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!

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An NGO in Ahmedabad Supporting Hopes of Children

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an Indian NGO implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states of India, and Gujarat is one among them. The Foundation is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka and made its foray into Gujarat in 2009. Since then, strategically, it has expanded its reach across five locations in the state as an NGO in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Surat, and Kalol. Currently, the Foundation is providing meals to 4,07,452 children in 1,621 government schools across the state.

NGO in Ahmedabad

Akshaya Patra is providing mid-day meal in Gujarat from its five centralised kitchens located in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Surat, and Kalol. Each of these kitchens strictly adheres to hygiene and cleanliness practices while preparing meals and ensure that the cooked meals are nutritious, tasty, and hygienic. And, so that children readily consume the meals, the kitchen follows a locally palatable menu.

Akshaya Patra is cognisant of the fact that in most cases food brings children to school. It is an incentive for parents to send their children to school with the hope that their children will receive at least one stomach full of meal a day. And, once children are at school, they also receive education empowering them to become resourceful and independent in the future. Thus, while providing regular mid-day meals in the existing schools, Akshaya Patra, as an NGO in Ahmedabad, also strives to extend its service to other locations of the state.

By providing mid-day meal in Gujarat, Akshaya Patra is not only supporting health and education of children but is also upholding dreams of millions of children. Here is an anecdote of one of the beneficiaries:

Mayur - Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Mayur Kanaji Thakor, a bright student of Golvanta Primary School, Gujarat aspires to be a doctor. He comes from a family of four with his father as the sole breadwinner earning a monthly income of Rs. 6,000. But, this not-so-privileged economic background has not deterred Mayur’s determination and he is confident that he will achieve his dream. An Akshaya Patra beneficiary, Mayur’s favourite food at school is Dal-Dhokli. Read the full story of Mayur here.

There are many more such dreams and they are all waiting for a little support from you. Hence, Akshaya Patra gives you a platform to be a part of young yet determined dreams of millions of children. You can support meals and hopes of children by choosing to donate to charity. Your contribution to Akshaya Patra will be diligently used in providing wholesome meals to children thereby empowering them with health and education. Feed a child, nourish a hope!