The seventh most populated state in India, Rajasthan is home to 24% of the population aged between six and fourteen. However, it is also battling with child malnutrition, low literacy, and high out of school and school drop-out rate. Rajasthan is one of the four BIMARU (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh) states that have the lowest literacy rate and learning outcomes compared to other states in the country.
Rajasthan has the fourth lowest literacy rate in the country and has the lowest female literacy rate of just 52.66% (Census 2011). Amongst the several measures taken by the Central and State Government to improve this situation, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme is proving to be a potential intervention. To further the efforts of government, many NGOs such as The Akshaya Patra Foundation has partnered to provide mid-day meal in Rajasthan.
It has been 14 years since Akshaya Patra is providing mid-day meals in Rajasthan. It began serving meals from 2004 by establishing its first centralised kitchen in Jaipur. Witnessing the impact of the meal in the health and education of beneficiary children, this NGO in Rajasthan strategically expanded its operations to Baran in 2005, Nathdwara in 2006, Jodhpur in 2013, and Ajmer in 2016. Recently, in 2018, the Foundation inaugurated two new centralised kitchens in Bhilwara and Jhalawar. With the addition of these two new locations, the Foundation is nourishing 26,701 more children thereby increasing the beneficiary base to 2,27,253 children from the earlier 2,00,552.
The Bhilwara is the 6th and the Jhalawar is the 7th kitchen in the state. The cost of the Bhilwara kitchen construction was sponsored by Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (a Navratna Enterprise of Government of India). It is currently feeding 11,480 children in 83 schools. The Jhalawar kitchen has been sponsored by D.S. Group and is currently feeding 15,221 children in 157 schools. All these kitchens directly impact the health and education of children. The beneficiary children receive at least one nutritious meal per day and eventually receive the much-needed education.
Here is the location-wise reach of this NGO in Rajasthan:
The expansion of Akshaya Patra’s operations is a result of support from the Government and philanthropic donors. It is a testimony that when the government and the community come together for a cause, it multiplies the impact. Thus, choose to be the catalyst by contributing donation for NGO. Your donation will positively change the lives of children and will be an important intervention in the progress of the country.