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.

Social responsibility

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!

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Charity fundraising ideas to take children back to school

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A fully literate nation is a step closer to the prosperity of its citizens. As children get back to school, we can engage in some charity fundraising activities to aid their education. Here are some interesting non-profit fundraising ideas you can look forward to.

Selling handmade cards/bookmarks

Bring together children from your area to create interesting art work depicting their school life or subjects they love the most.  Let the children use their imagination and create cards, posters and bookmarks. Organise a non-profit fundraising activity in your area, school or college where you can sell the art works. Use these proceeds to sponsor a child’s education in organisations like Akshaya Patra.

Book exchange

Students in school or colleges or even working executives can be invited on Facebook to exchange their books as a charity fundraising campaign. Motivate people to give away their unused or read books that they don’t wish to retain anymore. Set a nominal fee to enroll in the activity. Inform the participants that the proceeds generated from the activity will be used to send children back to school.

Online fundraising campaigns

Browsing online for information and engaging activities has become a second nature of millennial generation. A thoughtfully created online activity can engage them easily. Use the power of online media to start a charity fundraising campaigns for non-profit organisations such as Akshaya Patra. It’s easier to create online non-profit fundraising campaigns; and if done smartly, you can raise a significant amount of funds for the cause.

Garage sale

You can simply organise a garage sale in your office or colony and ask people to donate things they don’t mind parting from. Participants can not only donate the stuff but also buy some of those that are kept there by others. Use the proceeds of this sale towards any cause related to education.

As you engage in these activities, Akshaya Patra does its bit by incentivising school children to attend schools by serving them wholesome lunch? You can also be a part of the great mission of sending children back to school by starting your own online fundraising campaign. Create a campaign today.

We are a few steps closer to being a fully literate country. Reaching there is not so tough if we come together.

9 Quotes that will inspire every child to study

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Do you find studies interesting or boring? Now that you are back to school, you better answer that question. Guess what? We are an NGO in India – Akshaya Patra – and we inspire millions of children every year to go back to school and study. We provide them with a free-of-cost wholesome lunch at school, so they never skip studies. We get funds through online fundraising or inspiring people to donate to this charity. And people donate generously because they realise the importance of education.

So, today we want to inspire you to study and study hard this year. These are some famous quotes of great men and women who took their studies very seriously. 

Who doesn’t want treasure?

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Image courtesy – AZ Quotes

The creator of Mickey and Mini Mouse Walt Disney loved reading. Here’s what he said – There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.

Physics woes?

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Image courtesy – discov-her.com

Do you find physics very tough? That’s because you have associated physics with difficulty. This quote on physics must inspire you – Physics is about questioning, studying, probing nature. You probe, and, if you’re lucky, you get strange clues, said a noted Danish physicist Lene Hau.

Reading can relax you

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Do you love Hermoine Granger from Harry Potter movies? Her character was played by Emma Watson. She says – It sounds so geeky, but I really do like studying and reading, and if I’m not working on ‘Harry Potter’, then my greatest relaxation is to sit with a book.

Are exams boring?

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Well, a person who made science popular in modern times, Michio Kaku (physicist and futurist), has some advice for you. He says – Keep the flame of curiosity and wonderment alive, even when studying for boring exams. That is the well from which we scientists draw our nourishment and energy. And also, learn the math. Math is the language of nature, so we have to learn this language.

Studying takes you to success

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You know what noted hockey player Pele said about success? He said: Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.

Studying leads to questioning

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Albert Einstein once said: The important thing is not to stop questioning. But how would you question unless you earn knowledge, learn new things and study?

Want to be better?

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Image courtesy – writersbone.com

Writer Maya Angelou said: When you know better you do better.

The only way to become a better person, student or citizen is to acquire knowledge.

Learning keeps you young

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The founder of Ford Motors – Henry Ford – loved to learn new things. He said: Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.

You will go places

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Image courtesy – wikipedia

A popular writer of children’s book – Dr Seuss – loved taking children to a ride of whole new worlds through his books. He encouraged children to study and read. Do you know why? Because, as he said, The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Inspired much? Then spread the word and put your heart into studies. Tell others about Akshaya Patra and how this NGO in India is helping school children get a wholesome lunch. Ask your elders to donate to this charity. You may also help us by simply organising an online fundraising campaign. Let’s study and inspire others to study.

3 tips to prepare yourself for the next academic year!

A few more weeks and you will be back to school. Are you prepared to face another academic year? If not, here are a few fun tips to help you get into the school state of mind once again.

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Learn the tables

 You will definitely have the new year’s syllabus and Math would get more advanced but there’s one thing that you can never outgrow – multiplication tables. How many tables do you remember from last year? Gather all your friends every evening and take turns leading each other in recalling various tables. If you work on your math, you can later become a pilot, or go for engineering or join the Indian army just like 13-year-old Lakshmi from Hubballi. She is good at math and is serious about her career. She is a beneficiary of the mid-day meal scheme run by a non-profit organisation Akshaya Patra.

Work on your general knowledge

Do you know who’s the President of India or President of the United States? Do you know the largest state in India? Ask your friends around you, ask your parents. Get yourself old newspapers and see if they have this information! Work on your general knowledge as you gear up to attend another academic year. It would not only get you good grades but also make you smarter than other peers.

Practise painting

Do you like drawing or painting? Did you get a chance to practise these in summer vacation? If not, you can do so now. These activities open up creative faculties in your mind, making you smarter and sharper. Meet Pawan, a 14-year-old school student from Mysuru. He regularly practises his painting skills and wishes to become an artist when he grows up. How wonderful! Pawan goes to school every day because he gets a wholesome lunch at school free of cost, thanks to several charity fundraising initiatives from volunteers.

A lot of children like you are excited to get back to school because they are prepared. Many of these children are part of the mid-day meal scheme that’s run by a non-profit organisation Akshaya Patra. They feed wholesome lunch to school children like yourself in various government schools and invite several volunteers for charity fundraising. If you know anyone who can donate or sponsor a child, ask them to join hands.

We need your support for a new academic year!

If there’s one thing that parents dread, it’s convincing their children to get ready for a new academic year, especially after a good summer vacation. A new year can be fascinating but children always tend to be reluctant in giving up the carefree summer routine. On the other hand, there are many children who are eagerly waiting for school to begin because their lunch is taken care of.

Children in Assam

Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme is currently available in 11 states including Assam, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. But before the schools re-open, the Foundation is looking forward to donors’ charity support which will ultimately help millions of children.

What is Akshaya Patra’s role as an NGO?

 With a mission to end classroom hunger, Akshaya Patra began its initiative called the Mid-Day Meal Programme. If the students are provided an incentive to attend school, they get encouraged to complete their education. Its meals constitute a balanced diet that’s delicious and motivates the kids to attend the classes every day. This venture is spread across 11 states today. Akshaya Patra also feeds the hungry in Uttar Pradesh where the percentage of undernourished kids is high.

How can you support us?

 Because undernourishment and illiteracy are social problems, their eradication plans would inevitably involve the contribution of society. There are a number of ways by which we can help the efforts to ensure maximum attendance of kids in school. Donors have the option of sponsoring a school for a year, fundraising or simply donating some amount to charity and help in feeding the children.

As the schools reopen in a few months, remember that there are a whole lot of children who are in need of nutritious food. This is possible with your support towards Food for Education initiative by Akshaya Patra – an effort to aid 13,577 government schools in India.

To encourage children to attend school, Akshaya Patra urges people to donate to charity, and most importantly, for the betterment of the future.

Earth Day 2017: Akshaya Patra’s kitchens strive for energy-efficiency

We are all children of the Earth and we return to her when our time on the planet is up. To honour all that the Earth gives us and to support the cause of environmental protection, Earth Day is celebrated all over the world on April 22 every year. The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a top NGO in India, which operates the world’s largest NGO-run Mid-Day Meal Programme to benefit school children in the country, too is committed to the cause of environmental protection. It has undertaken many initiatives to produce its meals in the most sustainable, energy-efficient manner possible.

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Three of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens that feed the children are equipped with biogas plants – the Vadodara kitchen in Gujarat and the Vasanthapura and Ballari kitchens in Karnataka. These are all ISO-certified kitchens and the kitchen at Vasanthapura also has a solar plant. The biogas plants use the waste generated during the preprocessing of vegetables prior to food preparation and leftover from the schools if any. A single biogas plant at the Akshaya Patra kitchens uses an average of 200 kg of mixed vegetable waste per day, while the food returns used amount to 500 kg a day. An average of 65.7m3 per day and the biogas used in place of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) amounts to an average of 55m3 per day. Meanwhile, the LPG equivalent generated by the biogas plant amounts to 20-23 kg per day.

The Vasanthapura kitchen in Bengaluru also has a solar plant that generates 12kw electricity per day. The electricity thus generated is used for lighting up the building and all the other single-phase power applications. Akshaya Patra’s upcoming kitchens too have been designed in such a way that they can accommodate solar panels and plans are underway to equip existing ones with them too. The Foundation also seriously undertakes water conservation efforts. Water consumption in its kitchens is reduced with the help of vegetable washing machines, rice washers, steam cooking, high-pressure jets for equipment and vehicle cleaning, vessel cleaning machines and vessel cleaning showers with tanks.

Akshaya Patra, as one of the world’s top NGOs conducts training and awareness programmes for its employees to raise awareness about water management and conservation. Wastewater generated in its kitchens is recycled. This recycled water is reused for gardening. The kitchens, besides using renewable energy such as solar energy and biogas, also harvest rainwater.

Akshaya Patra feeds over 1.6 million children in 13,577 schools in 11 states of India and strives to ensure that it does so in the most sustainable manner possible. To contribute to the Foundation’s cause of ‘food for education’, donate to charity now.

3 Stories of Hope from Akshaya Patra Would Make Your Day!

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Hope is a good thing. If you can still relate to this famous thought from the American classic The Shawshank Redemption, you are most likely an optimist. Regardless, it’s always good to know that hope can change things. It can inspire action and evoke positive spirits.

A lot of people engage in charity donations in the hope of building a better tomorrow. Had it not been for hope, several children charities wouldn’t get enough resources to help children. The Government of India works with several non-profit organisations and partners with local bodies in order to provide education, food and medical aids to deprived children. Donors are benefitted through tax exemption in India if they choose to donate to organisations such as Akshaya Patra.

Akshaya Patra is a children charity that engages in providing mid-day meals to school children around India. All of its donations get the benefit of tax exemption in India while the organisation works in tandem with the government.

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Back here at Akshaya Patra a children charity, we get to reap the rewards of great work in the form of various hope stories that we get to hear from beneficiaries. One such child is Manthan Jikarda who studies in Class VI at Maharana Pratap Primary School in Surat, Gujarat. He says, “Akshaya Patra food is tasty and protein-rich, which is why we like it. It is very nutritious, prepared using carrots, pumpkins, and other such healthy vegetables. The menu is different every day; sometimes there is Dal Dhokli, sometimes Khichdi.”

But that’s not half as exciting as seeing him come to school every single day and attend his classes sincerely. Manthan aspires to be a stage actor, wanting to entertain a live audience with his dramatic performances. He is an active participant in various extra-curricular activities that the school organizes.

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Riddhi Barot, an Akshaya Patra beneficiary from Veer Narmad Primary School in Saradnagar Tarsali, Vadodara, studying in Class VII, is another touching story of hope. She is the daughter of a father who works in an electric shop and a mother who is a homemaker. She has two siblings –sister Siddhi (Class V) and brother Jai (Class II), studying in the same school. What truly makes Riddhi stand out is that her inspiration comes from the noted Gujarati writer, freedom fighter and social reformer, Jhaverchand Meghani. This girl wishes to become a pilot when she grows up. Her focus is a matter of wonder for both her teachers and her parents. Riddhi loves Science and English apart from being an active member of scouts and guides. It is children like her who keep us motivated and restore hope that investing in today’s children is the best way to change the world.

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Similarly, Shri Baba Amte Primary School in Surat often echoes with the sound of a beautiful voice. This singer is an 11-year-old Divya Chandrakar who studies in Class VI. Contradictorily enough, she wants to be a dancer. This Akshaya Patra beneficiary brings so much joy and cheer to her class when she enters. Divya Chandrakar wants to be a figure in elegance and become a dancer. She says, “At school, we can study, play, learn new things and have nutritious meals.”

These hope stories have often moved parents of other children and they have been motivated to send their children to school. Let’s add more stories of hope. Donate to charity today and win tax exemption.

What is Education? From a Child’s Perspective

Everyone has a right to knock the door to their destiny, to which, undernourishment, money, and lack of resources should never be a hindrance. Education is a journey we all live through. We cannot go through life and learn nothing. We as kids start to initially learn at our homes, from our family and from childhood friends. From trials and observations, we learn that pressing a switch downwards turns on the light. But formal education in school helps us understand what actually makes the light or device turn on. There’s no child who doesn’t have a dream of growing up and becoming a successful person. Education for children is a chance to pursue their dreams of becoming a doctor, teacher, scientist, musician or anything alike.

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All kids admire going to school and learning how to read and write, but not all kids can afford going to school. If you look at the list of NGOs in Bangalore, you will note that Akshaya Patra supports millions of children. The organisation provides healthy mid-day meals in schools and hence, feed the hungry to give them a chance to lead a better life. So, let us donate for education in India and support this noble mission of Zero Hunger and Quality Education.

A chance to repay their parents’ hardwork

At a very young age, children start to realize the fact that their parents work very hard and sacrifice a lot to provide them all the comfort and grant them all their wishes. They see education as a chance to repay these efforts with good grades and making their parents proud. If we help these kids by providing them a chance to go to school, they can not only prove themselves as harbingers of hope but also provide better living conditions to their parents when they grow up as independent individuals.

A chance to make themselves capable of helping others

Only he who wears knows where exactly the shoe pinches. Students who are deprived of daily meals and education very well know how effective mid-day meal benefits are. They also know how it feels to be plunged into a situation they cannot control. Children with such thoughts, see education as an opportunity to become capable of helping others first and themselves being benefitted later. We ought to appreciate this spirit and provide food for the education of these children who even have to go to bed hungry at times. There’s nothing more satisfying than feeding the hungry.

A chance to create their identity in this whole wide world

Education has different meanings and forms for different children. For some, it is language, science or mathematics while for some it is music, dance or art. Children are always very passionate about chasing their dreams and if provided with all the opportunities, they can excel at their interests. They wish to make their parents proud by doing something extraordinary for themselves, their families, society and their country. If such determined kids do not get a chance to get an education, in spite of our capabilities to help, what sense does our education make?

We ought to come forward and donate for education in India. Let the children continue having faith in humanity and kindness. Sponsor a child today and win tax exemption in India!

Can You Feed a Child Today?

Even after gaining grounds on development in many sectors, India has been taking its own sweet time to combat against two major challenges of the present time – providing education and food to the underprivileged. According to 2016 Global Nutrition Report, 667 million children (in 129 countries) under the age of five have severe nutrition deficiencies which have resulted in: stunting, disproportion of height and weight, and overweight. Many organisations have been responsive to this but reaching the required level of pace is still a long way to go. This is where we need to realize our responsibilities towards society, donate generously to a cause, feed the children and do our bit in defeating all inhibitions to growth not as a gesture of tokenism but as a profound yearning to change the world.

Here’s how you can make a difference for children and help them to pursue their dreams by making a gift of an inexhaustible vessel of food and hope:

Why should you support Akshaya Patra?

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Akshaya Patra started off with 1,500 children a day which has now drastically grown to serve over 1.6 million children across 11 states of India. Seeing the splendid mid-day meal benefits, appreciations from many dignitaries including Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton, one need not have a second thought on contributing. The mission of this charitable trust is to serve 5 million children by 2020 which is achievable only if more of us care deeply about the cause and help in fundraising. Needless to mention, it is an overwhelming opportunity for us to contribute.

What can you do?

Akshaya Patra lets and urges you to help those in dire need of your sponsorship. And, you’ll be surprised to know that the amount to sponsor a child for a year almost equals a bill for two at a restaurant and so often, most of us do it fortnightly. Why not let the unfed taste some nutritious food as well? There is no better expenditure of money than donating some of it to a charitable trust who feeds the hungry. There’s so much to do and so fewer doers. Change the notion and make a donation in honour of someone!

How about the end-beneficiaries?

Mid-day meal is a strategic intervention to not only benefit children’s stomach but also to lay the foundation of a brighter India. It is a great satisfaction to hear beneficiaries like Aditya and Zinkal say that they are passionate about joining Indian army and serving the nation. Given the wings to fly, these ambitious kids would paint the sky in glory as Malala Yousafzai says, “One child, one book, and one pen can change the world.”

Do you know what the biggest threat to a needy is? It is a belief that somebody else, if not me, might help him. Embrace the humanitarian core and show that you care deeply about children who are underserved. Support us to feed the children!

Creating a Network of Healthy Students

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Childhood is the time of exploration. Children are often better students than adults because they are open to learning in their quest for curiosity. What if our entire country becomes a healthy ecosystem of learning where children get equal opportunity to learn and explore knowledge?

One of the ways that this seemingly utopian thought could actually come true is to ensure that each child going to school gets a healthy meal. Food must not become a deterrent but a motivating factor in children’s lives so to draw them to school.

The Mid-Day Meal Programme in states like Andhra Pradesh run in association with the government is one such endeavour towards ensuring Food for Education. Children’s charity Akshaya Patra has been actively working in 11 states across India towards serving healthy meals to school children. This state has had some amazing stories of children benefiting from this initiative, parents sending their children to school and spreading the word.

There’s a network that’s being created around the country of healthy students – school children who get mid-day meals every day. In order to understand its full impact, you need to dig a little into the history of mid-day meal scheme in India. It all began in June 2000 with the first ever programme of Mid-Day Meal in Bengaluru. Akshaya Patra began with just 1500 children, today; it feeds 16 lakh children.

Specifically when it comes to Mid-Day Meal Programme in Andhra Pradesh, the children’s charity began its centralised kitchen in Visakhapatnam back in October 2008. Today this kitchen serves 21,333 children across 82 schools in the region.

This is an active network of healthy students who are learning in a great environment where they feel that their schools care for their food and nutrition. However, what really keeps us motivated is the feeling that children are taking it as a valuable gesture from the government and the schools. An instance of creating a network of healthy students is found in Visakhapatnam where there are 304 Anganwadi schools being run by the government. This unit of Akshaya Patra feeds 40,000 children across the Anganwadis. Since these are mainly set up in economically weaker sections, their enrollment often goes up each year.

L Kumari, a beneficiary of Anganwadi programme, has a six-month-old baby. It’s important for her to feed the baby regularly and she finds it wonderful that she gets to have healthy and nutritious meal. Moreover, she is determined to send her baby to school when he grows up. The seeds of healthy education system are thus being sown right from an early stage as Mid-Day Meal Programme in Andhra Pradesh moves forward and reach more children each year.

This ever-growing healthy network of Food for Education is supported by many donors and our government. By contributing Rs 950, you can sponsor a child for an entire year!