NGO in Rajasthan & Its Kitchen

Reportedly, Rajasthan is the seventh most populated state in India. Of its total population, 24% is aged between six and fourteen. And, the question of concern is its education scenario. Rajasthan has the fourth lowest literacy rate in the country and has the lowest female literacy rate of just 52.66% (Census 2011). The state is also haunted by high rate of out of school and school drop-out rate. Rajasthan reported a 6.6% improvement in its literacy rate in ten years as against a countrywide improvement of 9.2%. It is one of the four BIMARU states that has lowest literacy rate and learning outcomes; the other states being Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. To address this situation, several measures have been taken by the government, and the Mid-Day Meal Scheme is one such intervention. As a supporting arm to the government’s effort, The Akshaya Patra Foundation is serving mid-day meals to more than one lakh government school children by operating as a NGO in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Nathdwara, Ajmer, and Baran.

Mid-day meal in Rajasthan

The Foundation has been providing mid-day meal in Rajasthan since 2004 by establishing its first kitchen in Jaipur. Currently, Akshaya Patra feeds a total of 1,70,723 children in 2,672 government schools across the state. The NGO operates two types of kitchen in the state – centralised kitchens and decentralised kitchens. The centralised kitchens serve children in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Nathdwara, and Ajmer whereas decentralised kitchens provide meals in the Baran region. Of the four centralised kitchens, three kitchens namely Jaipur, Nathdwara, and Ajmer are ISO 22000:2005 certified kitchens and the Jodhpur kitchen is in the process of certification.

The hi-tech centralised kitchens of the Foundation are equipped with roti-making machines, grinding machines, potato peeler machines, vegetable cutting machines, daliya roasting woks, atta kneaders, flour mill machines, cauldrons, trolleys, RO plants, rice-cleaning machines. Each of the kitchens has dedicated customised delivery vehicles. To suit the local taste, the kitchens follow a North Indian menu comprising of roti (Indian flatbread), dal (lentil curry),  rice, mixed vegetable curry, kadhi (curd-based curry), biscuits, khichdi (a dish made of rice, lentils, and vegetables), sweet daliya (a cereal-based dish), cake, biscuit, and kheer (rice-based Indian dessert).

Similar to all kitchens of the Foundation, the Rajasthan kitchens strictly adhere to hygiene and cleanliness practices while preparing meals. Kaizen, Continuous Improvement Projects and Six Sigma methodologies form an integral part of these kitchens too. While providing wholesome mid-day meals to school children in Rajasthan, this NGO in Jaipur also implements various eco-friendly measures in its kitchen operations to save cost and reduce carbon footprint while maintaining efficiency of production. Some of the initiatives taken in the kitchens of Rajasthan are:

  • Solar power panels
  • Sewage Treatment Plant
  • Reed bed plant
  • Liquid Off Take (LOT) system to reduce LPG consumption
  • Regular lab testing for emission, air etc.

The Foundation has not stopped at just providing mid-day meal in Rajasthan, rather it has also been actively involved in various socio-developmental initiatives such as Shoes Distribution, Talents Hunt, and Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.

Akshaya Patra wants to expand its reach and benefit more children in the state. But, in doing so, it requires your support. You can be a part of the NGO’s mission to nourish children by either opting to contribute funds, donate a vehicle to deliver meals to schools or by adopting a school. By contributing towards the NGO’s cause you will ensure that children receive at least one nutritious meal per day. It will also make you a changemaker striving for a healthy and educated tomorrow. Take a step for children, support their meal, and get prepared to witness a nourished and educated India.

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The impact of mid-day meal in Rajasthan

In 2002, Rajasthan became one of the first states to implement the SC directive of providing cooked mid-day meals in government and government-aided schools across all its 32 districts. Since then there have been noticeable changes in the school environment resulting in increased enrolment at the elementary level, particularly of the girl child, significant improvement in health and quality of education, decrease in school drop-out rate, while also addressing the hunger and malnutrition issue to quite an extent. A 2016 study titled, ‘School Feeding and Learning Achievement: Evidence from India’s Midday Meal Program’ stated, ‘Continued exposure to mid-day meals contributed to an increase in test scores. Reading scores improved by 18% for children exposed for five years to mid-day meals, in comparison to children who had been exposed to mid-day meals for less than a year. The arithmetic test scores witnessed an improvement of 9%.’ To further this impact, The Akshaya Patra Foundation made its advancement towards Rajasthan in February 2004 as a mid-day meal serving NGO in Jaipur.

mid-day meal impact in Rajasthan

Akshaya Patra began its service with the introduction of the Jaipur kitchen in February 2004, followed by Baran (2005), Nathdwara (2006), Jodhpur (2013), and Ajmer (2016). To facilitate its Mid-Day Meal Programme, Akshaya Patra follows the centralised format of kitchen in Jaipur, Nathdwara, Jodhpur, and Ajmer, and operates the decentralised format in Baran for being a remote area. The three kitchens at Jaipur, Nathdwara, and Ajmer are ISO 22000:2005 certified facilities affirming the NGO’s commitment towards cleanliness, hygiene and other vital aspects of kitchen operations. Acknowledging the importance of maintaining a local taste for children to enjoy their meal, Akshaya Patra’s menu for mid-day meal in Rajasthan include rice, roti (Indian flatbread), dal (lentils curry), pulao (a rice-based dish cooked in a seasoned broth) and vegetable dishes. The strategic expansion of the NGO has resulted in its current beneficiary base of 1,70,723 children in 2,672 schools.

Taking reference from two impact studies: Akshaya Patra: Feeding India’s Schoolchildren – Harvard Business School 2007, and Assessment of Mid-Day Meal Programme in eight states – Sigma Research and Consulting Pvt. Ltd. 2014, it is observed that Akshaya Patra’s school meal programme resulted in consistent attendance of children, decrease in drop-outs and long absences, improved concentration, and significant improvements in nutritional level, height, and weight. Along with impacting the lives of children in Rajasthan, Akshaya Patra is also feeding children across 11 more states and has a total beneficiary base of over 1.6 million children. While it is moving ahead on its path to feed 5 million children by 2020, it requires your generous support. By choosing to donate towards this NGO you will also avail the benefits under 80G tax exemption in India. Come and join in the efforts of Akshaya Patra so that ‘No child in India is deprived of education because of hunger.’

NGO in Rajasthan Feeds a Child with Rs 950 for an Entire Year

NGO in Rajasthan

The sum of Rs 950 has a different a meaning for every person. For a few it’s the amount with which they can buy their favourite outfit or go to their liked place for dinner. But for many children, it is a source of hope, a hope that they will be able to relish a nutritious and delicious food for the entire year.

Though it sounds difficult, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been making it possible for over 1.6 million children. The food served is prepared according to the guidelines set by the Government. The food is nutritious and delicious at the same time. While the food gives them the freedom to choose education over work, it also gives them the ability to make their decisions and aspire to pursue a career of their choice. By choosing education over work, they also get enough time to participate in sports activities and other activities of their choice.

Akshaya Patra is among the major NGOs in Rajasthan and it ensuring good health for all its beneficiaries. The menu varies every day so as to ensure that the children don’t lose interest in food. To gain the best out of seasonal vegetables, the dishes are changed depending on the seasons.

The Foundation will soon be launching its fifth kitchen in Ajmer. The existing four kitchens are located in Jaipur, Baran, Nathdwara and Jodhpur. About 1,70,723 children from 2,672 schools are currently benefiting from the initiative across the state.

Your contribution of just Rs 950 can ensure that the children are able to relish a wholesome meal served by the Foundation on every school day. They will be encouraged to prioritise studies over work. With a full stomach meal, they will be able to concentrate on studies. This will in turn lead the country towards positive development.

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