no dream would ever miss its chance.

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It is dreams, thoughts and aspirations that make a child. Every child dreams big, irrespective of their circumstances. Their dreams know no bounds. They dream of their education, ambitions, wealth and career. They aim to be an engineer, a police officer, a teacher, a nurse and what not! Not many would dream to be a chef, an astronomer or an actress. Let us meet some Akshaya Patra beneficiaries who dream to transform ingredients into delicious food, who dream of the skies that hordes the stars and who crave to recreate the world anew through acting skills in front of a favourite actor.

The project is an endeavour to make the dreams come true for the three Akshaya Patra beneficiaries who were exclusively selected out of the multitudes of children that auditioned across 40 schools in Bangalore. The NGO was proud to present the dreams of its beneficiaries Manjula, Shivu and Shekar on June 11, 2016 at Vivanta by Taj. Manjula aspired to be an actress; Shivu, an astronomer and Shekar, a chef. Recognizing their passion, Akshaya Patra assisted them with a two-month long mentorship program wherein the children were coached, groomed and guided by the experts in their concerned fields. The motive behind the project was to assure the children that their dreams are valid as well as promote their dreams to become true.

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Manjula – The Debuting Actress

The founder of Bangalore School of Speech & Drama, Dr. Zulfia Shekh mentored Manjula. The mentorship programme not only nurtured her as an aspiring actor but also brought forward the opportunity of playing the role of “Kittur Rani Chennamma” in the play staged at the end of her mentorship programme Akshaya Patra further surprised her by managing to get the veteran Akul Balaji, her role model to attend her debut performance as audience.

Watch the video of Manjula’s dream:

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Shivu – The Aspiring Astronomer

Shivu was put under the mentorship of Ms Preethi Krishnamurthy, Senior Research Fellow in Astrophysics. Under her tutoring sessions and practical guidance on astrophysics, Shivu explored the marvels of the skies and the cosmos. At the end of the mentorship program Shivu successfully created a working model of a telescope followed by a presentation regarding constellations.

Watch the video of Shivu’s dream:

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Shekar – The Aspiring Chef

Chef Ramasamy Selvaraju, executive chef at the Vivanta by Taj Hotel mentored Shekar in cooking.  He personally trained the boy in various kitchens of Vivanta which gave him a unique opportunity to work with the staff of Vivanta. Taj is even providing him financial assistance to pursue his education to fulfil his dreams. At the culmination of the mentorship programme, Shekar prepared a stylish spread that left the expert panel of judges mesmerised.

Watch the video of Shekar’s dream:

In India, the aspirations and dreams of the rich and poor are differentiated by the income of their parents. Everyone has a dream deep within but to make the dream come true is not a joke. So the NGO for children will continue to provide platforms for the talented children with diverse passions and interests in meeting their dreams. The aim of the project is to ensure continued support to children, mentorship programs to nurture talents as well as identify and nurture many more dreams across locations. The organisation aims at providing scholarship support to 100 children who dares to dream differently.

For more details on the event held at Vivanta by Taj log on to https://www.akshayapatra.org/giving-every-dream-a-chance