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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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:

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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!

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

Mid-Day Meal and Its Secrets

There was a time when the school premises were bereft of the shrillness and joyful din of children, when classrooms were devoid of students, when children sat with heads bowed down in pangs of hunger, when children craved to have a square meal and accompanied parents to work. It was a time when attendance was low and drop-outs were more.

Most of the children in government schools hail from poor backgrounds whose parents are daily wage workers and cannot afford one proper meal a day.  The parents are not ready to send their children to schools as they wanted them to earn and have food at least a day. The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s vision ‘no child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’ has brought about a significant role in the future of children in government schools. The NGO implements the mid-day meal programme in collaboration with the Central Government and various State Governments.

After the commencement of the programme, the pall of despair in classrooms has changed to hopes of aspiration and dreams. The ambience of the school has come back where the school premises are filled with the high-pitched voices of students reciting poems, cheerful din of excitement and gleam, the teachers teaching with a sense of decorum paused by a high sound of scolding once in a while.

Let us hear from the children what they have to say of the secret impact of the mid-day meal scheme.

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Badal – Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Badal whose father is a mason and mother a cook is able to attend school regularly after the commencement of mid-day meals. He says, “I like all food items, and kheer is my favourite.” He opines “the Mid-day meal programme is good and it should be there as it helps children from hunger.”

Know more about Badal at: Badal Behara- The Young Yoga Enthusiast!

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Shrisha – Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

AP.Shrisha, the class topper of Namma Kiriya Prathamika Shalley School, says “Akshaya Patra’s food is very tasty and it increases my concentration and helps me remain active in class.”

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Darshan – Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Darshan, whose father is a bus driver and mother a homemaker has been an Akshaya Patra beneficiary since 2008. He says “I like rice and sambar served by Akshaya Patra.” He further says “my personal favourite is Bisibelebath served on Saturdays.” “The foods help me to concentrate in class”, he adds.

Know more about Darshan at: Darshan: A True Patriot in the making

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Harsha – Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Harsha, whose father is a carpenter, says with enthusiasm that he is able to attend class as hunger is no more obstructing his level of concentration. He recites the full menu during the week and says that there is not one day he hasn’t liked the meal. “I love the mid-day meals served by Akshaya Patra especially the pulao.”  Every day my concentration in class is extended because of this nutritious meal,” he adds.

Know more about Harsha at: Harsha never misses a mid-day meal

We can see that mid-day meal scheme have solved multiple issues as hunger, poverty, illiteracy, child-labour and malnutrition among children. Children are eager to come to schools so that they get a nutritious meal, which gives them the energy to concentrate and learn. It has reduced the dropout rates with a reasonable increase in attendance. Teachers opine that there was a time when children went home for lunch and would not return to school. They now notice that afternoon attendance is almost as good as morning attendance. Parents who cannot afford to serve a proper meal to their children are more than happy with the assurance of one free wholesome meal a day for their children.

So let us donate to the NGO so that it can reach out to more children.  Let us work together to serve children and end class room hunger. Let us make others aware of the need to provide food for education. It takes just Rs. 750 to feed a child for a year! Every donation of Rs. 500 or above made to Akshaya Patra is eligible for 100% tax exemption under section 35 AC or 50% tax exemption under Section 80 G of the Indian Income Tax.

Meet Jagdesh-the Selfless & Dedicated Mid-day Meal Volunteer

At first glance, Jagdesh, a beneficiary of the Akshaya Patra meals may look like any other 15-year-old student of the Padua Government High School in Mangaluru.

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But, in reality, he has a more important role in the school than his peers- he serves fresh and nutritious mid-day meals to everyone. Jagdesh is so generous that he will not think about himself till every student in the school is full.

From the interesting mid-day meal menu in Mangaluru, Jagdesh likes Pulao the most and couldn’t just stop while talking about it.   “It’s very tasty and the vegetables make me feel very healthy,” he said.

Jagdesh has won the hearts of all in the school including Francis D’cunha, Headmaster of the Padua High School. “He is well-mannered and a very respectful child. I see a good future for him and that’s primarily because of good attitude and behaviour,” D’cunha, said.

D’cunha found the Mid-day meal in Mangalore ‘a boon’ for students coming from rural areas: “The mid-day meal served by Akshaya Patra is good for nourishment and the students have become very strong and active,” he added later.

Jagdesh is one of the many beneficiaries of The Akshaya Patra Foundation who has motivated and set an example to his friends. Like him, the organisation has many more NGO children stories to share with you. Just wait and follow…