An NGO in Ahmedabad Supporting Hopes of Children

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an Indian NGO implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states of India, and Gujarat is one among them. The Foundation is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka and made its foray into Gujarat in 2009. Since then, strategically, it has expanded its reach across five locations in the state as an NGO in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Surat, and Kalol. Currently, the Foundation is providing meals to 4,07,452 children in 1,621 government schools across the state.

NGO in Ahmedabad

Akshaya Patra is providing mid-day meal in Gujarat from its five centralised kitchens located in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Surat, and Kalol. Each of these kitchens strictly adheres to hygiene and cleanliness practices while preparing meals and ensure that the cooked meals are nutritious, tasty, and hygienic. And, so that children readily consume the meals, the kitchen follows a locally palatable menu.

Akshaya Patra is cognisant of the fact that in most cases food brings children to school. It is an incentive for parents to send their children to school with the hope that their children will receive at least one stomach full of meal a day. And, once children are at school, they also receive education empowering them to become resourceful and independent in the future. Thus, while providing regular mid-day meals in the existing schools, Akshaya Patra, as an NGO in Ahmedabad, also strives to extend its service to other locations of the state.

By providing mid-day meal in Gujarat, Akshaya Patra is not only supporting health and education of children but is also upholding dreams of millions of children. Here is an anecdote of one of the beneficiaries:

Mayur - Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Mayur Kanaji Thakor, a bright student of Golvanta Primary School, Gujarat aspires to be a doctor. He comes from a family of four with his father as the sole breadwinner earning a monthly income of Rs. 6,000. But, this not-so-privileged economic background has not deterred Mayur’s determination and he is confident that he will achieve his dream. An Akshaya Patra beneficiary, Mayur’s favourite food at school is Dal-Dhokli. Read the full story of Mayur here.

There are many more such dreams and they are all waiting for a little support from you. Hence, Akshaya Patra gives you a platform to be a part of young yet determined dreams of millions of children. You can support meals and hopes of children by choosing to donate to charity. Your contribution to Akshaya Patra will be diligently used in providing wholesome meals to children thereby empowering them with health and education. Feed a child, nourish a hope!

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All you need to know about Akshaya Patra’s Anganwadi Feeding Programme

The Anganwadi programme is an initiative of the Government of India to facilitate mother and child care across the country. Currently, there are 14-lakh approved AWCs and 7,076 ICDS Projects across the country (as per Government press release, 7 February 2014). To further the efforts of government and extend the benefits of Anganwadi programme, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO for children.

Primarily, Akshaya Patra is an implementing arm of the Government’s Mid-Day Meal Scheme. Every school day the Foundation serves freshly cooked wholesome school lunch to more than 17-lakh children in 36 locations across 12 states of the country. It strives to support education of children by providing nutritious meals to them at school. However, aside from this core programme, Akshaya Patra has also undertaken several other feeding and social initiatives, the Anganwadi feeding programme being one of them.

Here is a quick overview of the Akshaya Patra’s Anganwadi feeding programme:

  • By implementing this programme Akshaya Patra aims to provide nutritious meals to children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers of Anganwadi centres;
  • Presently, Akshaya Patra is serving nutritious meals at 4,786 Anganwadi centres in nine locations of five states – Hyderabad, Jaipur, Baran, Vadodara, Surat, Ahmedabad, Vrindavan, Narsingi, and Warangal;
  • The NGO has a beneficiary base of 1,61,410 young children and 6,410 pregnant and lactating women;
  • Akshaya Patra carries out the Anganwadi food supply by preparing meals in their centralised kitchens that deliver it to the centres in their customised meal delivery vehicles;
  • The cost incurred to provide meals to one beneficiary for one year is Rs. 675.

By providing food in Anganwadi centres this NGO is aiding one of the main services of the Anganwadi centres i.e. nutrition and health. The Foundation has witnessed tangible change among the beneficiaries and strives to expand this programme to other locations too.

However, to do so, it requires support from the entire community because only when community, government, and NGOs work together, the necessary changes can be achieved. So, support Akshaya Patra by opting to contribute online donations for NGO. Your contribution will ensure nutrition-rich diet for millions of young children and will provide the needed nourishment for expecting and lactating mothers.

5 ways an Indian NGO is empowering children

Empowering children

NGOs address a wide range of social, economic, and environmental concerns. But, every NGO has its own core area of work and influence. Similarly, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an Indian mid-day meal NGO focussing on providing nutritious school lunch to government school children to counter classroom hunger and promote education. The NGO began its service way back in 2000 by serving meals to only 1,500 children in five schools of Bangalore. Over the 17 years of service, this NGO in Bangalore has progressed to become a nationwide movement to promote education and health among children through the Mid-Day Meal Programme.

By implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme in schools, Akshaya Patra wants to provide nutritious food to children, encourage uninterrupted schooling, improve health, and provide an avenue to explore aspirations so that children grow up to be confident and reliable citizens of the nation. In simple terms, Akshaya Patra is empowering children to be the future leaders of the nation.

Mid-day meal benefits

Broadly speaking, the Mid- Day Meal Programme has had a significant impact on the education sector of the country. Studies report that there has been an increase in enrolment and attendance rate, improved health has been observed among children, and there is a decrease in the drop-out rate. This programme has proved itself to be a supporting pillar in bringing and retaining children at school. Working in a Public-Private Partnership model, Akshaya Patra is extending the mid-day meal benefits to children right at the grass root level. Currently, it is providing mid-day meals to more than 1.6 million children on every school day across 34 locations in 12 states.

Observing the impact of the school meal programme, Akshaya Patra aims to feed 5 million children by 2020. Indeed a humongous task, but is achievable with a concerted effort from all of us. Hence, Akshaya Patra has provided an online platform to contribute to the cause. You can opt to donate online, start a campaign, sponsor a school or kitchen equipment, or just spread the word about Akshaya Patra’s cause. Your involvement will enable this NGO to empower more children across the country. So, be a part of nation-building by getting involved with Akshaya Patra.

How NGO’s in Uttar Pradesh is Ensuring Children’s Development?

Educating children and ensuring they remain healthy in the region has been an important goal for NGOs working across the world. Many NGOs in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar are working on the similar lines. This helps in increasing the awareness level of children. Many NGO’s in Lucknow are working towards ensuring that the children get quality food and education.

Education for children

Therefore, NGOs like The Akshaya Patra Foundation are reaching out to children in schools of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh among other states. The foundation is serving wholesome meals to school children. The NGO has a state-of-the-art kitchen in Lucknow from where mid-day meals are supplied to various Government and Government-aided schools in Uttar Pradesh.

This has a deeper implication. When children are motivated to attend schools, they develop dreams and aspirations of a career. Education opens up various subjects and avenues. As a result, children learn about their own inclination towards certain subjects. This in turn helps them to take steps towards a fruitful career in the subject they like.

When the NGO in Uttar Pradesh reaches out to school children, it becomes a part of the children’s growth. Children attending schools regularly discover the charms of science, language, politics, geography or humanities. This encourages them to explore their interests. The foundation laid during the younger days forms is important as that helps the children pick their career choices. The Stories of Hope demonstrate how children relish the opportunities of a great career.

NGOs like Akshaya Patra are taking these aspirations to far-off schools in and around Lucknow. These are areas where access to information is often limited. And so when children are exposed to regular dose of education and knowledge, they heartily appreciate it. The NGO thus calls for donors to sponsor a child and pave a career path for him/her. When donors choose to sponsor a child, they become part of his/her growth and become instrumental in his career development. You can contribute and help these children realise their life’s goals. Sponsor a child today.

How is this NGO in Uttar Pradesh reducing school dropout rate

Akshaya Patra, an NGO in Uttar Pradesh, has been serving mid-day meals to children from its two kitchens in Lucknow and Vrindavan. The experience has been such that the schools which are benefiting from the initiative are experiencing better attendance than before. Apart from Uttar Pradesh, similar results have been observed in other states where the NGO runs its Mid-day Meal Programme.

Gift-for-children

This NGO in Uttar Pradesh is currently serving meals to 2,11,680 children alone. This charity for children is now changing the way parents there look at education.

One of the most thickly populated states in India, Uttar Pradesh, houses several children who drop out of schools, either due to parental pressure or because of the need to earn their own meals. The only way to retain these children in school is by serving mid-day meals on a daily basis. The charity for children – Akshaya Patra – aims at opening 11 new kitchens in the state in districts of Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Allahbad, Kanpur, Etawah, Kannauj, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Rampur and Ballia. As a result, this charity would serve 1.3 million children as part of its mid-day meal programme in Uttar Pradesh.

The kitchens run by this NGO are state-of-the-art when it comes to the quality and volume of cooking happening on a daily basis. Hygiene and nutrition are the two most important criteria of cooking here apart from timely delivery of meals.

You can help this charity for children continue serving meals to children with your contributions.

Three Important Reasons Why You Should Give Back

The word ‘Give’ in the context of ‘Giving Back’ has a very interesting meaning to it. According to Etymonline, “The Middle English noun yeve (Give), meant “that which is given or offered; a contribution of money,” often as tribute, or in expectation of something in return.”

giving-back-has-its-benefits

‘Giving back’ usually supersedes with the word society. Ever since, people realized that humanity could make a great difference, the race has been helping communities by empowering them. Similarly, Akshaya Patra has been feeding the children in India to ensure they do not experience classroom hunger.

If you have been thinking of giving back to society, now is the time! We collated three important benefits of giving back and here they are:

You will help someone grow

As an individual, you may want to give back to society by paying someone’s school fees. Many families who come from difficult background are burdened by their children’s schools fees and unable to pay, they choose to send them on work. This could be your chance to give back.

beneficiary-of-akshaya-patra

Giving back will not only help the child be a part of school system, but will also help you grow as a person. To understand the issues deeply and to step up to correct them is our responsibility and by giving back, you will have contributed to the growth of an individual, their family, and their community.

You will build stronger communities

Among many activities, Akshaya Patra regularly organises Health Awareness Programmes for school children with the help of corporates; these programmes include discussions and hygiene kit distribution.

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Kit Distribution

When we as a community go out to help another, it transforms and structures their living standards and also contributes to their health. This includes helping a community with a nursing home, a school, awareness programmes and basic infrastructure. For Akshaya Patra, a children’s charity, registered under section 80G of Income Tax Act, providing a mid-day meal is one way to empower a network a students.

And finally, you will spread happiness!

This is probably the most important reason for the giver and the receiver; happiness. The experience of giving back to society keeps you content! The inner joy of having transformed a life, without expecting returns, is a feeling that words cannot describe.

hello-new-shoes

Shoe Distribution

To experience this joy, go out and do your noble act that you’ve always wanted to do. Try visiting a school, buying stationery for a child or maybe even a pair of school shoes. The simple things in life tend to leave a curve on your face. Happiness is contagious and so is an act of giving back.

As you call it a day, think of reasons why you should give back to society and when you do, Akshaya Patra’s children will be waiting for your help.

Sponsor a child today!

Of Quality Education: what defines quality?

Running a children’s charity would mean providing the little ones the basic necessities of life which they are deprived of for various reasons. Akshaya Patra opened its doors to Indian children in the year 2000 by providing them mid-day meals in government schools and government-aided schools. Vision: No child should be deprived of education because of hunger.

Ever since India began its Mid-Day Meal Scheme, the drop-out rates have decreased and enrolment rates in schools have increased. However, Mid-Day Meal is only one of the factors in making this possible. With the help of central and state governments, Akshaya Patra, an NGO in India, has been providing mid-day meals to school children for the last 16 years.

Now with more and more children in schools, the country is focusing on Quality Education – one of the goals proposed by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). In 2015, the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) proposed Sustainable Development Goals to 194 countries. Among the 17 aspirational goals with objective to transform the world, the fourth goal is Quality Education. Akshaya Patra is playing a vital role as an NGO in India in education sector, highlights the understanding on Quality Education.

sdgs-by-food-for-educaion

What is Quality Education?

According to a paper presented by UNICEF, five points define Quality Education.

  • Learners who are healthy, well-nourished and ready to participate and learn, and supported in learning by their families and communities;
  • Environments that are healthy, safe, protective and gender-sensitive, and provide adequate resources and facilities;
  • Content that is reflected in relevant curricula and materials for the acquisition of basic skills, especially in the areas of literacy, numeracy and skills for life, and knowledge in such areas as gender, health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS prevention and peace;
  • Processes through which trained teachers use child-centered teaching approaches in well-managed classrooms and schools and skillful assessment to facilitate learning and reduce disparities;
  • Outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes, and are linked to national goals for education and positive participation in society.

(Source: unicef.org/education/files/QualityEducation.PDF)

The first point talks about students who are ‘healthy, well-nourished and ready to participate.’ This very objective is followed by Akshaya Patra in its large-scale feeding initiatives.

Quality Education, we believe leads to remarkable success. With literacy rates rising, we should also focus on providing inclusive and quality education to ensure progress.

UNDP states: “Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development. This goal ensures that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, to eliminate gender and wealth disparities, and achieve universal access to a quality higher education.”

Akshaya Patra’s Food for Education initiative embraces two most critical sustainable development goals – Zero Hunger and Quality Education. You can show your support by sponsoring a child’s meal for an entire academic year. Make a charity donation and win tax exemption in India.

The Importance of Healthy Childhood

Nothing is as fraught with significance as healthy childhood because this is where a better future roots. It ensures good physical, mental and emotional health which ultimately contributes to the multifaceted growth of an individual. Unfortunately, many from the marginalised sections of our society are defenseless against undernutrition and the choice of giving up on education. Sad, isn’t it? However, there are exceptions and this is where NGOs’ roles in India come to play. Akshaya Patra, a Bangalore-based prestigious child NGO has been providing selfless service since 16 years and has served more than 2.12 billion quality meals so far.

akshayapatrahealthychildhood

As a moral obligation, we too should help in ensuring healthy living conditions for all kids especially the underprivileged ones and help them grow as a fit individual for following reasons.

  1. Healthy food provides good immunity power and reduces disease risk

These days it is common to see children having weak eyesight, low stamina, muscular pain, high vulnerability to cough and cold etc. Most of these general problems are consequences of improper nutrition. It is essential to intake a healthy and balanced diet as it provides vital nutrients for the strengthening of immunity power and hence reduces the risk of diseases in children. At growing age, developing healthy eating habits and good resistance against diseases is relatively easy. So the diets should be accordingly planned.

  1. Healthy meals are the key to the cognitive, physical and social development of children

The quality of meal that children consume determines the overall growth of their body and mind. Their concentration, learning abilities, skills, physique, and interaction habits are all a direct function of how well their bodies are supplied with required nutrients. It is observed that children who are well fed are often more cheerful, intelligent, optimistic and surely healthier. Akshaya Patra, the child NGO of Bangalore, takes good care of this aspect in the meals that it provides. It abides by the dietary norms of central Mid-Day Meal Scheme and the prescribed levels of nutrition. The efforts of such organisations truly prove what great roles the NGOs in India can play in eradicating undernourishment.

  1. Healthy today, better tomorrow

If kids are ensured with a healthy childhood, there are ample chances that the results stay long-term. Good physical and mental development imply good dedication towards education, gaining knowledge, learning moral values, increased productivity, better judgment of right and wrong, and a healthy body of course. Thus a balanced diet including sufficient quantities of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber should be provided as each component has its own contribution to the overall development. We have the power to secure better future by taking care of the nutrition of our children as well as of those who are unaware and helpless.

Undoubtedly, giving some of what we have to ensure a healthy childhood and a better future for all kids is the best gift ever. Donate to sponsor a child’s meals for an entire year!

The Different Techniques to Ensure Children Enjoy School

Children change their minds more quickly than grown-ups. One moment, they have an urge to play, another moment, they want to eat something specific. What’s the key to keep them motivated for school without repelling them from certain subjects? At Akshaya Patra, an NGO in India, we have first-hand experience of coping with this during the Mid-day Meal Programme run in schools in collaboration with the government.  Here’s what we have tried and tested over the years. We are happy to share this little piece of wisdom with parents who often struggle to send their kids to school.

Fun enforcement or no enforcement

Make sure that you learn to bite your tongue when children refrain from going to school. While it’s good to hear their reasons, you must also be able to tell when a child is only playing you. Count the things your child loves about school. It could be friends or a games period or a drawing class. If you really know what your kid is interested in, you will know what to say when sending them off to school. For instance, reward your children when they agree to go to school without tantrums. At Akshaya Patra, we encourage children to come to school so they have nutritious meals. Our sponsors who often donate for education in India find it fascinating how our volunteers and staff keep the children always excited for mid-day meals in schools.

building-a-sustainable-mid-day-meal-programme

Appreciation

Children have a forgiving heart and so they won’t hold a grudge that you sent them to school without their will. Most likely, they will not even remember it. So make sure you develop a habit of praising your child for any big or small achievement in class. Always be a proud parent and get your kids interested in extra-curricular activities.

Plan sumptuous lunch

We have seen mothers who would cook sumptuous and nutritious lunch as a motivating factor for the children to eat during school. Akshaya Patra’s Mid-day Meal Programme in schools ensures that the lunch served is full of vegetables, proteins, dairy, grains, oils and nutrients. Just the whole excitement of opening the lunch box during school often gets children excited about school.

Assure help in homework

Often children find school dreary and a burden due to the homework. They often feel overwhelmed and scared. Always be the parent who makes homework a team activity. Ensure you are always around to guide, instruct and help the child as he or she sits down for homework. That would assure the child of an ever-present help and would motivate them to look forward to school.

Akshaya Patra is an NGO in India that has been running Mid-Day Meals Programme in schools since 2000. One of our biggest lessons during this programme over the years has been that children need motivation at every step in their lives. As for the Mid-Day Meal Programme, the organisation is working towards building a sustainable network of kitchens to reach five million children by 2020. If you are someone who is considering donating for education in India, you are welcome to join our mission.

10 Ingredients that make Mid-Day Meal a Healthy Eat!

The 21st century has made us more food conscious than ever. We take interest in understanding the importance of healthy food, nutrition intake, and calories and so on. To simplify the food theories, we have even created food pyramids and graphs based on age groups. Today, we all know what kind of food is acceptable for children and what isn’t.

As an NGO, Akshaya Patra aims to feed the children the right amount of mid-day meals with sufficient nutritional values. We believe mid-day meal benefits every child. Before we share our little secret on keeping children healthy, here’s a bit of history on Nutrition. The word ‘Nutrition’ means ‘nourishment’ and first originated in Latin during early 15th century. Centuries later, when hunger was identified as an issue, a prefix Mal which means ‘bad’ was used to describe poor nutritional levels – malnutrition.

For Akshaya Patra, it is important that children receive the right amount of nutrients in their food. Here’s a list of ingredients used in mid-day meals along with their nutrition value:

nutritional-value-of-mdm

 

To break the cycle of hunger among children, a country must do a lot – introduce nutritional school lunch programmes, ensure initiatives are reaching the target group, prioritise education, stabilise low-income families with subsidies and health care benefits, and many more. Akshaya Patra’s menu of mid-day meals is such that it covers the basics of nutrition intake and calories, making it one of the best diets for children!

Besides clothing and shelter, food is one of the basic needs for humans. We have reached a point in time where most of us are able to afford these basic needs however, lack of food among children continues to be a persistent issue. Let’s act to ensure children receive the two most important elements that can help them grow – food and education. Sponsor a child by donating Rs 950 and be assured that he or she will receive wholesome mid-day meals for an entire academic year!