Celebrate Teachers’ Day by supporting a child’s meal!

“Teachers are the backbone of the education system”
said
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Hence, upon becoming the President of India, when some of his students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrate his birthday on 5th September, he replied, “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5th is observed as Teachers’ Day.” And since then, his words are being followed every year, across the country.

There could be hardly anyone who doesn’t remember their teachers, be they from school or college. We all have had our favourites and not-so-favourites, but whatever it is, reminiscing about the good old learning days, the memories of our teachers have been deeply etched in our hearts. And Teachers’ Day definitely gives us an opportunity to honour and celebrate the sincerity and dedication of our teachers who prepared us for where we are today!

Happy Teachers day

Akshaya Patra’s bond with Teachers

Having been working as a mid-day meal NGO for the past 18+ years, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has a very close and amicable relationship with teachers. At present, Akshaya Patra provides freshly cooked wholesome lunch to 17,65,597 children studying in 15,668 Government & Government-aided schools. These schools are situated in 45 locations across Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh.

The teachers of these schools have always been in the forefront to support proper implementation of the Mid-Day Meal Programme. They have always provided regular feedbacks and exhibited complete willingness to help the Foundation in constantly improving the programme.

Stories of teachers

On the humble occasion of Teachers’ Day, here is quoting some of the teachers from the Foundation’s beneficiary schools:

  • Jai Pinto, Physical Education Teacher, Aloysius School, Cleveland Town, Bengaluru says, “The school’s association with Akshaya Patra has been very fulfilling. Children are happy with the wholesome nutritious meals provided. There are fewer dropouts from the marginalised section of the society and I have seen a significant improvement in the enthusiasm levels of children.”
  • Ismail Malik, Principal, Antti Kumar Prathamik Shala, Padra Taluk, Vadodara, Gujarat says, “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.”
  • Ranganath, Head Master, Government High School, Policy Colony, Karnataka says, “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.”

SEO-Infographic 1-Celebrate Teachers Day with Akshaya Patra

Make their story, yours!

On this Teachers’ Day, choose to share the care of these teachers and hundreds more like them by opting for online donation towards the Mid-Day Meal Programme. The mid-day meals greatly contribute towards better school attendance, improved health and concentration of children. Thus, your contribution towards the Mid-Day Meal Programme will not only help children but also significantly help teachers in their efforts to impart education.

Step ahead, and honour your teacher this Teachers’ Day
by caring for meals of a student!

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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!

Documentary of Shankar – An Aspiring Police Officer

I am Shankar Hazarika – a film by Akshaya Patra features a 10-yr-old beneficiary from Silguri, Assam – a village mostly of fishermen. Shankar is the youngest in the family and his ambition is to become a police offer. His father is fisherman who depends on the mighty Brahmaputra River.

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!

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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!

His Love for Gotipua Dance – A Traditional Dance Form of Odisha!

It is often said that follow your passion but very few are allowed to do it. A student of standard V in Government Kapoteshwar High School in Raghurajpur, Puri, Jyotiranjan joined the Padmashri Guru Magunidas Gotipua Gurukula Niketan (dance academy) to learn Gotipua at the age of seven. He already has to his credit over 20 performances in various cities of Odisha, including Puri and Bhubaneshwar, as well as metros such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata.

Gotipua, a traditional dance form has an important place in the culture of Odisha. It is performed by young boys and involves a range of acrobatic moves – right from handstands to human pyramid.

Jyotiranjan wants to put this dance form on the world map so that it does not disappear like several other traditional dance forms in the country. His long-term plan is to master the dance form and help to promote it all over the world by teaching others. “If we do not save these dance forms, there will come a day when no one will know about them,” he says innocently. At present, he is happy that it gives him an opportunity to travel to different parts of the country. The dance also gives him an exposure to the world outside the heritage town of Raghurajpur.

His family is based in Puri. His father Nalinikanta Das works as a priest, while his mother Sailabaila is a homemaker. Jyotiranjan lives in the hostel facility provided by the dance academy which eases the burden on the family. Here children wake up 4 am and begin their dance practice which goes on for two hours. After practice, they do their homework and leave for school. The academy also takes care of their students’ breakfast and dinner, while Akshaya Patra an NGO in Odisha takes care of their lunch at the school.

Jyotiranjan says he likes coming to school because he gets to learn about different things in life and also play kho-kho and kabaddi with his friends. As for academic learning, he enjoys Odiya literature. He also likes environmental science and geography as they give information about the nature, planet, different countries, etc.

The 10-yr-old Jyotiranjan is confident that he will make it big in the world of Gotipua and to a great extent, his confidence stems from the exposure he has got over the course of time. As for his parents, they want him to focus on both – dance and academics and make a name for himself all over the world.

Currently, Akshaya Patra’s school lunch programme feeds over 1.6 million children in 13, 800+ schools across 12 states of India. We have to make sure that no child suffers from malnutrition and can have a bright life. You can be a part of this journey and your donation can transform life of a child. You can donate for education in India by choosing to sponsor a child or more!

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!

3 Stories of Hope from Akshaya Patra Would Make Your Day!

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Hope is a good thing. If you can still relate to this famous thought from the American classic The Shawshank Redemption, you are most likely an optimist. Regardless, it’s always good to know that hope can change things. It can inspire action and evoke positive spirits.

A lot of people engage in charity donations in the hope of building a better tomorrow. Had it not been for hope, several children charities wouldn’t get enough resources to help children. The Government of India works with several non-profit organisations and partners with local bodies in order to provide education, food and medical aids to deprived children. Donors are benefitted through tax exemption in India if they choose to donate to organisations such as Akshaya Patra.

Akshaya Patra is a children charity that engages in providing mid-day meals to school children around India. All of its donations get the benefit of tax exemption in India while the organisation works in tandem with the government.

manthan

Back here at Akshaya Patra a children charity, we get to reap the rewards of great work in the form of various hope stories that we get to hear from beneficiaries. One such child is Manthan Jikarda who studies in Class VI at Maharana Pratap Primary School in Surat, Gujarat. He says, “Akshaya Patra food is tasty and protein-rich, which is why we like it. It is very nutritious, prepared using carrots, pumpkins, and other such healthy vegetables. The menu is different every day; sometimes there is Dal Dhokli, sometimes Khichdi.”

But that’s not half as exciting as seeing him come to school every single day and attend his classes sincerely. Manthan aspires to be a stage actor, wanting to entertain a live audience with his dramatic performances. He is an active participant in various extra-curricular activities that the school organizes.

riddhi

Riddhi Barot, an Akshaya Patra beneficiary from Veer Narmad Primary School in Saradnagar Tarsali, Vadodara, studying in Class VII, is another touching story of hope. She is the daughter of a father who works in an electric shop and a mother who is a homemaker. She has two siblings –sister Siddhi (Class V) and brother Jai (Class II), studying in the same school. What truly makes Riddhi stand out is that her inspiration comes from the noted Gujarati writer, freedom fighter and social reformer, Jhaverchand Meghani. This girl wishes to become a pilot when she grows up. Her focus is a matter of wonder for both her teachers and her parents. Riddhi loves Science and English apart from being an active member of scouts and guides. It is children like her who keep us motivated and restore hope that investing in today’s children is the best way to change the world.

divya

Similarly, Shri Baba Amte Primary School in Surat often echoes with the sound of a beautiful voice. This singer is an 11-year-old Divya Chandrakar who studies in Class VI. Contradictorily enough, she wants to be a dancer. This Akshaya Patra beneficiary brings so much joy and cheer to her class when she enters. Divya Chandrakar wants to be a figure in elegance and become a dancer. She says, “At school, we can study, play, learn new things and have nutritious meals.”

These hope stories have often moved parents of other children and they have been motivated to send their children to school. Let’s add more stories of hope. Donate to charity today and win tax exemption.

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.

saraswathi

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 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.

Uninterrupted Education for School Children

How does Mid-Day Meal Programme help school going children in India? The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in India that serves mid-day meals to over 1.5 million children, can help you answer that just right. Children are not only getting nutritious wholesome meals everyday but are also encouraged to attend school regularly. We believe your contribution can help us reach 5 million children by 2020 and help you get 100% tax exemption.

Serving mid-day meals to school children creates a vicious cycle – a child like Ajay wakes up to attend school, sprinkles great lessons into his head, feasts on healthy food and returns home after a sumptuous meal, and looks forward to the next day.

Here is an infographic of a school boy who is having Akshaya Patra‘s mid-day meal:

Infographic_Life of a School boy_Akshaya Patra

According to the UN World Food Programme, one out of six children is malnourished in developing countries and roughly 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry—these are just numbers that indicate the severity of hunger. A recent article on Buzzfeed India (www.buzzfeed.com/gayatrijayaraman/broke-hungry-and-on-trend) recognised urban people who go hungry almost every day but their lifestyles reflect otherwise. In both scenarios, we have two classes of people who are unable to satisfy the stomach because food is far from reach. While one is unable to afford it, the other is not able to prioritise on food.

As a society, what can we do to curb hunger in India and how can you, as a working class Indian, benefit from contributing to Akshaya Patra? The Foundation believes in nourishing the young minds who are the future of tomorrow. Because education is of foremost priority, Akshaya Patra began serving mid-day meals to school children in India to reduce dropout rate and enhance class attendance. Thanks to the government, Akshaya Patra’s donors can benefit from 100% tax exemption for contributions that are above Rs. 500. All it takes is Rs. 750 to feed a child every year!