What is the best way to make online donation in India?

online donation

The current era is ruled by the internet and has become the way of life. It has not only made accessibility to information easier but also has brought the whole world in our palm tops. Right from shopping, booking tickets, to conducting businesses and financial transactions, everything gets done at a click of a button. Hence, even charitable organisations like Akshaya Patra also encourage contribution of online donation.

Way back in 1750, Benjamin Franklin in a letter to his mother wrote, “I would rather have it said, ‘He lived usefully, than, ‘He died rich’.” Very thoughtful indeed and it puts the reader to ponder on it too! The daily humdrum of life keeps us so engaged that we hardly spare a moment to think beyond ourselves and or meeting our personal needs and goals. We don not even realise when we get into the never-ending rat race and by the time we realise, it’s too late. Thus, it becomes important that we include some activity in our regular routine that will help us remain grounded. And, one of the ways is to support or volunteer for charitable organisations.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an Indian NGO for children that provides nutritious school meals to children studying in Government and Government-aided schools. It is one of the oldest NGO in India to implement the school lunch programme and has been recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme. The Foundation provides meals to more than 1.76 million children in 14,314 schools across 39 locations of 12 states. Over the years, Akshaya Patra has garnered support from all sections of the society and acknowledges that this support is crucial to benefit more children. Hence, the NGO has provided a broad platform for all its supporters to engage with the cause.

Undeniably, finance is an important aspect of any NGO. Akshaya Patra provides an easy, safe, and secure platform for people to contribute NGO donations online. Though a donor can choose to donate through a cheque or a Demand Draft, the Foundation encourages online donations purely due to ease and security. Akshaya Patra carefully and diligently utilises the donations and on an average, 92% of the total cost is used towards meeting the programme cost and 8% towards the programme management cost. Akshaya Patra’s induction to ICAI’s Hall of Fame is a testimony of its transparency and credibility.

While you ensure daily school meals of children by contributing towards the cause, it benefits you too. your contribution towards Akshaya Patra is considered as tax deductible donations. This means any donation of above Rs. 500 to Akshaya Patra will be eligible for 50% tax exemption under Section 80G of Income Tax Act. This way your act of generosity has a double benefit – for the children and for you too.

Well as Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. But, we make a life by what we give.” So, let your generosity flow and touch young lives who have the zeal to learn but lacks in resources. Your one click can uphold innumerable hopes across the country.

Advertisements

Make your special days more memorable!

Special occasions are many! And, we celebrate each one with much fervor and joy. While we share these joys with our close ones, can we also share it with few young children who may be so to say strangers? Well, there are many children for whom food and school are the best gifts ever! And, as you buy handpicked gifts for your loved ones, do give it a thought for these children too.

Celebrations are an important aspect of our lives. Aside from the main festivals that the whole country or the whole world celebrates, there are many personal occasions that are close to our hearts and we celebrate it with much excitement and joy. Each of us have so many special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, house warming etc. that if we really give it a thought there are innumerable reasons to celebrate. And, we celebrate these special occasions in many ways – get-togethers, exchanging gifts, going on holidays, and the like. But, did you know there are some of us who celebrate their special occasion with Akshaya Patra, an NGO for children?

NGOs work for various causes that directly impacts and uplifts the society and its residents making it a better place. From focussing on environmental causes, animal rights, child development, women empowerment, human rights, hunger and poverty, education, and more, NGOs touch upon all aspects of development and preservation. Despite different causes, the purpose of NGOs across all sectors remain same i.e. ‘to bring a positive and sustainable change in the immediate society and the world at large.’ Similarly, The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one of the pioneer NGOs to implement the Mid-Day Meal Programme with the vision ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’. It was established in 2000 and is headquartered in Bengaluru with active operations in 39 locations of 12 states in India. The Foundation provides freshly cooked, wholesome, and locally palatable school meals to 17,61,734 children studying in 14,314 Government schools and Government-aided schools.

With the objective to benefit more children, Akshaya Patra encourages people to extend support for the cause. It has provided a broad platform for engagement, one of them being ‘celebrate special occasion’. Yes, you can choose to share your joy of celebrating special occasions by supporting beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra, just like some generous supporters who have already included children to celebrate joys and show respect and honour to their loved ones:

celebrations

Mr. “For me, charity means sharing with my fellow human beings. I had once heard  Narayan Murthy talking about Akshaya Patra and its functioning. I liked the concept and hence got engaged with the NGO. I will keep donating a minimum of 10% of my salary to Akshaya Patra on special occasions such as on birthdays of my wife and sons, wedding anniversary of my parents and the like.” – Manoj Kumar, Marine Pilot, Reliance Port and Jamnagar Terminal Ltd., Sikka, Gujarat.

  • “I was totally satisfied, both with the method of disbursement and the target population. Instead of spending money on yearly rituals of my parents’ Death Anniversary, I donate the amount to Akshaya Patra. Money spent on God’s children should please the God anyway.” – Satyajit Chakraborty, Executive Director, Boiler Company, Kolkata.

In conclusion, offering charity is also a way of celebrating special days. It not only helps the needy but also brings goodwill to the giver. So, make your special days more memorable by choosing to donate to Akshaya Patra. And, as they say, ‘A joy shared is a joy doubled.’

Celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights with Akshaya Patra

Diwali

Diwali or Deepavali, a festival of light is celebrated across India with much joy and vigour. From lighting diyas, decorating houses and offices, offering prayers, distributing gifts and sweets, get-togethers, and fireworks, Diwali is one of those festivals which the whole country waits for eagerly. There are different historical events that marks the significance of Deepavali celebration. For instance, in Hindu sect, Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, and Hanuman to Ayodhya after a 14-year period of exile during which Rama’s army defeated demon king Ravana’s army of evil. Some also view this day as Lord Krishna defeating and destroying the evil demon king Narakasura. Some also offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity and wealth, Goddess Saraswati for light of knowledge and wealth management, and Goddess Kali who symbolises victory of good over evil. Among the Sikh, Diwali is observed to celebrate the arrival of Guru Hargobind at the Golden Temple in Amritsar after being released from the Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s Gwalior Fort prison. The Jains celebrate Diwali to mark the attainment of final nirvana of Mahavira. The belief could be any, but the symbolic cord that runs across each of them is victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.

 

Upholding the real significance of Diwali, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-profit organisation in India offers a platform for the society to include a charitable act in their celebrations. Akshaya Patra implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states of India. Through this programme, the NGO provides freshly cooked wholesome meals to more than 1.76 million children in more than 14,000 Government and Government-aided schools. The NGO has been in the service of children for the past 18 years and steers its efforts to ensure ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’.

 

Over the years, several impact studies have revealed that the mid-day meals have positively contributed to the health of children, better academic performance, increase in school enrolment and regular attendance, and reduced school drop-out rate. These meals are much-needed by the children since most of them hail from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. But, the beauty in these children is, none of them let the current hurdles deter them from their determination of achieve better and bigger in life. Each of these children have high goals in life and the only thing that can help them achieve is nutritious meals and rightful education. This Diwali, donate to Akshaya Patra and spread the goodness of health, education, and knowledge.

 

This Diwali, let the spirit of joy and prosperity be a part of every child’s life!

Social responsibility of NGO’s in India

 

Social responsibility of Ngo

NGOs play a crucial role in the upliftment of the society. These organisations work for various causes and aim at bringing about sustainable change in the immediate society and the whole world. Akshaya Patra is one such NGO in India that focusses its activities on supporting education of children by providing nutritious meals.

Non-governmental organisations or NGOs are legally constituted private organisations that are not managed or owned by the government or government representatives. However, their sphere of work is in some way or the other an extension of government’s goals and objectives pertaining to the progress of the country. These organisations also directly or indirectly work in association with larger organisations like the UN, UNESCO, WHO, etc. NGOs work at all levels – local, national, international, and their services encompass a wide range of causes such as health, education, environment, animal rights, and more. But, the vision of all NGOs resonates each other i.e. upliftment of the entire society by ensuring social welfare, and preservation of environment and nature.

 

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one such NGO in India working for health and education of children. The Foundation implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme and provides daily school meals to more than 1.76 million children across 12 states of India. It has been recognised and appreciated in several national and international platforms. It has also been recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programme. The NGO vision of Akshaya Patra is “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.” This vision is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Zero Hunger and Quality Education. Aside from providing nutritious meals to school children, the Foundation has also taken the step to hone the skills of its beneficiaries with its initiative – Giving Every Dream A Chance’. Akshaya Patra strives to address the issue of hunger and illiteracy right from the grass root level. Hence, it provides healthy meals to children, expecting women and lactating mothers in 4,786 Anganwadi centres in nine locations spread across five states of India.

As an NGO in India, Akshaya Patra is cognisant of the fact that real social welfare can be achieved only when all the citizens are healthy, educated, and self-dependent. Hence, it is striving to provide a strong foundation for children so that it creates generations of independent and resourceful individuals. This, in turn, will aid in social and economic progress of the whole country.

In conclusion, the work of all NGOs results in an inclusive overhaul of the entire society lifting it up by manifolds in a sustainable and positive manner. Thus, as citizens, we too must take up the responsibility to support these organisations with our time, skill, and finance. Begin a ripple of positive change; support NGO in India.

Celebrate Daan Utsav 2018 by giving food to children

The joy of giving is much more than the joy of receiving. Daan Utsav is a festival of giving and it gives an opportunity to every one to contribute to the needy in some way or the other. Akshaya Patra too observes the Daan Utsav with the anticipation that numerous children will be benefitted with acts of generosity.

Daan Utsav

Somebody has rightly said, “Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” And, this totally resonates with Daan Utsav. Previously known as the Joy of Giving Week, the Daan Utsav is considered as the ‘festival of philanthropy’. It was launched in 2009 and is observed annually in India during the week of Gandhi Jayanti i.e. from 2 October to 8 October.  Daan Utsav gives each and every one of us, from all sections of the society, an opportunity to do something good for our fellow citizens. The significance of this giving week is it engages and encourages people to imbibe the ‘act of giving’ by contributing money, time, skill or resources with the ones who are less privileged.

The Joy of Giving Week is celebrated with much enthusiasm by all sectors and sections of people – Government organisations and institutions, corporates, NGOs, schools and colleges, and the general public. It is an initiative aimed at creating awareness regarding various needs of the society, garnering support to tackle these issues, and bringing about a sustainable change. With the same spirit, The Akshaya Patra Foundation observes this giving week to generate maximum support for its beneficiaries – the children.

Joy of giving week

Akshaya Patra is an Indian NGO implementing the Government Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states of the country. It provides nutritious school meals to more than 1.76 million children, on each school day throughout the year. And, most of these children hail from such low socio-economic backgrounds for whom to receive even a single meal is a big struggle. It has been observed that the school meal has played a crucial role for these children in ensuring that they receive at least one meal per day. This meal has opened the gates of school for millions of children thereby saving them from entering the world of child labour. Akshaya Patra understands this critical situation and thus strives to provide nutritious meals on each school day. By doing so, the NGO is instilling a sense of joy, confidence, and hope among little children of India. These children are being nourished with healthy food and nurtured with education each day thereby preparing them to be assets of the country in the near future.

This Daan Utsav, choose to dedicate your ‘act of giving’ for Akshaya Patra’s little children. be the source of hope for children who have the zeal to learn and achieve but are seeking for a little help. When you donate on Daan Utsav, you ensure the much-needed daily meals of the children, you help the NGO to increase productivity of its kitchen units and thereby allow it to feed more children who are still waiting for the opportunity to attend school. This Daan Utsav, let your generosity flow to provide ‘unlimited food for education’.

New Kitchens of an NGO in Rajasthan Feeds Hungry Children

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.

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:

Akshaya Patra 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.

Akshaya Patra’s Mid-day Meal Secret

Have you ever read or viewed an interview of a successful personality where the interviewer doesn’t include the question, “What’s the secret behind your success?” Guess not! Call it the awe of success or impact of the achiever, all of us want to know what do these achievers do differently that they reach such inspiring heights. And, the same question has been posed to The Akshaya Patra Foundation because of the magnitude of work carried out by the Foundation.

Mid-day meal

Akshaya Patra is an NGO that implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states in India. The Foundation is headquartered in Bengaluru and has been in the service of children since 2000. The Foundation provides mid-day meals to more than 17-lakh children across 38 locations in 12 states on each school day. Turning back the pages to 2000, this NGO began providing meals to just 1,500 children in five schools in Bengaluru and today it is nourishing lakhs of with healthy and nutritious meals. And, this popped the question, “What’s the secret behind this scalability?” So, let’s begin from the first!

Importance of mid-day meal

For many of us, we don’t have to worry about our next meal. Alas, that’s not the case for many children across the country. These children hail from not-so-privileged backgrounds and thus are faced by the uncertainty of receiving meals. In a scenario like this, mid-day meal comes as a ray of hope for these children and their parents too. Mid-day meal acts as an incentive for parents to send their children to school with the hope that the children will receive at least one proper meal for the day. This brings children to school. And, once they are at school, they not only receive stomach full of wholesome meals but also the much-needed education. The mid-day meal is a win-win for health and education – be it for the specific sector or for the growing children.

– Akshaya Patra kitchens and meal

To implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme and benefit children right from the grass root level, Akshaya Patra operates two models of kitchen – the centralised kitchen and the decentralised kitchen. The centralised kitchens are huge cooking units that can cook up to one lakh meals per day. The mega kitchen in India serves meals to schools located in urban and semi-urban areas. The decentralised kitchens serve meals to children in remote areas. Currently, the NGO operates centralised kitchens in 36 locations and decentralised kitchens in two locations. These kitchens follow standard operating processes and many of the kitchens are ISO certified facilities.

The NGO adheres to the nutritional requirement as stated in the Central Mid-Day Meal Guidelines. However, it also prepares its meal menu to suit the local taste so that children enjoy their meal and consume it readily. Thus, Akshaya Patra’s meal is freshly cooked, nutritious, hygienic, and tasty.

– Akshaya Patra food is…

– So, what’s the secret behind Akshaya Patra’s meal?

Nutrition content, spices, special recipe… we can keep guessing and adding to this list. But, the real secret behind the dedication, efforts, expansion and sustainability of the Foundation is the smile and satisfaction on a child’s face after having a plate full of fresh and healthy meals. This video will reveal what keeps Akshaya Patra motivated to reach out to more and more children.

 – Conclusion

Maybe we all have a secret to our success, or maybe the ‘determination to achieve something’ itself becomes the real ingredient for our success. However, for this Foundation, the smiles and aspirations of children are the reasons or say the ‘secrets’ for the success of implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme for the past 17 years!

Documentary of Shankar – An Aspiring Police Officer

I am Shankar Hazarika – a film by Akshaya Patra features a 10-yr-old beneficiary from Silguri, Assam – a village mostly of fishermen. Shankar is the youngest in the family and his ambition is to become a police offer. His father is fisherman who depends on the mighty Brahmaputra River.

How Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal impact education in India

Mid-day meal impact

Until our stomach is full, the mind is pre-occupied with the thought of food – it is a fact! So, do you think it is possible for young children to concentrate in the classroom and focus on school activities when their stomachs are growling with hunger?

Aside from being an important aspect in the growth and development of children, food is also a prerequisite for effective education. And, that’s where the Mid-Day Meal Scheme come into the picture. The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is an initiative of Government of India to provide cooked meals to the children of government schools and government-aided schools. Over the years, this Scheme has become a significant pillar and a prime influence on the progress of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan. Several NGOs have partnered with the government to implement this Scheme across the country, and one such NGO is The Akshaya Patra Foundation. This NGO has been providing school midday meal since 2000. Presently, it serves mid-day meals to more than 1.7 million children in 14,173 schools of 36 locations in 12 states of India.

In most instances, it has been observed that school meal acts as an incentive for families of not-so-privileged backgrounds. Parents send their children to school with the hope that the young members will at least get one proper meal for the day. This provides an opportunity to the children to attend school thereby benefitting them doubly with nutritious food and rightful education. Thus, as part of self-assessment, Akshaya Patra periodically conducts third-party studies to understand the impact and opportunities of the mid-day meal programme. The summary of many such impact studies indicate:

  • There has been an increase in enrolment of children
  • Regularity and attendance among students is on the rise
  • Student drop-out rate has decreased
  • There has been a significant improvement in the health of children
  • The level of concentration among children has improved
  • There is an enhanced sense of social equity and socialisation among children

As a mid-day meal NGO, Akshaya Patra understands the need to remain transparent about its operations and developments with the government and civil society. Thus, it annually publishes the NGO Annual Report containing audited financial statements, organisational highlights, achievements, plans, and goals along with the impact it has had on the beneficiaries.

Interestingly, Akshaya Patra implements the mid-day meal programme with the vision that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’. This itself indicates that the NGO strives to provide nutritious school midday meals to children in order to support their education. Step in to support the efforts of this mid-day meal NGO. Choose to donate for education in India through Akshaya Patra. This will not only support the education of children but will also contribute to their healthy growth and development. So, join hands with Akshaya Patra and provide ‘unlimited food for education’.

NGO in Telangana & Its Kitchen

According to the ‘Telangana Socio-Economic Outlook 2018’, there is a substantial discrepancy in literacy rate across the state. While Hyderabad fairs significantly with 83.2%, Jogulamba Gadwal district is struggling with 49.9% literacy rate. It has been reported that of the total 31 districts, 26 districts have literacy rates below the State average of 66.54%. In order to bring the low scoring districts at par with the high scoring districts, the government is putting in lot of efforts. In support of the government’s effort, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in Hyderabad began its mid-day meal service in the state in 2008.

Purpose of mid-day meal programme

On 28 November 2001, the Supreme Court of India passed a mandate 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.” Through this scheme it was intended to:

  • avoid classroom hunger
  • increase school enrolment
  • increase school attendance
  • improve socialisation among castes
  • address malnutrition
  • empower women through employment

Headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka, Akshaya Patra wanted to give these advantages of mid-day meal scheme to the children of India. Hence, after its inception in 2000, the NGO started expanding its reach across the country. The Foundation made its foray to Telangana by establishing its first kitchen in Hyderabad in 2008. Currently, this NGO is feeding a total of 91,675 children in 805 government schools across the state.

Akshaya Patra Kitchens in Telangana

mid day meal in Telangana

Beginning its journey in 2008, today Akshaya Patra is providing mid-day meal in Telangana from its three centralised kitchens located in Hyderabad, Narsingi, and Kothagudem. Recently, the Foundation inaugurated its fourth kitchen in Kandi and it is the NGO’s largest one-of-a-kind hi-tech mega kitchens. Equipped to feed 1-lakh children per day, this kitchen was built in partnership with the Infosys Foundation.

With a grant of INR 18.50 crore, Infosys Foundation funded the entire construction cost of this kitchen. Alike all Akshaya Patra kitchens, the Telangana kitchens strictly adhere to hygiene and cleanliness standards in all its kitchen processes too. To improve productivity and efficiency of operational processes, Kaizen, Continuous Improvement Projects and Six Sigma methodologies are a part of a Telangana’s kitchen operations.

The kitchens of Telangana feature all the aspects of centralised kitchens such as cauldrons, trolleys, rice chutes, grinding machines, RO plants, and the like. Each of the kitchens has dedicated customised delivery vehicles to transport cooked meals to all beneficiary schools. The NGO in Hyderabad makes use of biogas briquettes and solar power as form of fuel and energy to operate the kitchen.

Menu of Telangana kitchens

Akshaya Patra has designed its meal menu to suit the local taste so that children enjoy their meal to the utmost. In line with the same, some of the menu items served to children in Telangana are: rice, lemon rice, sambar (a mixed vegetable and lentil curry), sundal (a South Indian dish, a dry legume-lentil preparation spiced, tempered, along with fresh coconut), pappu (a type of South Indian lentil curry), tomato pappu, vegetable biryani (a popular rice dish), and vegetable korma (an Indian dish made with vegetables and yogurt)

Socio-developmental initiatives

Besides providing mid-day meal, the Hyderabad kitchen is also involved in various socio-developmental initiatives to ensure betterment of the beneficiaries and the society. Some of the initiatives are:

  • Conducting awareness programmes
  • Life skills programme
  • Scholarship programme
  • Anganwadi Feeding
  • Feeding expecting and lactating mothers

As a mid-day meal NGO, Akshaya Patra wants to multiply its reach so that many more children receive the advantages of mid-day meal scheme. For this, the NGO operates in a Public-Private Partnership model, and while it is receiving aid from government, it also requires support and involvement of the civil society. Partake in the Foundation’s endeavour of providing ‘unlimited food for education’. Choose to donate to charity by either contributing funds online, sponsoring a school for a year or by donating a meal delivery vehicle. Your one contribution can make a huge difference in a child’s life. And, did you know that you can feed a child for the entire year with just Rs. 950!