The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a mid-day meal NGO serving nutritious meals to 1.7 million children on every school day. Its journey as a mid-day meal NGO began in Bangalore in the year 2000. After the Supreme Court’s mandate in 2001, Akshaya Patra partnered with the Central Government and State Government to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in Karnataka and across India.
Akshaya Patra started off its mission to provide ‘unlimited food for education’ by establishing itself as an NGO in Bangalore and providing school meal to 1,500 children in five government schools from its first kitchen in H.K. Hill. Over the years, the Foundation has expanded its reach to seven locations in the state – three in Bangalore, and one each in Ballari, Hubballi, Mangaluru, and Mysuru. Currently, Akshaya Patra has a beneficiary base of 4,86,172 children across 2,968 schools.
Advantages of Mid-Day Meal Scheme
The Supreme Court’s mandate on 28 November 2001 directed all the State Governments and Union Territories to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in every Government and Government assisted schools. As per the Scheme, every child must be provided with a prepared mid-day meal on every school day. The six main aims of this Scheme are:
- avoid classroom hunger
- increase school enrolment
- increase school attendance
- improve socialisation among castes
- address malnutrition
- empower women through employment
Being a mid-day meal NGO, Akshaya Patra strives to give these advantages of mid-day meal scheme to the each and every child of the state and the nation.
Akshaya Patra’s reach in Karnataka
Akshaya Patra serves nutritious mid-day meal in seven locations of Karnataka – three in Bangalore, and one each in Ballari, Hubballi, Mangaluru, and Mysuru. To know when the kitchens started its operation, visit: Kitchen details
All the kitchens in Karnataka are centralised and mechanised cooking units. Among all, H.K Hill and Vasanthapura kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 certified, whereas Ballari, and Hubballi are ISO 22000:2005, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 certified. The Mangaluru, Mysuru and Jigani kitchens are in the process of certification.
Meal Menu of Karnataka Kitchens
Akshaya Patra wants to make sure that children enjoy their meals. Thus, while maintaining the recommended nutrition levels, the Foundation designs its meal menu to suit the local taste of a particular location. So, Karnataka being a South Indian state, the menu caters to the typical southern taste. The meal menu in Karnataka consists of: rice, pulao (a rice-based dish made with vegetables), bisibelebaath (a rice-based dish made with vegetables and lentils), tomato rice, sambar (a mixed vegetable and lentil curry), upma (a semolina-based savoury dish), sweet pongal (a rice-based sweet dish), payasam (a vermicelli-based sweet dish), kesari baath (a semolina-based sweet dish), curd, and pickle.
The prepared meals are delivered to schools in customised insulated vehicles. This allows children to receive fresh and hot meals. And, for this, each of the kitchens in Karnataka has their designated meal delivery vehicles.
Aside from serving nutritious mid-day meals as an NGO in Bangalore and in Karnataka, Akshaya Patra has also partaken several socio-developmental initiatives as follow:
- Sponsoring hygiene practice & food safety guidance to government school students
- Planting of saplings on World Environment Day
- Distribution of 7500 Hygiene kits to Government School students
- Blood Donors Camp on Blood Donation Day
- Scholarship for Merit Students
- Teachers Day programme
Eco-friendly methods in Karnataka kitchens
While ensuring that the advantages of mid-day meal scheme reach every child in the state, Akshaya Patra also implements various eco-friendly measures to benefit the environment. Some measures are as follows:
- Biogas stoves that are smokeless have replaced LPG.
- The recycled water from the Sewage Treatment Plant is used to water plants
- Effluent Treatment Plant/ Sewage treatment Plants are installed to treat wastewater before it is released into the environment
- Rainwater harvesting
- Solar lights and solar heater as an alternate source to reduce the use of electricity.
Make a difference
Akshaya Patra is striving to make a tangible, sustainable, and lasting change. In doing so, it is putting all its efforts to provide something as basic as food to maximum children. As responsible citizens, it is our duty too to ensure children receive healthy meals and education. Thus, support the efforts of Akshaya Patra by contributing NGO online donations. By contributing just Rs. 950, you can provide a year full of school meal to a child!