How Akshaya Patra started feeding children in India

“We don’t want to stop. We want to feed as many children as possible.”

Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman – The Akshaya Patra Foundation

 In a population of 1.38 billion people, 39% of the total population comprises of children below the age of 18 years; this means there are around 472 million children in India.

Out of every 100 children, only around 32 children complete their school education (District Information System for Education),

out of which,

19.8 million children below the age of 6, do not get the required nutrition (ICDS 2015).

Due to multiple challenges that come from being a child belonging to lower-income sections of the society, children are either sent off to seek work during school hours or would be forced to work with parents to fend for their families. Amongst a few handful of children who were sent to school, they performed poorly in schools due to a short attention span or would immediately drop out in the lure of earning money.

Akshaya patra feeding programme

To change this scenario, the Central Government of India started the Mid-Day Meal Scheme to address the issue of hunger and education. Yet, 50% of India’s children remained undernourished. In the year 2001, mid-day meals were mandated in all Government and Government-aided schools of all the states. With the help of non-profit organisations in India, many children were fed meals in schools. By the end of 2004, 50 million children received school lunches, either provided by the Government or NGO’s working in partnership with the Government. One such NGO in India is The Akshaya Patra Foundation. 

What is the story of Akshaya Patra?

To address the dual challenges of education and hunger in India, The Akshaya Patra Foundation was started in the year 2000 with a vision that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ It began by serving hot and nutritious school meals to 1,500 children studying in five different schools of Bengaluru, Karnataka. By March 2007, the Foundation was serving wholesome meals in 2,000 schools. As of today, mid-day meals are served to 18,00,907 children studying in 19,039 schools of India. It prepares and serves school meals from centralised kitchens situated in 50 locations and decentralised kitchens situated in two locations, spread across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India.

Impact of mid-day meals on children

Many studies conducted around the impact of mid-day meals have shown an:

  • Increase in school enrolment rate, both for boys and girls
  • Increase in the attendance rates
  • Decrease in school drop-out rates
  • Improvement in classroom performance
  • Improvement in attention span
  • Improvement in nutritional value & energy

What the students have to say:

Akshaya Patra children

 To read more such stories of beneficiaries of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, click here.

Bring about healthy changes in the lives of children with your donation. When you support Akshaya Patra to provide unlimited food for education to children belonging to challenging backgrounds, you are giving back to society to bring about the above-mentioned changes.

If you have any such stories of children whose lives have changed with mid-day meals, do let us know in the comments section below.

Make Tax Deductible Donations to Charity

Upholding the quality of your generous self, you may look for opportunities to give back to the society. One of the major reasons which urges people to make donations, is ‘the feel-good factor.’ Additionally, contributing to NGOs can also make you eligible for receiving tax exemptions. However, there a few things you need to ensure before making any contribution:

– Is the NGO registered?

– Is it a trustworthy organisation?

– Is your money being utilised diligently?

– What are the transparency policies of the organisation?

– Whether the organisation is eligible to give tax exemptions to its donors?

Donate for children and save tax

In order to encourage more people to engage in charitable acts, The Government of India has made provisions to help tax-payable citizens save tax on every charitable donation, under section 80G of Income-tax Act, 1961. When you donate to charity, you can claim IT exemption of 100% or 50% of the donation amount. This depends upon the criteria set by the Income Tax Act. Common examples of organisations you can make tax exemption donation towards are: public charitable trusts, non-governmental organisations, relief funds and the like.

What are the limitations under section 80G?

Once you make a donation to support NGOs with a cheque, draft or cash, you are eligible to claim deductions u/s 80G. However, donation made in kind like groceries, vegetables, clothes, medicines, etc., cannot be claimed as tax deductible donation under section 80G. Also, 2018 onwards, donations made in cash, more than ₹2000, are not allowed as deductions.

Donate towards The Akshaya Patra Foundation & save tax

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is registered as a non-profit organisation and is recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programme. The Foundation feeds 1.8 million children in 52 locations spread across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India. Akshaya Patra serves locally palatable meals in 19,039 schools. For example, Sambar and Rice is served in Karnataka, Pappu and Rice is served in Andhra Pradesh, Boondhi Kadhi is served in Chhattisgarh and Dal Dhokali is served in Gujarat.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation feeds 18,00,907 children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools in India. It aims to feed 5 million children by 2025 with the vision, ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ For the last 20 years it has been feeding wholesome meals to children belonging to challenging socio-economic backgrounds. These meals are a great intervention into bringing children back to school every day. These school meals help in holistic development of children. Usage of nutritious vegetables and pulses help children in their physical development and also in focussing better during their school hours.

You can donate towards providing unlimited food for education to children by donating ₹1100 towards The Akshaya Patra Foundation to feed 1 child with a year full of healthy and nutritious meals on every school day.

Donate towards making tomorrow, healthy future for children.

Healthy children make a healthy nation!

Show your support to the future of the Nation!

Donate To Help School Children in India

Education is every child’s right. However, exercising their right to education is dependent on their parents’ financial condition. Some of us are fortunate that we belong to a family who has given us everything that we have desired for as a child and probably till date even. However, there are children whose parents come from challenging socio-economic backgrounds where even feeding the families with one proper square meal becomes a burdensome task. Such people rely on a children charity in India that works for various causes of children – health, education, food, medical care, etc.

blog1 - food for education

One such Non-profit organization that works for the cause of ‘Food for education’ of school children is The Akshaya Patra Foundation. It was started in 2000 with the vision that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ It started off by feeding 1,500 children and feeds 18,02,517 children on a daily basis, as of today.

More about Akshaya Patra…

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is the largest implementer of the MDM Programme in India. This means that it feeds 1.8 million children with mid-day meals that are served in 16,856 schools. The meals are prepared in hygienic environments of state-of-the-art kitchens present in 51 locations across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India.

akshaya patra location in map

Remember the festive season when there are large quantities of food that have to be prepared for the guests to relish? This is the everyday festivity feeling that lingers in the NGOs kitchens. There is a long list of items that have to be prepared on a daily basis. The menu varies from kitchen to kitchen to keep a check on the locally palatable meals that are enjoyed by children. The food that is prepared in Gujarat is different from the food prepared in Telangana. This ensures that the food is tasty, nutritious and enhances cognitive and physical development of school-going children.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is registered as a not-for-profit organisation under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882. Which means that when you decide to donate for children’s school meals, along with the satisfactory feeling that you have brought in change to a child’s life, you also are eligible to save for yourself. How? When you sponsor a child’s meal, you are will receive a donor certificate and you gain tax benefits. On every donation you can claim tax deduction under section 80G of the Income Tax Act.

Donate towards Akshaya Patra

Feed the hope of feeding more children every day!

Celebrate Diwali 2019 with The Akshaya Patra Foundation | Gift A Meal

Make Diwali 2019 a celebration of
victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.

Diwali is a festival of lights and is one of the most-awaited festivals in India. People across the country light diyas, decorate their houses and offices, offer prayers, distribute gifts and sweets to near and dear ones, organise get-togethers, and enjoy fireworks. Diwali celebration has its significance across various belief systems but the symbolic cord that runs across all of them is the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.

donate on diwali with children

Diwali gift ideas

Diwali is one of those festivals where people gift each other as a mark of love, goodwill, respect, and gratefulness. We always look for unique Diwali gift ideas to make the celebrations memorable and joyful. Catering to the ever-growing demands and needs of each generation, the market is flooded with both traditional and new-age gifts; and the overwhelming offers by brands and online stores indeed spoil us for choices. Festive apparels, sweets, gadgets, home appliances, home decor items, eco-friendly gifts and the list goes on – our list of ‘to be bought’ never ends. While you already have listed down whom to gift what, would you like to make Diwali 2019 a little different than usual?

Add ‘Gift a Meal’ to your list of Diwali gifts 

As you brighten up your home with diyas, spread light to the lives of children belonging to challenging socio-economic backgrounds. All you have to do is, provide them with school meals!

diwali-note

Yes, your donation on Diwali to The Akshaya Patra Foundation will make sure more than 1.8 million+ children receive nutritious lunch on each school day. Akshaya Patra is an NGO in India implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme for the past 18 years. Through this programme, the NGO provides freshly cooked, wholesome meals to more than 1,802,517 children in 16,856 Government and Government-aided schools in 51 locations across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India.

Your choice of adding ‘Gift a Meal’ in the list of Diwali gift ideas will:

  • Defeat classroom hunger by nourishing children with the goodness of wholesome meals;
  • Brighten up their lives with health and fitness by countering lack of nutrition; and
  • Empower them with education and knowledge to triumph over the ignorance that comes with illiteracy.

The best part of ‘Gift a Meal’ is, by choosing to contribute Rs. 1,100 as donation on Diwali, you can gift a year full of daily school meals to a child.

This Diwali, multiply your joy by sharing a part of your festive light with children for whom the ray of hope lies in the meals they receive at school!

Sponsor A Child For One Year Through Akshaya Patra

Rs. 1,100 – what can it get you – a shirt, dinner for two, a pair of shoes, grocery for a week, a movie ticket at a multiplex… or have we forgotten the value of a 1000-rupee note as demonetization marked its exit? Well, this humble amount of money has much more to it than meets the eye!

Indu has been abandoned by her father after the demise of her mother. She is taken care of by her grandmother who does small tailoring jobs to make the ends meet. While the grandmother was juggling the possibilities of providing education to Indu, her neighbour suggested a nearby school which provided free school meals too. Indu’s grandmother thought no further and got little Indu enrolled in the school immediately. Today, Indu is a Standard VI student. She dearly values her grandmother’s care and understands the struggles she has been through in taking care of Indu. Indu says, “I aim to become a doctor to ‘cure my grandmother’. I see her coughing all day round, increasing at night. When I rub her back to comfort, she says, ‘until My Little Doctor is with me, nothing can harm me.’ The high cost of health care keeps my grandmother away from a check-up. By becoming a doctor, I want to cure my grandmother and provide free treatment to other people as well.” 

School children-Unleash the power of Rs. 1,100

This is just one story among 17,65,597 children – the beneficiaries of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO that provides free school meals, on each school day.

What’s the role of Rs. 1,100?

Rs. 1,100 = Health + Education + Confidence + Power to realise aspirations.

Yes, when you sponsor a child through Akshaya Patra by donating Rs. 1,100, you essentially provide a child with nutritious and sumptuous school meals for an entire year. And these meals ensure their good health and regular schooling. So, when you do the math, it indicates that your contribution of Rs. 1,100 is preparing a child to be an empowered and resourceful citizen in the near future. Now, imagine if you keep adding this humble denomination, how many assets you would be creating for the nation. In essence, there lies the answer to the significant role of Rs. 1,100!

How to support Akshaya Patra?

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one of the pioneer NGOs in the mid-day meal sector. It has a remarkable history of 18+ years of serving children with wholesome school meals. The Foundation that started off with feeding just 1,500 children in five schools, today feeds 17,65,597 children in 15,668 schools situated across 45 locations in 12 states of India. Akshaya Patra humbly dedicates this progress to the unceasing support of the Central Government and various State Governments along with thousands of philanthropic supporters who generously donate for children.

You can support this NGO through online donation and also by creating campaigns to conduct online fundraising. So, take a step to unleash the power of Rs. 1,100 because it can ensure no child in India is be deprived of education because of hunger – a vision that steers all the efforts of Akshaya Patra.

 

 

Akshaya Patra’s Effort in Assam Flood Relief 2019

Water level rising every hour… 30 of total 33 districts submerged… 4,157 villages inundated… approximately 43-lakh people affected… 95% of Kaziranga National Park under water… This is the current situation of Assam!

Akshaya Patra Effort in Assam Flood Relief 2019

Assam has been hit by one of the worst floods in a decade leaving the entire state paralysed. The Government of Assam issued a red alert on 15 July 2019 as the situation worsened every passing hour. Nearly 1.5 lakh people have been provided shelter in relief camps operational across the state. In a grim situation like this, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in Assam has stepped in to provide cooked meals to affected people in Kamrup district.

Guwahati flood relief work by Akshaya Patra

Akshaya Patra, a mid-day meal NGO has its kitchen in Guwahati, Assam. It begun its Guwahati flood relief activities from 17th July. The NGO is providing meals to affected people twice a day – lunch and dinner from its Guwahati kitchen. It began the relief operations by feeding 700 people in a relief camp in Athgaon area and now has extended its service to other relief camps in Kamrup district. So far, this NGO in Assam has already provided more than 22,000 meals. The Foundation is serving rice, vegetable pulao, kabuli chana, and mixed vegetable dal for lunch; and khichdi and labra sabji for dinner. In order to garner support from people, Akshaya Patra has started a campaign where one can contribute online donation in aid of Assam flood relief.

Past relief activities of Akshaya Patra

Be it within the borders of India or beyond, Akshaya Patra has always been proactive in responding to disaster situations. The NGO is always present to provide relief to crisis-hit people by providing cooked food.

akshaya patra past relief activities

Support flood relief activities

Over the years, Akshaya Patra has received heart-warming responses from people coming forward to support disaster-affected fellow citizens. They have generously contributed towards Akshaya Patra’s relief campaigns at different occasions. Currently, Assam needs your urgent help. Come forth and support Guwahati flood relief campaign by generously contributing online donation in aid of people of Assam. Support now!

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

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

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

Akshaya Patra’s effort

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

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

Locations

12
states

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

Your support matters

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

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

And, what do you get in return?

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

ACT to make a difference

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

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.

3 Ways Every Student Can Stay Organised!

The school year is back with the same excitement and anticipation. Aren’t you looking forward to it? But how would you spend this school year differently?

Education-for-children

We at Akshaya Patra, one of the children’s charities engaged in feeding the hungry, work for children who are excited to come back to school every year. We have some ideas for you to stay organised this year.

Write down your timetable and carry it with you

Writing down your class timetable twice can save you from a lot of hassles like late arrival or missing a class. Write down your timetable at the back of a classwork notebook and always carry it in your class. Keep one timetable always pasted on the wall of your house for reminders.

Keep your bag organised

How many times have you been rebuked in class simply because you forgot to carry your homework copy? That happens when you fail to organise your schoolbag. Now that you have already written down your timetable, make sure you keep your bag organised according to it.

Carry your daily needs

Apart from books, what do you need in your bag? Is it a handkerchief, a water bottle, a box containing pencils and pens? Make sure you carry all your daily needs in your bag. Nobody likes boys and girls who always borrow things like pencils or erasers from other students. This habit will make you self-sufficient and also help you value your belongings.

Children, now that you are back to school, make the new academic year’s resolution to always keep your things safe. There are children who cannot afford these things and often, children’s charities all over India have to work hard to get these children some basic school needs. Do you know that many organisations work to help such children?

Akshaya Patra is on a mission of feeding the hungry through its school lunch programme. If you know anyone who can contribute in this cause, do encourage them to sponsor a child, so they can help that child get both food and education. Spread the good news today.

3 tips to prepare yourself for the next academic year!

A few more weeks and you will be back to school. Are you prepared to face another academic year? If not, here are a few fun tips to help you get into the school state of mind once again.

Back to school III

Learn the tables

 You will definitely have the new year’s syllabus and Math would get more advanced but there’s one thing that you can never outgrow – multiplication tables. How many tables do you remember from last year? Gather all your friends every evening and take turns leading each other in recalling various tables. If you work on your math, you can later become a pilot, or go for engineering or join the Indian army just like 13-year-old Lakshmi from Hubballi. She is good at math and is serious about her career. She is a beneficiary of the mid-day meal scheme run by a non-profit organisation Akshaya Patra.

Work on your general knowledge

Do you know who’s the President of India or President of the United States? Do you know the largest state in India? Ask your friends around you, ask your parents. Get yourself old newspapers and see if they have this information! Work on your general knowledge as you gear up to attend another academic year. It would not only get you good grades but also make you smarter than other peers.

Practise painting

Do you like drawing or painting? Did you get a chance to practise these in summer vacation? If not, you can do so now. These activities open up creative faculties in your mind, making you smarter and sharper. Meet Pawan, a 14-year-old school student from Mysuru. He regularly practises his painting skills and wishes to become an artist when he grows up. How wonderful! Pawan goes to school every day because he gets a wholesome lunch at school free of cost, thanks to several charity fundraising initiatives from volunteers.

A lot of children like you are excited to get back to school because they are prepared. Many of these children are part of the mid-day meal scheme that’s run by a non-profit organisation Akshaya Patra. They feed wholesome lunch to school children like yourself in various government schools and invite several volunteers for charity fundraising. If you know anyone who can donate or sponsor a child, ask them to join hands.