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.

How Akshaya Patra Foundation Feeds Over 1.8 Million Children Every Day?

1.8 million+ children!

Is it really possible to feed so many children in 1 single day?

Indeed, it is a humongous task but if the entire community works in unison with a children charity or an NGO, it is achievable.

One such NGO is The Akshaya Patra Foundation which is registered as a not-for-profit organisation under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882. It implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India.

Feed 1.8 million children

Akshaya Patra was started in the year 2000 by feeding 1,500 children in Bengaluru, Karnataka. As of today, it feeds 18,02,517 children studying in 16,856 Government and Government-aided schools located in 51 locations across India. It works with a vision that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ The Foundation aims to feed 5 million children by 2025.

But how does Akshaya Patra aim to accomplish those numbers?

Akshaya Patra provides freshly cooked, nutritious mid-day meals to children in order to help them in their overall development. The Foundation operates from 52 kitchens out of which, 50 kitchens are Centralized kitchens and 2 are Decentralized kitchens.

Centralized kitchen

Centralized kitchens are present in 50 locations of India and have a capacity to feed 25,000 to 1,00,000 meals a day. These kitchens are located in urban and semi-urban areas.

Decentralized Kitchen

A decentralized kitchen is set up in locations that are remote and not easily accessible. Such kitchens do not have a great connectivity which makes it difficult to set up a large infrastructure. It is operated by women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and monitored by Akshaya Patra supervisors.

akshaya-patra-kitchens

Mid-day meals have several benefits

It might sound like a small school lunch for many of us, but it makes a huge difference in the lives of children who come from challenging backgrounds where having a square meal once a day is an achievement. This is why parents of such children rely on school mid-day meals. Mid-day meals benefit children in different ways:

Put the below points in smart art form.

  • It improves nutritional levels in children who consume mid-day meals. Mid-day meals are packed with nutritional content.
  • It increases the rate of school enrolment since a school lunch can act as a catalyst in bringing back children to school every day
  • It increases their attention span and helps them focus better in their classrooms
  • It ensures proper cognitive and physical development of children studying in schools
  • It helps in reducing the school drop-out rates

You can help children by sponsoring their school lunches at ₹1100 and help them enjoy locally palatable meals for an entire academic year. You can contribute directly to help school children or by taking part in various volunteering opportunities available with Akshaya Patra.

Show your support to feed 1.8 million children!

Sponsor their meals & save tax too!

71st Republic Day Celebration with Children Charity in India

We are in the 71st year of regulation of The Indian Constitution. It is the day when we reminisce the historic moment when the Constitution of India came into force. For all the people back in the year 1950, it meant something more than Republic Day, it meant – Complete Freedom.

The freedom to express yourself, freedom to exercise your duties, freedom to serve people of your country, freedom to donate online towards a cause, freedom to volunteer in activities, etc. gives so much meaning to our lives. We are basically exercising our literal selves of being Human and feeling what Humanity is.

In our own small or big ways, we all can do something towards the betterment of the Nation. For instance, donating towards an organization or NGO in India can potentially impact thousands and lakhs of people across the country. And there are approximately 3.2 million registered NGOs in India working for causes ranging from human to environment, health to education, skill development to economic transformation and much more.

Republic-day-Jan2020

Which registered NGO can you donate your money to?

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is registered as a not-for-profit organisation under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882. It has continuously been working towards providing school meals to children since its inception. It has come a long way from feeding 1,500 children in the year 2000 to feeding over 1.8 million children till today.

It implements the Mid-Day Meals Scheme and provides wholesome school meals in 16,856 Government and Government-aided schools spread across 12 States and 2 Union Territories in India. It serves healthy and nutritious meals that are location specific and palatable by school children. It serves different items on every day in a cyclical order so that children can get the right amount of nutrition and also get a variety of food items on their plates. The kitchens from the Foundation serve different dishes in different states. For example – It serves Bendekai pulsu curry in Andhra Pradesh, Leaf pappu and cucumber Pappu in Telangana, Aloo soyabadi in Chhattisgarh, Dal Dhokli in Gujarat, Bisibelebath in Karnataka, Thepla in Rajasthan, etc.

All the dishes on the menu ensure overall development of school children. This Republic Day you can make a difference by exercising your freedom to donate, support and help children in bringing their dreams to fruition.

This Republic Day, celebrate with Akshaya Patra!

Share your patriotism with 1.8 million children!

Feed for their future & save tax!

Akshaya Patra – An NGO in Telangana

ngo in telangana

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one of the largest implementers of the Midday Meal Scheme in India. It was established in 2000 and works on its goals to education by providing healthy and wholesome meals on every school day to the children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools.

midday meal in telangana

Since its inception, Akshaya Patra has scaled up its operations in a strategic and sustainable manner. Akshaya Patra kitchens are present in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Daman-DNH, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Tripura.

Akshaya Patra’s expansion to Telangana

As an NGO in Telangana, Akshaya Patra first set up its kitchen in 2017 in Warangal. Today, it is operating four kitchens in the state.

At a glance: Akshaya Patra’s work in Telangana

akshaya patra kitchens in telangana

Kind of meals served

As a Midday Meal Programme implementer, Akshaya Patra understands the importance and magnanimity of nutritious meals to children. To make sure that children consume their meals readily and happily, Akshaya Patra has designed location-specific menus. Not only this, the nutritional levels are also kept intact, as recommended by the Central Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
Operating as an NGO in Telangana, Akshaya Patra serves the following menu on a cyclical basis: rice, green peas curry, mix veg sambar, leaf pappu, cucumber pappu, Dosakayi pappu, Kunduru sabji, Tomato meal maker curry, Biryani dalcha, Kabuli chana biryani, jiggery Pongal and many more.

Meet the beneficiaries

As an NGO in Telangana, Akshaya Patra is nurturing 1,54,334 dreams every day. Below is a snapshot of couple of dreams:

success story in telangana

With your help, more children can be benefitted

Your support is required in every stage – starting from feeding them with the much-required nutritious mid-day meals, till strengthening their wish to achieve big dreams. Your one moment of generous thought can change their lives for the better. Choose how you would want to extend your support to the Mid-day Meal Programme from the options provided below:

Your contribution upholds dreams of the future generation. Be a change-maker for a child today!

Income Tax deduction through Non-Government Organizations in India

You could be either a salaried employee or an entrepreneur, you are a taxpayer in the country by default. However, to reduce your income tax liability, there are various allowances available for exemption of tax. You can claim tax deductions by investing in House Rent Allowance, Leave Travel Allowance, Food coupons, Home Loan, Non-Government Organizations (NGO), etc.

There are approximately 3-3.6 million NGOs in India.

An NGO is a Non-Governmental Organization that aims at doing something good to others without any expectation.

Have you contributed towards an NGO? If your answer is no, you have one major reason to save on your taxes – Donation.

There are various NGOs that help you donate by charity.

Doing charity is a selfless act. To encourage donating for good causes, the Income Tax department allows people to claim exemption under Section 80G on the amount that is donated to NGOs and charities.

Donate to NGOs and avail tax benefits

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India that works consistently towards providing healthy, nutritious meals to school-going children. It reaches out to 18,02,517 children in 51 locations across 12 States & 2 Union Territories of India and provides freshly cooked meal on all school days. They implement the Mid-Day Meal Programme in 16,856 schools across the country. It strives to reach out to all the children and provide them with the much-needed school meals.

You can be an active part and contribute actively towards NGOs for the betterment of the society. The Government of India introduced Section 80G as tax exemption in India. Under this Act, the amount that is donated towards an NGO can be claimed as a deduction while you file your IT returns. However, the charitable trust should be registered to offer you exemptions from taxes. The donor can claim IT exemption of 100% or 50% of the donation amount depending upon the criteria set by the Income Tax Act.

For any NGO to be fully operational and functional, financial contributions are essential. Every denomination of your money is utilized towards achieving the agenda of the NGO If you donate to Akshaya Patra, your money will be used to providing wholesome, mid-day meals to school children going to Government and Government-aided schools.

Making donations for such initiatives will make lives of other people better. Apart from that, the joy that you experience on thinking ‘That child wasn’t going to school because he couldn’t concentrate in class due to hunger. But because I donated for the child’s meal, he doesn’t miss a day of going to school.’ This is when you are a proud human being.

If you want to identify yourself as life-changer, contribute regularly to any charity that you can connect with. Click here to make your donation today! Your efforts today will build a better, healthy and energetic generation tomorrow.

Akshaya Patra provides midday meal to 1.8 million+ children across India

Midday meal is a provision made by the Government of India to provide cooked meals to school children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools. This initiative is the largest school meal programme in the world.

akshaya patra feeding children india

To maximise the benefits of this programme, Government has partnered with NGOs to mobilise community support and reach children even at the grassroot level. One of the pioneer NGOs that stepped in as an implementing partner for the Mid-Day Meal Scheme is The Akshaya Patra Foundation. A non-profit organization (NPO) in India, Akshaya Patra has been providing freshly cooked, nutritious, and locally palatable meals to children for the past 19 years. Akshaya Patra is headquartered in Bengaluru with a PAN India reach.

Akshaya Patra was established in 2000 with the vision,
‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’.

During the initial days, this children NGO provided meals to 1,500 children in five Government schools in Bengaluru. Witnessing the critical need of this meal in supporting schooling of children, Akshaya Patra gradually expanded its programme to other locations. In the meantime, the Supreme Court of India also read out a landmark 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 mandate was a welcome progression for Akshaya Patra and this non-profit organization (NPO) in India partnered with the Government to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme.

Today, Akshaya Patra takes care of daily school meals of
1.8 million+ children across India.

By operating in a public-private partnership model, which has also been recognised as one of the best replicable models, this children NGO expanded its operations from one location to 51 locations. Currently, it has its own kitchens and delivery logistics across 12 states and 2 Union Territories to prepare and deliver midday meals to schools. All its kitchens follow industry standard operating processes with utmost adherence to cleanliness and hygiene practices.

graph

Midday meal is a great incentive for families belonging to challenging socio-economic backgrounds to send their children to school.

Over the years, it has been observed that the school meals open the gates of school for children who would have to otherwise work to earn a square meal. The midday meals have:

  • increased school enrolment
  • regularised attendance
  • decreased drop-out rate
  • improved health of children
  • boosted academic performance
  • supported continuity of schooling

Support this non-profit organization (NPO) in India to reach more children with nutritious school meals. Your support will uphold health, education, and dreams of millions of children across India.

Volunteer for an NGO in India

Be the agent of change volunteer for an NGO

All of us are so entangled in our daily humdrums that we hardly have time to think beyond our calendars. Yet, there are a few amongst us who can be seen taking action to better the society. They are the volunteers – the agents of change. It is not that they have additional hours in their clock; rather they have the trait called ‘willingness’. The willingness to do something to improve a situation and not just have a conversation over a cup of tea. Be it an Indian NGO or any global NGO, all charitable organisations welcome volunteers with open arms. Even though funds are a critical aspect for an NGOs operation, volunteers play a big role in an NGOs lifecycle.

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time;
they just have the heart.” –
Elizabeth Andrew.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

Volunteering is a unique example of how selfless service can help evolve our individual selves from within while transforming the world outside of us.

  • Benefits for the self: When you volunteer your time and skill with an NGO, you receive the fulfilment of bettering the society you are a part of. The inner satisfaction of being a support system for the society is immeasurable. And, the impact you create in the society lasts forever.
  • Benefits for the society: Your time, skill, and efforts potentially change the ecosystem of the society in the most desirable way. For instance, if you engage in volunteer opportunities with a children NGO, then you help several children belonging to challenging socio-economic backgrounds to receive their basic rights, education, health benefits and more. Basically, you transform their lives bit by bit to make it better.

Volunteer with Indian NGO

Why not begin your volunteering journey by joining an organisation in your neighbourhood? Yes, there are more than 3 million Indian NGOs working in various sectors and there is all possibility that one among them could be operating in your neighbourhood too. Or you could also choose an organisation to volunteer with depending on your interest such as child rights, child education, animal protection, water conservation and the like.

As an example, let’s look at The Akshaya Patra Foundation. This is a mid-day meal NGO of India serving school children with nutritious lunch on each school day. This Indian NGO has been in the service of children for the past 19 years. Akshaya Patra has its own kitchens across 51 locations of 12 States and 2 Union Territories to prepare the mid-day meals. Cognisant of the importance of supporters, Akshaya Patra provides a several volunteer opportunities wherein supporters can dedicate their time in the kitchen activities and in beneficiary schools; they can share their knowledge and help in expansion of the Foundation’s reach; they can be online ambassadors and spread the work of the NGO in their social network, and more such opportunities – all to benefit children for whom school meals play a very crucial role. So, choose an Indian NGO you most identify with and generously extend your support as a volunteer.

Because your support matters!

 

 

Feeding initiatives implemented by Akshaya Patra in India

Food first, everything else comes later! We all will agree to this.

THE AKSHAYA PATRA FOUNDATION Spreading hope through food!

Food is the basic necessity of any living thing, and so is true for humans too! We all have experienced hunger at some point or the other. We have also experienced the repercussions of staying hungry – low energy, tiredness, inability to concentrate or focus, unproductive, and health issues such as headache, gastric, acidity and so on. And these are the conditions we may undergo for missing out may be a meal or two. Then, imagine those who go hungry every single day! Yes, hunger is a much bigger problem than we can comprehend.

Hunger facts from around the world

The cause of hunger varies ranging from socio-economic backgrounds to natural or man-made disasters. To tackle this situation, world organisations, governments of countries, and non-governmental organisations have intervened at various levels. Yet, hunger remains a persistent problem. Amidst all the strides made around the world, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-governmental organisation in India is also making efforts to combat hunger among children and disaster-hit survivors.

Akshaya Patra implements the Mid-Day Meal Programme in partnership with the Government of India. Established in 2000, it is one of the oldest mid-day meal NGOs in the country. Through this programme, Akshaya Patra provides free school lunch to children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools. Presently, the NGO feeds 1,765,436 children in 16,785 schools situated in 49 locations of 12 States and 1 Union Territory namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Silvassa, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh.

Aside from the Mid-Day Meal Programme, this charitable trust in India also provides nutritious food in Anganwadi centres and has been a part of several disaster relief operations within and beyond the Indian boundaries.

akshaya patra feeding programme

 

Together, we can battle the hunger crisis and defeat it too. Support non-governmental organisations in India like Akshaya Patra because these organisations not only fill hungry stomachs but also nurture children right from the beginning. They also extend a helping hand to disaster-affected people during the hour of crisis. When you support to feed the children or contribute towards disaster relief feeding, you truly uphold the spirit of humanity.

Everyone has equal right to food.

So, take a step to support those who lack the means to access it.

 

Celebrate Teachers’ Day by supporting a child’s meal!

“Teachers are the backbone of the education system”
said
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Hence, upon becoming the President of India, when some of his students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrate his birthday on 5th September, he replied, “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5th is observed as Teachers’ Day.” And since then, his words are being followed every year, across the country.

There could be hardly anyone who doesn’t remember their teachers, be they from school or college. We all have had our favourites and not-so-favourites, but whatever it is, reminiscing about the good old learning days, the memories of our teachers have been deeply etched in our hearts. And Teachers’ Day definitely gives us an opportunity to honour and celebrate the sincerity and dedication of our teachers who prepared us for where we are today!

Happy Teachers day

Akshaya Patra’s bond with Teachers

Having been working as a mid-day meal NGO for the past 18+ years, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has a very close and amicable relationship with teachers. At present, Akshaya Patra provides freshly cooked wholesome lunch to 17,65,597 children studying in 15,668 Government & Government-aided schools. These schools are situated in 45 locations across Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh.

The teachers of these schools have always been in the forefront to support proper implementation of the Mid-Day Meal Programme. They have always provided regular feedbacks and exhibited complete willingness to help the Foundation in constantly improving the programme.

Stories of teachers

On the humble occasion of Teachers’ Day, here is quoting some of the teachers from the Foundation’s beneficiary schools:

  • Jai Pinto, Physical Education Teacher, Aloysius School, Cleveland Town, Bengaluru says, “The school’s association with Akshaya Patra has been very fulfilling. Children are happy with the wholesome nutritious meals provided. There are fewer dropouts from the marginalised section of the society and I have seen a significant improvement in the enthusiasm levels of children.”
  • Ismail Malik, Principal, Antti Kumar Prathamik Shala, Padra Taluk, Vadodara, Gujarat says, “The mid-day meal has brought a tremendous decline in the student drop-out rate. In the primary school, the increase in attendance is nearly as high as 60% to 70%. The numerous awards that now decorate the school office are a testimony to this.”
  • Ranganath, Head Master, Government High School, Policy Colony, Karnataka says, “The government, by partnering with organisations like Akshaya Patra have ensured that children receive tasty and nutritious meals. The programme has been successful in reducing child labour and improving school enrolment and attendance.”

SEO-Infographic 1-Celebrate Teachers Day with Akshaya Patra

Make their story, yours!

On this Teachers’ Day, choose to share the care of these teachers and hundreds more like them by opting for online donation towards the Mid-Day Meal Programme. The mid-day meals greatly contribute towards better school attendance, improved health and concentration of children. Thus, your contribution towards the Mid-Day Meal Programme will not only help children but also significantly help teachers in their efforts to impart education.

Step ahead, and honour your teacher this Teachers’ Day
by caring for meals of a student!

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.