How can parents inculcate social responsibility among children?

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James A. Baldwin once said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” One of the best ways that parents can teach their children to contribute to the development of the community is by setting examples of social service. Here’s how they can do it:

Volunteer for education

Take them along on weekends to teach children in slums who have no or little access to school and education. You can also teach them importance of opting for wholesome meal instead of junk by sponsoring meal for the children there. You can talk about Akshaya Patra that’s on a mission to get children back to school by serving them mid-day meals. They will realise the importance of wholesome meal. You can donate online on Akshaya Patra’s website and involve them in the activity.

Work for environment

Buy seeds and saplings and encourage them to plant those. They can also indulge in online fundraising to fund tree plantation drives. But most of all you can involve them in nurturing a beautiful garden at home so that they can learn to respect the environment.

Non-profit fundraising ideas

Children read and observe more than you can imagine. Have a brainstorming session with them at home discussing fundraising ideas. Reap some benefit out of this activity. For example, they can create an artwork that can be sold through social networking sites. The funds raised can be donated to non-profit organisations.

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It’s only when such thoughts and acts are encouraged among children that we can build a selfless society. When you choose to donate towards charity, it’s the biggest gesture you can make in order to encourage children towards social service. Sponsor a child today!

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.

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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.

Give Something Back to Society by Volunteering

Volunteering gives you an opportunity to become an attentive citizen of society

Summer holidays have begun! If you have decided to educate your children or peers or even yourself on development issues this summer, you can get in touch with Akshaya Patra to learn about classroom hunger and how the organisation is tackling the issue. In addition to that, you can also volunteer at the kitchen and visit our beneficiary schools.

At Akshaya Patra, an NGO in Gujarat and 10 other states, we identified hunger to be an issue that affected children’s enrolment in schools. For instance, there are more than 3 lakh children who are benefitted by Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme in Gujarat. If not for this incentive, many children would have irregular attendance, a few would choose to opt out of school and others would have to bring food from home which becomes a challenge.

Today, we are feeding fresh meals to over 1.6 million children from government schools and government-aided schools. While the programme continues its operations in 11 states across India, many volunteers have pitched in their time and energy towards Food for Education initiative!

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Akshaya Patra offers various volunteering opportunities in two areas:

(i) Kitchens

Akshaya Patra operates 26 centralised kitchens across 11 states in India. As a volunteer, you can get involved in mid-day meal operations – peeling coconuts, sorting grains, loading and unloading of food, and so on.

(ii) Schools

We currently reach out to over 13,000 schools across the country. As a volunteer, you can serve mid-day meals, interact with children and organise activities for them. If you would like to propose a programme that will benefit the school, you can share the same with us.

By volunteering, you will help society and yourself by lifting up your spirit. If time does not allow you to take up volunteering services, you can sponsor a child’s mid-day meals for a year!

Taking the Leap to Fight Hunger: Expanding Footprints in India

The cause of ‘food for education’ urgently needs a boost and Akshaya Patra is expanding its reach across the country to achieve this. With its mission – ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’ – the Foundation is marching ahead to erase classroom hunger in India. The role of NGOs in India – to bring about social betterment – is fulfilled by the Foundation in partnership with State and Central governments in India. Its current reach of over 1.6 million beneficiaries, who receive a wholesome mid-day meal every day, is set to take a big leap.

In 2016, the Foundation established its presence in Maharashtra by launching its very first kitchen in the state in Nagpur. In Andhra Pradesh, it added two more kitchens – at Kakinada and Mangalagiri. In neighbouring Telangana, Akshaya Patra laid the foundation stone for its first high-tech mega kitchen at Khandi in Telangana. Come the next academic year, this kitchen will feed more than 1,00,000 children in the region and its construction cost will be borne by the Infosys Foundation, which has donated for education in India by making a contribution of Rs 18.03 crore towards the Foundation for this project.

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December 2016 also saw the Foundation set the stage for a major expansion in Uttar Pradesh. It will set up 11 new kitchens in the state in the districts of Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, Etawah, Kannauj, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Rampur and Ballia. Shri Akhilesh Yadav, Honourable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP), performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the same, on December 26, 2016 at Lok Bhavan, New Secretariat, Lucknow. These new kitchens will expand the Foundation’s reach to 13 lakh beneficiaries in UP from 2,11,680 children it is presently feeding, benefitting 10,88,320 more children from the next academic year.

To reach out to millions more children in the country and aid their quest for education via nutritious mid-day meals, the Foundation needs the support of all the individuals committed to eradicating classroom hunger. Join Akshaya Patra in nourishing the health and furthering the education of India’s children by making a donation towards it. These donations also avail donors tax exemptions under sections 35AC and 80GGA of the Income Tax Act.

Help secure the future of India’s children. Support ‘unlimited food for education’!

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.”

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‘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.

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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.

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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!

Global Hunger Index 2016 Says India is at ‘Serious’ Level

The hunger problem has spread its roots so widely and deeply all around the world that eradication of hunger seems a distant dream without the coherence and cooperation of each one of us. We’ve earned enough of luxury for ourselves but we also need to realize that there’s no better expenditure of money than making a donation to feed the hungry. According to the 2016 Global Hunger Index Report, roughly one in four children is affected by stunting and 8 per cent of children are affected by wasting.

We witness many of them daily and the sight really breaks our heart. But we somehow manage to move on. If everybody starts working towards change, imagine the results? We need to make a paradigm shift and to perfectly exemplify this. Akshaya Patra, an NGO registered under Section 80G of Income Tax Act, has been doing outstanding work since 16 years. If you look at the history of mid-day meal scheme in India, you will notice two important positive results: increase in school enrolment rate and decrease drop-out rates. But there’s still so much to do.

The scourge of global hunger

Hunger is comprehensively measured and tracked at the global, regional, and country levels by a tool called the Global Hunger Index. According to the 2016 GHI Report, ‘Regionally, the highest GHI scores, and therefore the highest hunger levels, are still found in Africa, south of the Sahara and South Asia. As a matter of fact, India, a South Asian country, is a home to 33% of world’s undernourished children. And if our ignorance towards this problem is persistent, we’ll ultimately end up with distressingly high level of hunger around the globe. Now, this is where Akshaya Patra lets and urges us to help those in dire need of our sponsorship with an additional benefit of tax exemption in India. We need to realize our responsibilities towards society and raise funds for children charity.

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The two most critical sustainable goals

By pledging to eradicate undernourishment and provide unlimited food for education, Akshaya Patra targets the two most critical UN sustainable goals: Zero Hunger and Quality Education. The history of mid-day meal tells you that Akshaya Patra has presented a chance to fulfill dreams for those 1.7 million children who are deprived of education because of hunger. The splendid outcomes have made Akshaya Patra well-recognised across the world. With the perpetual expansion of such selfless programmes and philanthropic donors raising children charity open-handedly, the decrement in undernourishment and increment in literacy level is assured.

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A strong stand against all other national challenges

Various inhibitions to development like gender inequality, poverty, crimes, violence etc. are inextricably linked with education. Nelson Mandela realised this long back. He described education as a weapon to change the world and a great way to foster peace in societies. Unfortunately, many children are deprived of education because of financial incapability and social backwardness.

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Let’s embrace the humanitarian core and do some charity donations today, not as a gesture of tokenism but as an ardent yearning to defeat hunger. Make a donation in honour of someone today.

Are you looking for a tax exemption? Try donating for a cause

Have you thought of making a donation and also earn tax exemption? It’s simple. As per IT sec 35AC/ 80GGA, if you make a donation of Rs 500 or more to Akshaya Patra, you will be eligible for a 100% tax exemption.

What is Tax Exemption?

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO registered under section 35AC of the Income Tax Act 1961. Therefore every donation above Rs 500 made to The Akshaya Patra Foundation is eligible for a 100% tax exemption under Section 80GGA.

The exemption is calculated by reducing the donated amount from your taxable salary. For instance, if your taxable income per year is Rs 200,000 and you make a donation of Rs 5,000 then your net taxable income will become Rs 195,000. Your tax will now be calculated on this new amount basis the prevailing tax rates.

Is it important to donate for a cause?

Yes, if you would like to witness equality and fairness in society. Many NGOs in India and individuals are working towards strengthening the nation by working towards education, empowerment, employment, improvement of living conditions and so on. An NGO’s role in India is of utmost importance today.

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Similarly, Akshaya Patra, an NGO in Bengaluru is working towards children’s education by providing them with fresh nutritious mid-day meals. In the last 16 years of our service, the growth has expanded from 1500 hundred to over 1.6 million beneficiaries pan India, thanks to charity donations. Food for Education is a concept where children are given meals within school premises so to encourage them to attend school. In India, many children often do not go to school and unfortunately, their economic condition is such that they are made to help parents with work or look after their younger siblings at home.

In a situation where there are often far too many mouths to feed, education is given least importance. The most practical solution to this problem is to bring children to school and provide them with one-time meal, known as Mid-Day Meal.

100% Tax Exemption in India

Akshaya Patra is a registered charity for children working across 11 states in India. Donations to Akshaya Patra are eligible for 100% tax exemption in India under Section 35 AC/ 80 GGA of the Income Tax. Under Section 35 AC of the Income Tax act, the Central Government – on recommendation from the National Committee for the Social & Economic Welfare – has notified the Project “Mid-Day Meal Programme run by The Akshaya Patra Foundation” as an eligible project for the allowing of 100% deduction of the contribution made by the Assesse.

When you make a contribution, you receive a certificate of 100% tax exemption benefit along with Thank You letter via courier or post. You may use the certificate to avail the benefit for the respective financial year. There are many reasons to donate to a great cause. This is one of them. Donate to charity today!

16 Years Ago, Akshaya Patra Began a Journey of Hope

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It’s been 16 years and 16 lakh children are being benefitted through Food for Education initiative. On this yet another milestone, we would like to say Thank You!

The Mid-Day Meal Programme – Unlimited Food for Education, began in the year 2000 serving 1,500 children in Bengaluru. Today, over 1.6 million children across the length and breadth of India are supported by this initiative. Akshaya Patra’s journey was inspired by Srila Prabhupada’s compassionate vision that ‘No child should be deprived of education because of hunger.’

For Akshaya Patra, innovation has always been one of the driving forces. With advanced technology implemented kitchens, we are able to feed a large number of children. For instance, roti making machine has the capacity to churn out 200,000 rotis from 6000 kg of wheat flour. With help from Central and State Governments, the organisation has been able to expand its service in many states across 11 states in India. The organisation has also achieved many milestones and won prestigious awards that recognise its contribution in the development sector; the recent one was Nikkei Asia Prize for significant achievements in ‘Economic and Business Innovation’ category. Apart from feeding programme to feed the hungry, the organisation continues to conduct activities in schools such as health check-up camps, distribution of hygiene kits, school shoes and bags, and other initiatives that encourage a child to continue education.

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Akshaya Patra’s 16 years of relentless efforts was founded with determination and compassion. We believe this journey will continue to impact many more children in the coming years. This year, as we also complete the serving of 2 Billion Meals, the Foundation acknowledges the outpouring support it has received over the last few years.

Let us pledge to support children’s education and health for a heal thier future!

Akshaya Patra Bags Kalam Memorial Award 2016

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In one of the recent non-profit news, Akshaya Patra has been highlighted for its contribution to society. On October 15, 2016, Akshaya Patra, a children charity foundation, was awarded the prestigious ‘Kalam Innovation in Governance Award 2016’ (KIGA 2016). This was the 1st Edition of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Summit which was held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

Shri Bharatarshabha Dasa, Director – Relationships of Akshaya Patra received the award on behalf of Akshaya Patra from Mr Alok Ranjan, Chairperson of Kalam Centre and Former Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh. The award which is given out in the memory of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam recognises organisations that have contributed to the development of the state. “We feel honoured to receive the 1st Edition of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Award for ‘Innovation in Governance’ category. This award will inspire us to reach out to more children,” said Shridhar Venkat, CEO of Akshaya Patra.

Akshaya Patra operates the world’s largest Mid-Day Meal Programme is grateful to be one of the recipients of the award. We would like to thank the Kalam Summit and its panel for recognising Akshaya Patra’s role in building a better future for children, improving governance and delivering value.

For more, visit our nonprofit news section.

Akshaya Patra Serving a Plateful of Smiles | World Smile Day 2016

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. No one said it better than late William Arthur Ward, a renowned author, who rightly related smile with kindness. It’s the principle that has inspired several acts of philanthropy around the world.

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Here’s a quick bite on World Smile Day! A commercial artist named Harvey Ball, who is known to have created the Smiley Face, initiated this day back in 1963 with a similar thought in mind. After his death in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation created the slogan – Improving the world, one smile at a time. And smile, often the result of a moment of happiness, is a thing to be shared and spread around.

For many people around the world, just getting decent meals for one day is a matter of happiness. On World Smile Day, let’s pledge to donate to charity. If you have any non-profit fundraising ideas related to providing meals to school children, it will definitely help Akshaya Patra in spreading smiles.  

Healthy Meals for Kids

For children, food is directly related to happiness. A child’s day consists of the games he plays and the food he eats. And so at Akshaya Patra, feeding hungry children is not only a duty but also a matter of happiness. Through our Mid-Day Meal Programme, we strive to spread smiles with each meal. Being the world’s largest not-for-profit Mid-Day Meal Programme, the organisation serves wholesome food to over 1.6 million children in India.

What truly drives our initiative, however, is the smiles of various children who are now motivated to study and come to school. That’s because we believe it’s also equally vital to ensure their happiness in future by making them independent and educated. We wish to spread the happiness of aspirations among these children by taking care of their meals in school so they could focus on their mental and physical growth.

In government schools in India, several children have a natural acclivity for academics. They have dreams and are often inspired to make a difference in the environment around them. One such student is Bhanupriya who studies in a Government Higher Primary School in Bengaluru. Talking about her aspirations, she says, “There are many people who are unwell. I wish to be a doctor and serve them. I would treat poor patients for free.” (Read her story at Stories of Children)

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Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Bhanupriya, like her counterparts in private schools around the country, has ambitions of her own. Dearth of resources around her is in no way a hurdle to her dreams but she makes the best of her school education and studies diligently. With the motto ‘food for education,’ Akshaya Patra aims at ensuring future happiness of children.

Happiness is Feeding the Hungry

Akshaya Patra offers several opportunities and invites people to contribute for the cause of happiness. We strive to engage people in civic-minded activities through non-profit fundraising ideas. Fundraising is definitely one of the most effective ways to help a cause – you can help feed a child for an entire academic year by donating only Rs 950!

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Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme is run with the support of the government and many individuals and corporates. With small contribution, you can engage in deeper acts of happiness and kindness – it may turn out to be more rewarding than you think as you join hands with an organisation that has made a huge difference since the year 2000.

We have found a way to spread happiness through meals, have you? Donate today!