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!

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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.

Akshaya Patra – an NGO in India serving food for education!

When we hold a flipped coin within our palms, we can see only one side of the coin. And the visible side decides the winner of the toss. Similarly, when we look around us, we only see one side of India and conveniently ignore the other. But it’s about time we take a look on both the sides because that’s where the real solution for a progressed and developed nation is hidden!

‘Meals of hope’ served by Akshaya Patra!

Considered as the world’s largest democracy, today India is a rising economy and an emerging power. It has achieved several global laurels in almost all areas of sports, business, technology, and talent. At the same time, it is also struggling to keep up with indicators to ensure accessibility of food, health, and education for all. In a scenario like this, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in India is relentlessly striving each day to counter ill health and illiteracy with wholesome food.

Food for education

It is not an unknown occurrence that when hunger strikes even the fittest person fails to deliver his share of work. So, the question is, can we expect children to learn and perform in empty stomachs? This is where Akshaya Patra’s role become significant as it provides food for education. A large section of children in India has to constantly make a choice between work and school because hunger plays the spoiler. These children have aspirations alike any other children who are privileged to attend school without a second thought; but what amongst the former is lack of basic amenities. For such children, a free meal initiates their steps towards school.

As an NGO in India for children, Akshaya Patra is cognisant of the crucial role school meals play in schooling of children from challenging backgrounds. This meal not only fills up their stomachs but also nurtures their young minds with determination, confidence, and hope. By attending school regularly, children become ever more certain that their aspirations are achievable and that a much better and brighter future lies ahead of them. These meals support health and education of children empowering them to be resourceful and self-dependent citizens of the country.

It was in 2000 when Akshaya Patra first served food for education for 1,500 children in five schools of Bengaluru; and since then there has been no looking back. With strategic planning, operational efficiency, hygiene and cleanliness standards, and sustainable expansion, this NGO in India currently provides school meals to 17,65,597 children each school day in 12 states.

Read More : https://www.akshayapatra.org/about-us

When you step in, wonders happen!

Charity is always appreciated and when it is about providing something as basic as food to a child, it becomes dearer. When you sponsor a child, you uphold their childhood; you convey to them, ‘there’s someone who cares’. Unless we take care of children right from the grass root level, it is impossible to achieve the status of a developed nation. Quoting Mother Teresa here, she said, If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Thus, if each one of us sponsor a child, then it is indeed possible to create a New India with an universal side – healthy, educated, and prosperous!

 

Akshaya Patra’s work in Assam and Andhra Pradesh

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-profit organisation in India has been supporting education by providing nutritious and tasty school lunch to children of Government schools and Government-aided schools since its establishment in 2000.

 

table1- pan india reach

 

  • Akshaya Patra is one of the oldest implementors of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
  • Initially, it provided food to children of just five schools in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • Today, it is operational across India.
  • Akshaya Patra has received ICAI Gold Shield Award for excellence in financial reporting for consecutively seven years and has been inducted to ICAI’s Hall of Fame. It is the only NGO in the 70 years history of ICAI to have won this distinction.

 

Akshaya Patra operates centralised kitchens in 43 locations and decentralised kitchens in two locations. It has a well-managed logistics with dedicated fleet of customised meal delivery vehicles for each location. In order to ensure children consume their meals readily and happily, this non-profit organisation has designed location-specific menus by keeping intact the recommended nutritional levels. The menu is also cyclical in nature so that each day children receive different items as part of their school meal.

Below is a quick overview of Akshaya Patra’s service in Assam and Andhra Pradesh.

tapf kitchens assam and andhara pradesh

What do beneficiaries say?

The mid-day meals act as an incentive for parents to send their children to school and it adds hope in lakhs of children that their ambitions and dreams are achievable. As an NGO in Assam, this is how Akshaya Patra upkeeps the right to nutrition and education:

  • “Mid-day meals are very important. The mid-day meal served in the school is a relief for the family. At home, it’s mostly rice, dalor pitha (a type of local bread made of rice flour). Vegetables or lentils are not on the family’s menu every day. I enjoy my school lunch especially on Wednesdays and Saturdays when we get kheer, khichdi, and vegetable pulao – a delicacy which is rarely cooked at home.” Mrinmay Malakar.
  • Parvati hails from a challenging background and has the complete support of her mother with regards to her education. She aspires to be a Police Officer. Parvati’s mother opines that education will help her daughter succeed in life and also aid in leading a better life than the current one. The fact that Parvati gets mid-day meal at school comes by as a great relief for the mother.

As an NGO in Andhra Pradesh, this is how Akshaya Patra nurtures dreams:

  • Narsimha Raju says, “If I concentrate on one particular sport, I will excel in that sport only. But, if I concentrate on different sports and education, it will help me become a teacher and produce good sportsmen for our school and the country.”
  • Lalita says, “Due to corruption, people who are in need of the several government schemes are not able to avail the benefits. I want to become a District Collector and make my state corruption-free and ensure that people get the benefits of various schemes.”

Akshaya Patra kitchen in Assam and Andhra Pradesh

You can do wonders with just Rs. 1,100!

Yes, with just Rs. 1,100, you can transform the lives of lakhs of children across India. Your generous contribution to Akshaya Patra, one of the pioneer mid-day meal non-profit organisation in India will nourish, nurture and empower children into resourceful and responsible citizens. Support Akshaya Patra. Support Indian children.

An NGO in India has adopted Kaizen technology

Akshaya Patra Kitchen

In pursuit of continuous improvement, several Industries and businesses across the globe have adopted Kaizen as an integral part of their operational processes. ‘Kaizen’ is a Japanese word meaning ‘improvement’. It is a Japanese philosophy referring to activities for continuous improvement of functions and processes of an organisation and personal efficiency too. Implementation of Kaizen philosophy is a regular sight in various manufacturing industries, logistics companies, and the like.

Cognizant of the improved efficiency and productivity, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in India has adopted Kaizen in its processes. Akshaya Patra is a mid-day meal NGO serving school lunch to 17,12,460 children in 36 kitchens across 12 states of India, every day. For this, the NGO operates centralised kitchens in urban and semi-urban areas, and decentralised kitchens in remote areas. The centralised kitchens have the capacity to cook up to 1 lakh meals each day and serves meals to schools located in its area and neighbouring areas, whereas decentralised kitchens concentrate in providing meals to located within its immediate reach. In order to enhance its efficiency and increase its productivity, Akshaya Patra implements Kaizen in its kitchen operations. This method is followed in each kitchen unit to innovate, rethink, and reassess work, and implement efficient procedures.

To appreciate and encourage the use of Kaizen philosophy, the Foundation regularly recognises and rewards innovative practices. Here are some of the improvements from across different kitchens of this NGO in India:

Lid steriliser at Vadodara kitchen, Ahmedabad 

Lid-steriliser-at-Vadodara-kitchen,-Ahmedabad

Tool shadow board at Vasanthapura kitchen, Bengaluru 

Tool-shadow-board-at-Vasanthapura-kitchen,-Bengaluru

Increase in per hour roti production batches at Ajmer kitchen, Rajasthan

Increase-in-per-hour-roti-production-batches-at-Ajmer-kitchen,-Rajasthan...

Air powered grease gun at Bellary kitchen, Karnataka

Air-powered-grease-gun-at-Bellary-kitchen,-Karnataka

The above-mentioned were just a few mentions of the many Kaizen interventions in the kitchens of Akshaya Patra. The Foundation is a recipient of Indizen Award, CII National Food Safety Award, Lean Six Sigma Award, Quality Mark Award, and Asian MAKE Award by CII. Aside from Kaizen, this NGO in India also adopts Six Sigma methodologies and undertakes several Continuous Improvement Projects so that resources can be maximised, productivity can be doubled, quality can be enhanced, and service to children can be multiplied.

Akshaya Patra’s Highlights of 2017-18

Akshaya Patra Kitchen

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme. It is an Indian NGO implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme across 12 states in India covering more than 14,000 government schools in 36 locations. Over the past 17 years, with the vision of ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’, this charitable trust has impacted lives of over 1.7 million school going children. Strategic planning, execution, and its operational model of Public-Private Partnership have contributed to Akshaya Patra’s sustainability and expansion. It has been continuously progressing towards its mission of ‘feeding 5 million children by 2020’. Each year the NGO plans futuristically and steers its efforts to achieve it. As the journey for the new fiscal begins, here are the highlights of the past Financial Year 2017-18:

Akshaya Patra Achievements

In keeping with two of its core values – accountability and transparency, Akshaya Patra discloses its audited financial statements and operational progress of every financial year in the form of Annual Reports. The NGO Annual Report updates all its stakeholders on its overall developments and achievements along with stating the plans for the next fiscal. Each year, the Foundation’s Annual Reports have received much appreciation at the global and national platforms. During 2017-18, the report received the prestigious:

  • Golden Shield Award 2017 for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
  • PRCI Collateral Awards 2017 at the 11th Global Communication Conclave.

With respect to operations, Akshaya Patra expanded its reach to nine more locations across the country:

Akshaya Patra kitchen locations

This Indian NGO is leaving no stone unturned to maximise the impact of the Mid-Day Meal Programme. And, the progress by far affirms that the Foundation will continue to move ahead and transform lives of children to create generations of healthy and confident citizens.

Read our beneficiaries hope stories at: https://www.akshayapatra.org/stories-of-children

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.

National Education Day: There’s a need to strengthen educational institutions

National Education Day

The National Education Day, the annual observance to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first education minister of independent India. It is the day commemorated to strengthen the educational institutions in the country and raise the quality of education.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad served from August 15, 1947 to February 2, 1958. He laid foundations of the education system after the country became independent. He was instrumental in establishing national education system wherein free and compulsory education, until the age of 14, was introduced. An institution like Indian Institutes of Technology was also brought in under his guidance in the year 1951. He introduced University Grants Commission in 1953. His contribution in the development of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and the Faculty of Technology of the Delhi University has been phenomenal. He gave importance to adult literacy.

The late South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela said: ‘‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’’ Mandela hit the nail on the head in a way that the informed individuals understand their rights and duties.

Role of NGOs is crucial in ensuring that no one is left out of the education system. The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been playing a major role in ensuring that children stay in school and hence, it today reaches over 1.6 million children across the country.

The objective of celebrating the National Education Day should be to strengthen our educational institutions and raise the quality of education. It should be an occasion to remember Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s contribution in laying the foundations of the education system in Independent India as well as to evaluate performance in this field. This would go a long way in advancing India as a knowledge economy and society.

It’s also an occasion to focus on finding means to educate the people left out of the system for various reasons. Any help extended towards achieving this, through NGOs, for instance, are considered tax deductible donations.

For strong institutions and a robust education system, we not only need the adequate infrastructure, but also need good teachers who not only teach what’s prescribed in the syllabus, but are in fact, inspiring and turn the students thinking individuals.

For achieving this, the system needs to ensure that there is the right type of training given to teachers. While Akshaya Patra ensures children attend school every day by incentivising them with food, charity donations from individuals can ensure that this can be minimised.

What charitable organisations in India are truly practising?

Phillips Brooks had said – charity must begin at home but must not stay there. There are hundreds of charitable organisations in India that are taking their work to the whole world. They are making the world notice vital causes that influence mankind. One such charity in Bangalore is the Akshaya Patra Foundation that has combined the cause of education with feeding the children.

meals-with-a-motto

It’s a charitable trust in India that’s dedicated to serving mid-day meals to school children. Its centralised kitchens are located in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and UP.

Charitable organisations such as this are practising fair ways of carrying out educational missions for children in India. The charity in Bangalore has set standards of transparency in terms of accounts, funding, online fund-raising and distribution of resources. Every charitable act conducted by organisations such as this has been influencing a whole life of a child.

These organisations are also setting great examples of accountability – a trait that’s especially needed in today’s world replete with corruption. Channelising technology and social media, these charitable trusts are involving people actively in their missions in India. Today, these organisations are tech-savvy bodies that move intelligently and keep their donors in complete knowledge of their processes and execution.

This is steadily building the confidence of people and encouraging them to donate towards charitable trusts in India. Education and children are the two factors that are crucial for a more intuitive and futuristic society. Investing in these is equivalent to investing in your own future. This apart from the satisfaction that you get to positively make a difference into the lives of children is personally gratifying. Donate for this charity today.

How can parents prepare their child for the school year?

Children are usually both nervous and excited when going back to school after vacation. But if the parents keep their cool and help them, the children can confidently look forward to the new school year. Here are some tips to help you prepare your child:

Opportunities-for-children

Make a supply list

Children dread a scolding or punishment at school over small things like lunch box, shoes or bag. Make sure you create a supply list way ahead of school and have everything ready for the first day. Your role as a parent is similar to the role of several NGOs like Akshaya Patra that are working in India for sending millions of children back to school every year.

Talk to them about their fears

Parents must be clear about what their child is dreading most about school. This will ensure that the children aren’t bullied at school and will give them the confidence to face their fears. Listen to them and ensure that they don’t suffer from separation anxiety as they get into the habit of leaving home every day.

Drop them off the first day

If possible, drop your children on the first day or first week of the school to instil a sense of protection and confidence. Throughout the time, prepare them for school, tell them about the exciting things that await them at school and what all they can do in the new school year.

Involve them for a cause

One of the best ways to make children value education is to get involved in meaningful causes such as donating for mid-day meals in India. You may choose to donate for education in India through online fundraising campaigns with Akshaya Patra. The role of this NGO is to bring dropped-out children back to school by providing them with wholesome meals. You can donate for education in India or involve your children in an online fundraising campaign so that they learn the importance of school.

As you prepare your children for another school year, remember that there are several NGOs working to play a vital role in bringing millions of children back to school. You can contribute as well by simply involving yourself in online fundraising campaign or donating online.