This NGO in Ahmedabad wants to take children back to school

Zinkal Wariya is a beneficiary of an NGO that serves mid-day meals in schools of Ahmedabad. A student of standard VIII at Bhadaj village in Ahmedabad, Zinkal wishes to join the army in future. Apart from sports and her passion, she looks forward to school for the nutritious mid-day meals served by an Indian charitable trust. She knows the day menus now that involve daal bhaat, subzi-roti, khichdi, sukhdi, daal dhokli and the likes.

Donate for a cause

Like Zinkal, several children in Ahmedabad are motivated to come to school regularly because they are being served nutritious meals every day by the NGO in Ahmedabad Akshaya Patra. These children today feel fearless about their future because they don’t go back home empty stomach and have enough energy to study throughout the day. Their basic nutrition needs are fulfilled to a great extent through the healthy meals served by the Indian charitable trust. This NGO in Ahmedabad also serves children across India.

Through this, the NGO in Ahmedabad aims to address both hunger and education for children. The NGO is targeting remote schools in Ahmedabad in order to reach out to more and more children with wholesome lunch. For that, the charitable trust needs resources so that Indian children don’t miss schools due to hunger.

Donating to a charity like this should come more like a responsibility towards an educated society for future. Children who grow up having nutritious food and valuable exposure to education found a more civilised and a more sensible society. As adults, they would be motivated to educating their children to make India a developed society. Such a society is able to nurture innovators and positive influencers who have the power to change the world.

The NGO is committed to bring more children to schools in Ahmedabad. Your contribution would help them in their endeavour Donate to this Indian Charitable Trust.

Sponsor a child on World Day against Child Labour

The International Labour Organisation had launched the World Day against Child Labour in 2002 which is observed every year on June 12th. This year as the world pledges to protect children from child labour in conflicts and disasters, let us pledge to sponsor a child in order to secure his healthy upbringing and educational growth.

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The World Day against Child Labour 2017 focuses on the impact of conflicts and disasters on child labour. Around 200 million people are affected by disasters every year, of which a third are children. A major proportion of the 168 million children engaged in child labour live in areas affected by conflict and disaster. The challenge is to feed the children, protect them from mental and physical consequences of disasters and provide them with the basic necessities of life.

Child labour is equally rampant in India and several charitable organisations are striving hard to eliminate the evil through awareness and protection. A lot of these children are found working haphazard conditions and are dropped out of school due to financial responsibilities. A charitable organisation in India Akshaya Patra, thus, is trying to root out this problem through taking mid-day meals to schools. That way, the organisation is able to feed the children, thereby, luring them to attend schools. The parents, therefore, understand now that the whole challenge of feeding all their children is met by simply sending their children to schools. This has significantly raised the school attendance in government schools while also reducing the number of child workers around the country.

Many charitable organisations in India are encouraging individual donors to sponsor a child by donating a meager amount. Akshaya Patra also has a simple plan for sponsoring a child by contributing merely Rs 950/- that would help feed a child for a year. As a result, the child automatically gets education since he is motivated to come to school for his share of wholesome lunch.

One of the most efficient ways to eliminate child labour would be to eliminate the reason for child labour. These reasons are orphaned children, financial responsibilities on children due to a large number of family members to feed, dropping out of school due to disinterest, illiteracy and so on. These children are often desperately put on jobs and therefore must endure the haphazard conditions, low salaries and over-work. Charitable organisations like Akshaya Patra are engaging volunteers to feed the children and use mid-day meals as an incentive to attend schools. Several stories of hope tell the tale of the success of this approach since beneficiary children are learning the importance of education and are working hard. Many of these children are learning to have dreams and aspirations in life, they are inspiring others to study hard and are bringing their siblings to school.

This is surely a good way to eliminate both hunger among children and exploitation of children. As the world observes the day against child labour, you can choose to join the cause of feeding the children and thus indirectly impacting the cause of eliminating child labour.

Sponsor a child today. Donate for Akshaya Patra.

Do Donations Make an Impact for Our 1.6 Million Children?

When reaching out to 1.6 million children, every donation and contribution is crucial – for the organisation to function sustainably and for children to benefit from Food for Education initiative. Know why your donation matters.

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Post-Independence era made us debate issues that were burdening the country at every level. Among several issues that cripple the growth a nation, one of them continues to be illiteracy and lack of food security. To tackle these issues, the Government of India proposed free education in government schools and ration for BPL families. One of the key solutions is Mid-Day Meal Scheme for school children to end classroom hunger and encourage education.

Mid-Day Meal Programme by Akshaya Patra is run with support from fundraisers, Central Government and State Governments. This programme which currently reaches out to over 1.6 million children across 11 states benefits the nation by:

Improving the nutritional status of children in class I-V in Government, Local Body and Government aided schools, and EGS and AIE centers.

Encouraging children, belonging to disadvantaged sections, to attend school more regularly and help them concentrate on classroom activities.

Providing nutritional support to children of primary stage in drought affected areas during summer vacation.

And most importantly, this initiative aims to transform children’s lives.

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To operate the programme on every school day, every contribution becomes a key component. For example, Mid-Day Meal Scheme in Andhra Pradesh and Telangala reach out to more than 1 lakh children; with four centralised kitchens in total, the programme is able to make a great difference in the lives of young ones. And in places where setting up a centralised kitchen is not feasible, Akshaya Patra has made created a network of decentralised kitchens; Mid-Day Meal Programme in Nayagarh, Odisha is run with the help of decentralised kitchens and over 300 schools are benefitted by the programme.

Your decision to sponsor a child’s meals for a year will have an incredible and a long-term impact on the child’s life. Make an impact today. To know our children’s stories, you can visit our website.

Global Hunger Index 2016 Says India is at ‘Serious’ Level

The hunger problem has spread its roots so widely and deeply all around the world that eradication of hunger seems a distant dream without the coherence and cooperation of each one of us. We’ve earned enough of luxury for ourselves but we also need to realize that there’s no better expenditure of money than making a donation to feed the hungry. According to the 2016 Global Hunger Index Report, roughly one in four children is affected by stunting and 8 per cent of children are affected by wasting.

We witness many of them daily and the sight really breaks our heart. But we somehow manage to move on. If everybody starts working towards change, imagine the results? We need to make a paradigm shift and to perfectly exemplify this. Akshaya Patra, an NGO registered under Section 80G of Income Tax Act, has been doing outstanding work since 16 years. If you look at the history of mid-day meal scheme in India, you will notice two important positive results: increase in school enrolment rate and decrease drop-out rates. But there’s still so much to do.

The scourge of global hunger

Hunger is comprehensively measured and tracked at the global, regional, and country levels by a tool called the Global Hunger Index. According to the 2016 GHI Report, ‘Regionally, the highest GHI scores, and therefore the highest hunger levels, are still found in Africa, south of the Sahara and South Asia. As a matter of fact, India, a South Asian country, is a home to 33% of world’s undernourished children. And if our ignorance towards this problem is persistent, we’ll ultimately end up with distressingly high level of hunger around the globe. Now, this is where Akshaya Patra lets and urges us to help those in dire need of our sponsorship with an additional benefit of tax exemption in India. We need to realize our responsibilities towards society and raise funds for children charity.

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The two most critical sustainable goals

By pledging to eradicate undernourishment and provide unlimited food for education, Akshaya Patra targets the two most critical UN sustainable goals: Zero Hunger and Quality Education. The history of mid-day meal tells you that Akshaya Patra has presented a chance to fulfill dreams for those 1.7 million children who are deprived of education because of hunger. The splendid outcomes have made Akshaya Patra well-recognised across the world. With the perpetual expansion of such selfless programmes and philanthropic donors raising children charity open-handedly, the decrement in undernourishment and increment in literacy level is assured.

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A strong stand against all other national challenges

Various inhibitions to development like gender inequality, poverty, crimes, violence etc. are inextricably linked with education. Nelson Mandela realised this long back. He described education as a weapon to change the world and a great way to foster peace in societies. Unfortunately, many children are deprived of education because of financial incapability and social backwardness.

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Let’s embrace the humanitarian core and do some charity donations today, not as a gesture of tokenism but as an ardent yearning to defeat hunger. Make a donation in honour of someone today.

Eliminating Hunger is a Crucial Step for India

The Global Hunger Index (a tool designed to measure global hunger) released by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) shows that India ranks 97 out of 118 countries – ‘Serious’ hunger. As many as 43 countries are under the ‘Serious’ category whereas 45 countries are low. For India to tackle the hunger problem by feeding the hungry, the current policies have schemes have to be more stringent and accessible to people in need.

While the government and many NGOs are working towards feeding the children with wholesome meals, there is a need for us to act together as a society. Given the number of children who require food in our country, Akshaya Patra, a children’s NGO based out of Bengaluru, is providing healthy meals to over 1.6 million school children in 11 states in India. The Foundation is also focusing on reaching out to 5 million children by 2020.

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Why should we focus on children’s food demands?

Children are the future. Considering the magnitude of hunger problem in India, many NGOs are setting up initiatives to eliminate hunger especially among children – they are stunted, poorly nourished and do not receive one square meal a day. Going by the GHI score, 38.7% of children below five years are stunted – it means that the weight is not appropriate for their height (they are too thin). In 1992, this score was 61.9. That’s a difference of 23.2% in the last 24 years.

With an initiative like ‘Food for Education,’ by Akshaya Patra, the advantages are doubled to make hunger a history – the child is educated and also, he or she is completely nourished with nutritious meals.

Inclusive development and addressing issues using this method is more important for India. That is, simultaneously focus on development of education, citizens’ rights, health care, housing facilities, job opportunities and so on. However, when one issue is looked down as least important, it multiples and becomes far more challenging.

Here’s what you can do to eliminate hunger in India

It has been proved over and again that India has sufficient resources to eliminate hunger. However, the existing challenges are a drawback. Distribution of food among families with low-income, building infrastructure to reach certain towns and villages, educating the farmers, ensuring fair-trade are some of the challenges.

Akshaya Patra’s school lunch programme benefits children from many small towns and villages to consume a square meal on every school day. Today, the organisation reaches out to 13,210 schools to feed the children. Keeping hygiene and quality in mind, mid-day meals are freshly prepared and are delivered to schools during lunch time.

You can get involved in this cause too! Contribute to the cause by sponsoring a child’s mid-day meals for an entire year. Also, you can learn how Akshaya Patra operates its Mid-Day Meal Programme by visiting our blog.

How Nutritional Value is Important for Children?

Dictionaries define nutrition as “the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.” Unfortunately obtaining food for health and nutrition worldwide has proved to be tougher challenge than it was perceived. Providing healthy food for children is a concern that transcends geographical boundaries. Fresh and healthy food is a basic right of every child, and there is a need to make sure that they get it every day.

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Unfortunately, we live in a divided world where one section of the society is wasting food while the other is deprived of it. Children are on the receiving end because quite often they are not the bread-earners to be able to fetch food. Several children, who do get food, may not get a diet full of health and nutrition.  At Akshaya Patra, when our target of 2 billion meals was achieved recently, nutrition was still top of our priority. 

The Global Nutrition Report 2016 reveals data on the status of hunger, malnourishment and poor diets in children and adults as well. The report suggests that it’s even more difficult for little children who have to experience hunger and a hard time to get meals twice a day. Nutrition is required for children so as to ensure their growth and a hunger-free life. In India, however, the reality is major part of the population isn’t capable of arranging food for hungry children even once a day.

Nutritional status of children in India:

  • UNICEF reports, almost 20% of children less than 5 years are wasted due to undernutrition.
  • Approximately 61 million children are stunted due to chronic undernutrition
  • More than one-third of wasted children and three out of every ten stunted children in the world, live in India itself
  • Millions of children suffer from micronutrient malnutrition and calorie deficiency
  • The ratio of underweight children is in rural areas increase every year unexpectedly
  • Around 50% of the children under 5 years are underweight and prone to infections

 How’s nutrition vital for children?

Physical growth: Studies have proved that a child needs proper nutrition in order to achieve full height. The same is also true for the rest of his physical growth. There are children who suffer from several physical ailments due to lack of nutrition and good health.

Mental faculties: Health and nutrition pave way for the children to develop their mental faculties. Any pediatrician would testify that the right balance of omega fatty acids in children’s daily diet contribute towards brain activity, development and capabilities. Similarly, each ingredient in a balanced diet adds to a child’s mental growth. That’s precisely why we combined mid-day meals with education in schools and emphasised on providing healthy food for children.

Feeling of wellness: Children who get regular diet and nutritious food are often active in their school and on playground. Remember that children are still exploring the world with their little experience. They have more energy that needs channelising physically. This can happen only when a child has ample nutrition in his body. Such children have a greater sense of well-being and wellness.

Health and nutrition have a lot of value in a child’s growth. It goes without saying that for the overall mental and physical development of any human being, nutrition plays a vital role. It becomes crucial especially for children who are not aware what’s best for them. The children need help and guidance along with a regular supply of nutritious food. We have been providing mid-day meals in schools through our centralised kitchens in 24 locations across 10 states.

You can help children get the right balance of diet with just a click. Donate to charity today!

Celebrating Rakhi with Bhojan Suraksha Bandhan!

This full moon day our hearts are in brim, feeling of faith and serenity in mind.”—APJ Abdul Kalam

One day, early in the morning, Vishnu, a 12-year-old boy, was helping his father at the paddy fields. His sister, Anu, was eagerly waiting for him to return home, as she could not wait to tie him rakhi – the sacred thread symbolising her sisterly love. As soon as he returned, Anu ran to her room, picked up the handmade rakhi and stood before him with joy. After a small ritual, Anu tied the rakhi on her brother’s wrist, praying for his well-being, while he took an oath to protect his sister from all evil.

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On this day, which is a celebration of love between brothers and sisters, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, recognises the importance of this powerful relationship and the values of brotherhood which we can inculcate in our society to build a strong nation. Millions of school children are benefitted every day by Akshaya Patra’s core programme—to feed the hungry kids by providing mid-day meals in schools thereby encouraging them to continue their education.

Akshaya Patra, through its credible service to stop hunger, promises to protect our country’s children from hunger. It is with faith and righteousness that the organisation operates the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme in 10 states across India and provides mid-day meals to over 1.5 million children every day.

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Let your big heart speak as you make a gift on Raksha Bandhan, of a contribution to our cause. Dedicate yourself to be the symbol of protection for our sisters and brothers of tomorrow. Go on and take the pledge to protect children from hunger—an evil that steals their right to a healthy life and education.

Akshaya Patra urges you to support education by feeding children nutritious meals every day. Today, you can choose to donate to Akshaya Patra to ensure a healthy future for India.

Read also how you can Bind the Cherished Memories

5 Reasons Why You Should Donate To Akshaya Patra

Meera, a 10-year-old girl, was expected to stay at home and help her mother with daily chores. Due to several financial constraints in the house, her interest in attending school was crushed. Soon, her school implemented mid-day meal scheme to encourage children to attend school. As much as it worked in favour of the scheme, it also assured Meera’s parents of one nutritious meal for their daughter. Meera’s education resumed.

It has been over 16 years since The Akshaya Patra Foundation began its humble journey by feeding hot and nutritious food to 1500 school children in Bengaluru. Today, this NGO in India feeds more than 1.5 million school children across 10 states in the country. Here are five reasons why you should donate to charity and support Akshaya Patra’s cause:

  1. Eradicate Classroom Hunger

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India has witnessed a rapid change in reducing many social issues. However, classroom hunger continues to be one of the battles on the ground. Akshaya Patra, one of India’s NGOs, aims to omit classroom hunger by implementing mid-day meal scheme in government schools across the nation. When a child is fed nutritious and tasty meal, learning becomes easier—for it is the mind that needs nourishment to learn.

  1. Achieve Universal Education

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Akshaya Patra began with a vision that ‘no child in India should be deprived of education due to hunger.’ It is one of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 to ensure quality education for all. With this belief, we are heading towards achieving 100% school enrolment. When children are assured of a wholesome meal in school itself, they are encouraged to learn and socialise among their classmates—this builds their knowledge and personality. Many schools in India have observed an increase in school enrolment since the implementation of mid-day meal programme.

  1. Be Aware of Social Issues

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By getting involved with Akshaya Patra’s cause, you will be able to educate yourself about issues revolving around hunger and education among children in India. We believe when people come together to make a change in the society, it creates a substantial impact.

  1. Get Benefits: 100% Tax Exemption

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You as a donor can avail tax exemption with Akshaya Patra which is registered under section 35 AC/80 GGA of the Income Tax Act 1961. It allows resident taxpayers to sanction 100% tax exemption for every donation above Rs. 500.

  1. We Are Making Progress

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For Akshaya Patra, it’s been a journey of perseverance. The organisation has dedicated itself to the cause of eradicating hunger among school children in India and the voyage has been successful—from 1500 children to over 1.5 million children every day. It is of course with the support from Central Government, State Governments and donors that we are able to reach more children every day.

You can get involved too. When you attempt to donate to charity, it is a win for societal change. You can add Rs. 750 to our donation jar which will ensure a child’s wholesome and nutritious mid-day meals for an entire year.

Akshaya Patra Serving Health and Well-Being in Schools

The major drawback in India is that children from low-income families are not entitled to proper education for lack of food. The children tend to remain hungry as their parents cannot afford them a meal. For them, a square meal is more important than acquiring education. So they accompany parents to work places. As a result, attendance has dropped down and drop-outs have increased.  It is estimated that more than 50% of Indian children drop out of the schools at primary level.  Unfortunately, India shares 34% percent of the world’s illiterate population.

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Without education a child can never progress. Understanding the link between education and nutrition, Akshaya Patra serves unlimited food for education keeping their growth requirements in mind. The meals are delivered with proper nutrition; quality, prescribed calories and safety. Adequate supply of micro nutrients as iron, folic acid, zinc, fibre, essential fatty acids, calcium, carbohydrates, protein vitamin A are supplemented through the mid-day meals. During lunch servings; roti, rice, rice khichadi, curd rice, vegetable pulao, mixed vegetable curry, sambar, dhal, rasam etc. are served. The sambar and curries contain lots of vegetables which have essential nutrients that are required for the adequate growth of children. The rice and wheat served meets adequate standards as prescribed by The Government of India.  Every meal served is warm, fresh, nutritious and ready to eat. So hunger, which is an obstacle to children’s health, education and survival are tackled by the nutritious mid-day meals.

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The mid-day meal solves two of the critical United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The first is to End Poverty and Hunger and second is to achieve Universal Education. Food for education solves the obstacle of hunger that is a hindrance for education and health.

Hunger hinders a child’s learning process. Let no child miss the opportunity to attend school for the lack of food.  Let us donate for the NGO so that it can reach out to more children.  Let us work together to serve children and end class room hunger. 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.

School Admission Time for the Beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra (Part-2)

In the first part, we have seen how Akshaya Patra improvises the quality and excellence of its kitchens for welcoming its beneficiary children after the vacations. This non-profit organisation in India is striving hard to provide nutritious mid-day meals to children in Government schools.

The burning problem in India is hunger and illiteracy among school children.  Most of the children studying in Government schools hail from low income families, who do not have provision for a proper meal a day. A hungry child becomes unhealthy, less attentive and hence a poor learner.  The child might be a drop-out and start searching for his own food ending up as a child labourer.

Alarmingly, National Census 2011 reveals that in India there are 10.12 million child labourers aged 5 to 14.  In the backdrop of food insecurity, a child can never concentrate in class. Realizing the issue, Akshaya Patra serves unlimited food for education to school children, so that hunger won’t be a restraint in their path to education. If the problem of hunger and malnourishment are solved, children can concentrate in studies.

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In the recent years, it has been witnessed that mid-day meals attracts children in coming to school. Its benefits extend beyond class rooms, making children healthy by boosting their energy, breaking poverty in households, serving as an investment for the future of a child making him/her educated and literate. For most of the children it would be the only nutritious meal in a day. Thus, micronutrient deficiencies that cause severe health problems are solved. It can also be considered as a bonus that will help children to stay at school so that the enrolment and attendance are increased in schools and hence paving the paths of progress, development and success of the nation.

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Education plays an important role in the life of a child.  It is education that moulds an illiterate child into an enlightened individual. So, this non-profit organisation in India, feeds the children with mid-day meals to keep hunger at bay and help them to lead a progressive future. Thus, solving the problems related to health, education and child labour.

Akshaya Patra reaches out to 1.5 million children in 24 locations across 10 states of India. Here is a brief survey of the states Akshaya Patra is serving mid-day meals in

  • Andhra Pradesh, 28051 children are served across 109 schools
  • Assam, 53649 children are served across 592 schools.
  • Chhattisgarh, 23647 children are served across 160 schools.
  • Gujarat, 400158 children are served across 1653 schools.
  • Karnataka, 463682 children are served across 26289 schools.
  • Odisha, 125242 children are served across 1461 schools.
  • Rajasthan 135910 students are served across 1830 schools.
  • Tamil Nadu 718 students are served.
  • Telangana, 54849 students across 454 schools and
  • Uttar Pradesh, 150663 students across 1983 schools.

The organisation is striving tirelessly to spread its roots across to other states in India.  As responsible citizens of society, let us join hands to solve the problem of hunger which is an obstacle in a child’s progressive life. It is our social responsibility to see that no child becomes a labourer for the want of food and be malnourished for dearth of food. It is our duty to ensure that students will not be drop-outs for food.

Let us be part of Akshaya Patra in serving unlimited food for education by giving donation for the NGO. Every donation of Rs 500 or above is eligible for 100% tax exemption benefits. Within ten days of making the donation, tax receipts can be expected. It takes only Rs.750 to feed a child for a year!

Read the previous blog on School Admission Time for the Beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra