Akshaya Patra’s work in Karnataka

In the year 2000, with a strong vision that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’ an organisation began serving freshly cooked, nutritious lunch to school children in Bengaluru… slowly and steadily it began expanding its service to other parts of the city… then to other parts of the state… and now nourishes 4,49,079 children across six locations of Karnataka…
along with operating in 11 other states…
It’s The Akshaya Patra Foundation in a nutshell!

Akshaya Patra nourishes 4,49,079 children in Karnataka, on each school day

In 2000, Akshaya Patra began its journey as an NGO in Karnataka by providing lunch to 1,500 children of five Government schools in Bengaluru. Later, when the Supreme Court passed the mandate on 28 November 2001 directing all ‘the State Governments and Union Territories to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in every Government and Government assisted schools’ this NGO partnered with the Government to further the reach of this Scheme.

Akshaya Patra’s work in Karnataka

Presently, there are seven Akshaya Patra kitchens in Karnataka preparing nutritious, hygienic, and locally palatable meals for 4,49,079 children, on each school day.

The below table shows the Foundation’s reach in the state:

Akshaya patra karnataka kitchen locations, schools and childrens list.jpg

All Akshaya Patra kitchens in Karnataka are centralised and mechanised cooking units. Among the seven kitchens, H.K Hill and V.K. Hill kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 certified, whereas Ballari, and Hubballi kitchens are ISO 22000:2005, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 certified. The kitchens in Mangaluru, Mysuru and Jigani are in the process of certification.

Meal menu of Akshaya Patra in Karnataka

As a mid-day meal NGO in India, the Foundation wants to make sure that children of each and every location heartily enjoy their meals. Hence, while maintaining the recommended nutrition levels, the Foundation designs its meal menu to suit the local taste of a particular location. It also follows a cyclic menu to ensure children receive adequate nutrition from a wide variety of vegetables, pulses, spices and condiments; and also countering monotony of same taste. As an organisation providing mid-day meal in Karnataka, it caters to the typical South Indian taste.

The meal menu in Karnataka consists of: plain rice, ghee rice, khichdi, vegetable biryani, bisibelebaath, khara pongal, tur dal sambar,
mixed pulses sambar, dal fry, gram dal sambar, chana dal sambar, moong dal sambar, moong chilka sambar, mixed sambar,
kabuli chana sabji, beetroot chana sabji, mixed vegetable sabji,
fried groundnut, and curd.

This NGO in Karnataka also serves its beneficiaries with a variety of sweets such as hayagriva, daliya sweet pongal, sweet pumpkin payasam, moong dal payasam, and jaggery sweet payasam.

To ensures children receive fresh and hot meals, Akshaya Patra has a dedicated fleet of customised insulated vehicles to deliver mid-day meal in Karnataka.

Choose to make a difference

Along with providing mid-day meals to school children as an NGO in Karnataka, Akshaya Patra also provides nutritious and tasty school meals to 17,65,597 children across 11 other states in India.

Akshaya Patra aims to nourish 50 lakh children in India by 2025.
Join the efforts of this NGO in India in nourishing, nurturing,
and empowering children of the nation.

When was mid-day meal started by Akshaya Patra?

One firm vision – ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’… just 1 kitchen to cook meals for 1,500 children… began the journey called Akshaya Patra!

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a non-profit organisation in India. In partnership with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, and various State Governments, Akshaya Patra implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across the country. It was established in 2000 and is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Akshaya Patra serving children 2000

Akshaya Patra then…

Once the idea of providing school lunch was conceptualised, Venu Vadana Gopal Dasa conducted a detailed research to choose the schools in need of the meals. Reminiscing the past, he says, “I went to explore the surrounding areas in Bengaluru and found that the schools in the outskirts and rural areas were in maximum need of a school Mid-Day Meal Programme. I visited Government schools in areas like Peenya, Chikkabidarakalu and Makali and was moved by the plight of the kids there. We then approached these schools and served the first meals on 3 June 2000 to a total of 1,500 children in five Government schools.”

Over a period, the impact of this initiative was witnessed in the form of increased enrolment, regularity in attendance, improved health, and better concentration during class hours. The overwhelming response from the schools brought to fore the need for the Mid-Day Meal Programme, leading Akshaya Patra to expand its service to more schools.

Initial hurdles…

The initial journey for this non-profit organisation in India wasn’t a smooth sail. The main concern was lack of food packing vessels and vehicles to transport the cooked meals. Philanthropists Mr Mohandas Pai stepped in by donating the first vehicle to transport food to the schools and Mr Abhay Jain promised to get more support in the form of donors to contribute for the programme.

A welcome progress…

As Akshaya Patra was already providing food for education through its school meal programme, it was called to give testimony for verifying the efficacy of providing cooked meals to schools. Following this, the Supreme Court of India passed a mandate on 28 November 2001 stating “We direct the State Governments/Union Territories to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme by providing every child in every Government and Government assisted Primary School with a prepared mid-day meal.” This was a welcome progression for Akshaya Patra and the Foundation partnered with the Central Government and various State Governments to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in a public-private partnership model.

Akshaya Patra now…

A journey that began by nourishing 1,500 children in one location has today grown to becoming a movement with 17,65,597 children in 45 locations across 12 states in India. The partnership with the Government under the Mid-Day Meal Scheme and constant support from well-wishers and donors helped Akshaya Patra to expand the food for education programme during the course of 18 years. It also aided the non-profit organisation in India to initiate several child-centric programmes such as Anganwadi feeding, scholarship, talent development, along with supporting the Foundation’s disaster relief feeding service.

Akshaya Patra in future…

With the mission to nourish 50 lakh children in India by 2025, Akshaya Patra is moving forward strategically and sustainably. The Foundation is certain that with concerted effort from the Government, the policy-makers, corporates and businesses, and the civil society, we will be able to create generations of healthy, educated, and resourceful citizens; empowering them to take on the mission called Prosperous India.

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.

Hunger Action Month – A Campaign to Fight Hunger

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread” – Mahatma Gandhi.

Fortunately, most of us do not have to think about where our meal will come from. Either it will be prepared at home or we can order a sumptuous meal at the click of a button. But, there are many who are not privileged even to get even a square meal per day. And, the number of such people are as high as 815 million, globally. Yes, hunger is an epidemic that has spread across almost all parts of the world. And, with 190.7 million people who suffer from hunger each day, India is home to 1/3rd of world’s hungry population. This is where food providing NGO role in India becomes extremely significant.

Hunger Action Month

Hunger action month

The month of September is observed as a Hunger Action Month across many countries. The origin of it dates back to 2008 when Feeding America, a United States-based non-profit hunger relief organisation, felt the need of a nationwide participation to deal with the hunger crisis. Since then, Hunger Action Month is observed annually with the aim to spread awareness and act to end hunger. This month-long campaign is a platform for the entire community to work together and ensure access to food for needy people. 

And, the best part is, hunger is a solvable problem!

How hunger affects sustainable development

Food is the basic need for survival for any living being. It provides the required energy to do all activities – physical and cognitive. When the stomach is empty, the only thought that clouds the head and heart is, food! In general, hunger leads to low immunity, deprived health, malnourishment, and delayed growth and development.

Hence, as an intervention several NGOs have taken up food as the core cause of their service, and The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO for children in India is one among them. Akshaya Patra has been in the service of providing nutritious meals to children since 2000. It implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states of the country and strives to eliminate classroom hunger to support education. Akshaya Patra’s cause is in sync with two Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations i.e. Zero Hunger and Quality Education. Classroom hunger leads to:

  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of concentration
  • Low levels of learning
  • Low academic performance
  • Lack of interest in school activities

Inferencing from the above-mentioned, it becomes evident that hunger poses as a major hurdle in sustainable development and progress of a country and the global community as a whole.

How can Hunger Action Month aid in improving Global Hunger Index

Global Hunger Index is a multidimensional statistical tool to measure the hunger status of countries across the world. The scores on this scale indicates the progress and failures in the fight against hunger globally. Remaining specific to India,

India ranks 100 among 119 countries in Global Hunger Index 2017. It has been categorised under the ‘serious’ range.

But, Hunger Action Month gives an opportunity to improve the hunger scores at a global level and at a national level. As a food-based NGO for children, Akshaya Patra campaigns for Hunger Action Month annually and urges supporters to generously participate in the campaign with the sole intention of creating a sustainable solution for hunger. When children are well-nourished and well-educated, they will grow up to be healthy, skilled, and resourceful citizens. Such citizens not only add prosperity to the family but also to the entire nation. Thus, there is a direct correlation between number of resourceful citizens and hunger index.

Conclusion

As a wrap, it is important to note that hunger is the number one cause of death in the world. This crisis can be dealt effectively only when the entire community actively gets involved to fight against the epidemic called hunger. 

This September, donate to end hunger. Your donation will enable Akshaya Patra to feed more children thereby increasing its present reach of 1.76 million children. You have the power to end hunger, use it by supporting school meals of children.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one” – Mother Teresa.

The Dance of Hunger!

Do you know what it feels like to be starving? Have you felt the cramps in your stomach when it’s empty? Whether or not, you have experienced this, lakhs of children across India live this reality each day! Akshaya Patra, an NGO is striving committedly to alter this reality for these children.

Dance of hunger

When was the last time you did not receive or eat your meal on time? When was the last time you got those hunger cramps in your stomach? When was the last time you really had to go out of your way to get some food? How did you feel when your stomach was empty?

All these questions may either seem relevant to you or it may be completely irrelevant to you. But, the point is, lakhs of children across India wake up to hunger and go back to sleep in hunger! These children are living each day without the assurance of something as basic as food. At a tender age, their mind and heart revolve around the worry of ‘Will I get something to eat today?’ At a time when they should be playing, making friends, attending school, exploring and learning new things, their childhood is spent in looking for ways to quieten the hunger pangs. So, are we doing anything to liberate these children from this grim situation?

Read more: https://medium.com/@akshayapatraindia/the-dance-of-hunger-e720b9136a37

Sponsor a Child and Develop Hunger Free India

As we celebrate 70 years of independence, let us pledge to sponsor a child and give him the education he deserves.  Millions of children in India suffer from hunger as a result of which their growth is stunted.

Hunger free India

We cannot truly call our country free unless we free our children from the shackles of hunger. Hunger in India is directly related to lack of education and growth among children. Akshaya Patra, an NGO that serves wholesome lunch to school children, is trying to free children from both hunger and illiteracy. When you choose to sponsor a child beneficiary of Akshaya Patra, you get tax exemption in India. But most importantly, you get to be a part of a mission that’s feeding and educating children of India. Let’s together develop a hunger free India.

The history of mid-day meal scheme in India dates back to the year 2000 when the Akshaya Patra Foundation began the mid-day meal programme in Bengaluru. The organisation began serving children nutritious meals, several donors came forward to sponsor children, several others donated vehicles and other resources. The organisation joined hands with the government and now serves meal to children in 12 states in India.

Donors in India started getting tax exemption, more resources were added, the Sponsor a Child programme helped get nutritious meals to many more children. The history of mid-day meal scheme that began with serving 1,500 children continued and served 1.6 million children and became the largest mid-day meal programme in the world.

It’s a scheme that creates a free environment for our children to grow and get education. Our children would make our future society that we visualise as independent and free. And we can ensure this only by setting our children free from hunger today. The mid-day meal scheme is creating history every day in India as more and more children come to school and get wholesome lunch.

If we donate for this cause, we can easily get tax exemption in India. Sponsor a child today.