Akshaya Patra’s journey of nourishing children

Didn’t we all wait for the lunch bell to ring during schooldays?
Didn’t we all wait share our lunch with friends?
We did!

Schooldays – a treasure trove of memories, days of new lessons, secrets with friends, and so much more with nibbling lunch at the last bench while the class is on being one of the fondest of memories! Truly, nothing can replace the days we spent at school! Such is the story of millions of children today as they get a chance to attend school. Yes, there is a significant number of children who are able to receive schooling only because of the provision of free lunch at school, the Mid-Day Meal Programme.

Akshaya Patra - nourishing children since 2000.jpg

What’s free lunch?

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.

This was a significant intervention in promoting education and supporting education-related schemes and programmes.

In order to amplify the impact of the Mid-Day Meal Programme, several NGOs joined hands with the Government to implement it across India. Thus, this programme is now implemented by both Government and NGOs. For those families belonging to socio-economically challenging backgrounds, the provision of this free meal acts as an incentive to choose school over work for their children. has potentially resulted in:

  1. Increase in enrolment
  2. Improved attendance and regularity
  3. Countering classroom hunger
  4. Improved health
  5. Enhanced concentration during class hours
  6. Increased participation in school activities
  7. Reduced drop-out rate

Akshaya Patra’s journey in Mid-Day Meal Programme

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a mid-day meal NGO implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme since 2000. Initially, it began feeding 1,500 children in five Government schools in Bengaluru. Witnessing the need of mid-day meals, the NGO inferred that there is a bigger need for these meals. Hence, it gradually expanded its operations and presently, this NGO provides freshly cooked wholesome lunch to 17,65,597 children studying in 15,668 Government & Government-aided schools. These schools are situated in 45 locations across Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh.

Feed a child with Akshaya Patra

Mid-day meal NGOs like Akshaya Patra not only fills hungry stomachs but also nurtures ambitions of young children. So, when you support to feed a child or two through these NGOs, it results in promoting education as well as preparing them to be resourceful citizens in the near future. Join in the journey of Akshaya Patra and help it reach its vision of ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’.

Step ahead, support NGO and create a future you desire to see!

 

Are Mid-Day Meals Playing a Role in a Student’s Academics?

In the last five decades, literacy has evolved and shaped India in many facets – be it industrialisation, per capita or even the standard of living, literacy takes the credit. When you examine the literacy graph of India and compare numbers, the gradual developments bring a smile – thanks to the government benefits and donations for education in India. While there are many factors that play a role in achieving 100% literacy rate, a children’s NGO, Akshaya Patra, is focusing on enabling a student’s academic performance through food for education initiative – the Mid-Day Meal Programme.

mid-day-meal-is-a-promise

Implemented in 2000, Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme (food for education initiative) is now the world’s largest NGO-run feeding initiative based out of Bengaluru in Karnataka. Every day, over 1.6 million children are benefitted through this programme which prepares and delivers fresh-nutritious food to 13,260 schools at lunch time.

Here’s a quick look at two main factors that affect a student’s academic performance:

food-for-education

Learning facilities and environment: It’s rather difficult to expect a child to learn in a classroom without sufficient study materials (text books, notepads, pen, and etcetera) and grasp lessons. It’s more problematic if the school is set up in a noisy surrounding and the exchange between teacher and students is put to a stop. While the government is making continuous efforts to provide provisions to children and build better infrastructure, many NGOs, with the help of education donations, have sprung to lend help to the government in ensuring children excel in their academics.

koti-with-grandmother-uncle

Socio-economic status: In many scholarly articles and research studies, it has been proved over and again that the socio-economic status of a family is an integral criterion for student’s performance – this includes the family members’ occupation and revenue which defines the economic condition. Akshaya Patra enables many families by providing a resource to their children – mid-day meals – which in turn lessens the strain of feeding a stomach in the house. To ensure the child does not have to bear the responsibilities of earning, the Foundation through its programme encourages every child to attend school and also be assured to eat healthy meals.

Why are Mid-Day Meals a boon to children?

It is a resource that stabilises education.  But along with it come nutrition, good health and well-being, academic achievement and quality performance.  Akshaya Patra, with its dynamic initiative to provide food for education, has reached the milestone of serving more than 2 billion meals in the last 16 years. This milestone is a greater encouragement for the Foundation to continue its mission.

Yes, mid-day meals are a boon to children and for the nation. Here’s why:

– More children enrol in schools
– Promotes socialisation among children
– Reduces classroom hunger
– Enhances a student’s performance (academic, sports and cultural)

A quick thought for the mind: Post-independence, India faced many challenges in the field of Growth and Development. However, through numerous benefit schemes and opportunities, we as nation, are witnessing change in every field. Akshaya Patra’s initiative too intends change.

We believe every child deserves a fair chance and there is nothing more important than imparting education. Donate for education in India by joining Akshaya Patra in making every school a model of literacy development.

Fuelling her dreams with Akshaya Patra meals

Mid-Day Meal Beneficiary-Hyderabad

Monica Devi is a student of the Zilla Parishad High School in Patancheru, Hyderabad. She is also a beneficiary of the Akshaya Patra mid-day meal programme.

Monica has not had an easy life. In fact, she’s had a harder life than most. When she was just seven years old her father left Monica’s mother and their two children to fend for themselves. Monica’s mother struggled to make a living for their small family by getting employed as a housekeeper at a multinational company, while the grandmother looked after the children.

Despite these hardships Monica has done well for herself at school, making sure she places amongst the top rankers of the class. Her brother is also making headway at an industrial training course in Hyderabad.

Monica is focused on succeeding in life, and even makes sure that she attends tuition after class. To add to this she also spends her free time reading to keep focused.

So where does she get all this energy from? The Akshaya Patra mid-day meal certainly helps provide her with the daily nutrition and energy she needs to study hard, assimilate information and strive on towards her goals. Monica is especially pleased that Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal is provided to so many children in her school. Her favourite dishes on the weekly menu are the aloo (potato) and brinjal (eggplant) curry. “Just before lunch, my friends and I can’t stop thinking about the meal,” says Monica.

It’s a pleasure to see young children like Monica relishing Akshaya Patra’s healthy, tasty meals, and using it to fuel their ambitions for the future.

 

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The deliverer of healthy food

The Akshaya Patra Blue Buses play an integral role in facilitating the work of the Foundation. It is with these iconic vehicles that the tasty, fresh Akshaya Patra food is delivered to over 1.4 million school children across India every day.
There are totally more than 500 Blue Buses in the Akshaya Patra fleet. The buses are all designed to look the same, making them an easily recognised sight on the streets. Each of these buses has been specially modified with the fabricated racks in a honeycomb structure to ensure that the vessels containing the food are packed in a stable manner, with the optimum utilisation of space.

Akshaya- Patra- Vehicle-Donation

The Akshaya Patra buses are also properly insulated to make sure that the food retains its heat till the very last bus reaches the last school. Quality in every aspect of Akshaya Patra’s operations process is crucial. Therefore, the buses are regularly cleaned through steam sterilisation and random checks are undertaken. To top this off, the Foundation has also ensured that every aspect of the bus in connection with the food is of the prescribed food grade.
These buses that have been so carefully designed by The Akshaya Patra Foundation are a beacon of hope to underserved children all over India. If you would like to contribute a vehicle to the Foundation, click here.

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Akshaya Patra Hyderabad School Kids