How back to school and mid-day meals are related in a child’s life?

Education is important for a child but food more vital!

Children education is a very aspect in the progress of the immediate society, and the country at large. But, an estimated 8.4 crore children in India do not attend school. It has also been reported that India is one among the top five nations with the highest number of out-of-school children aged 6-11 years. In order to tackle this situation and make India ready to embrace the title of being the youngest nation by 2020 in terms of working age populace, the Government along with many NGOs are striving to ensure education for all. But, the matter of the fact is, to achieve 100% literacy, we need to first address the issue of hunger because it is this very factor that pushes away children from schools to work fields.

In an endeavour to counter the critical issue of hunger, the Government initiated the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, a programme that provides free school lunch to children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools. Over the years, this scheme has gained momentum and has been successful in incentivising parents to send their children to school with the hope that children will at least receive a plate full of meal per day. The mid-day meals have potentially increased enrolment rate, attendance rate, while also countering classroom hunger and improving health and concentration levels among children.

School + Mid-day meals = Empowered children

Several NGOs have partnered with the Government to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme. These NGOs are able to bring about a drastic and sustainable change right from the grass root level of the society. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one of the pioneer mid-day meal NGOs with a remarkable history of 18 years in service of children. Each year this NGO in India runs a ‘Back to school’ campaign with the objective to bring millions of its beneficiaries back to school for a new academic year. This year Akshaya Patra is campaigning to support continuous schooling of more than 1.76 million children.

The real worth of being able to attend school is understood only by those children who has to overcome several challenges each day just so that they their place of learning. The mid-day meals and the lessons they receive nourishes and nurtures them making them confident of achieving their goals in life. Each of Akshaya Patra beneficiaries have their unique dreams and this motivates the Foundation to bring more and more children under the ambit of the school meal programme.

Today, you are resourceful and moving ahead in life and career, a big share of it goes to the education you received. Now, it’s time to empower the future generation. Come forward generously and actively is support of the ‘Back to School’ campaign. Your action will promote children education by ensuring their mid-day meals for the entire school year. Act now!

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What should be our Future Goals: National Energy Conservation Day 2016

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

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The 21st century has been the chief consumer of energy. We have dramatically transitioned from natural resources like fire, water and wind, to oil for large-scale production. Compared to the years before Industrial Revolution that took place sometime in 1740 (new machineries were introduced for agricultural revolution), the energy consumption was less and our activities did not threaten the environment the way it does today. Today, as we sit comfortably in our office or home, energy is at the verge of depletion simply because it is not being used efficiently.

In India, Energy Conservation Act was passed in 2001. It provides a policy framework and enforces large energy consumers to follow certain norms to ensure the usage is efficient.

We at Akshaya Patra, a charity for children, use renewable energy during our mid-day meal operations. Our Vasanthapura kitchen in Bengaluru has a solar plant which produces up to 70 units of power a day. This energy is used to power applications like fans, computers and other basic systems. Apart from solar plant, biogas plants are also employed at Akshaya Patra that produce 40-50 kg of biogas and will consume about 1000 kg of waste. With support from donors and the government, this Foundation feeds over 1.6 million children on every school day.

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Today, the challenge is not just shifting from excess energy usage to renewables; it is also about educating children and ourselves on how to save the planet’s resources.

Energy depletion is not a nation-specific issue but a global one. On National Energy Conservation Day, 2016 (observed annually on December 14), let us understand how we can conserve energy as individuals and contribute towards a better tomorrow.

Tips for Conservation

  • Turn off the water taps and try rainwater harvesting
  • Switch to LED or CFL bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs
  • Limit the use of car and bikes to avoid excess carbon emissions
  • Switch to solar power
  • Reuse and recycle materials

Why is it important for all of us to conserve energy?

It is a cycle – earth generates energy and we, as humans, depend on the energy to fuel our living. For instance, fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas are the primary source of our living and they are non-renewable resources. If coal (majorly used in power plants) gradually drop out of our sight, our existence itself will get crippled. If these fossil fuels and other natural resources continue to be utilized the way it is done today, there is a chance we would fail to protect the planet we call home.

Each one of us (7.5 billion people) is responsible for our actions. When we take up the responsibility of protecting the Planet, we may get to see a better future!


Akshaya Patra is an NGO based in Bengaluru. With support from government and donors who choose tax deductible donations, the organisation continues to provide nutritious mid-day meals to over 1.6 million children in India. As a donor, you will receive 100% income tax exemption. Donate today!

Giving – A Hallmark of the Extraordinary

In these times of fast cars and faster jobs, a sense of forlornly meandering through a mindless existence often sets in. Leisure, pleasure and privilege often find themselves helpless against this undercurrent. One thing, done in however small a quantity, that always warms the spirit and lifts it, is the act of giving. Those who feed the hungry or donate to charity, offering financial aid or time and resources, will vouch for the exhilaration they feel upon making worthy contributions. Giving undoubtedly makes one an extraordinary individual – in their own eyes as well as in the eyes of others.

akshaya patra_dreams of children

One might scoff at the surety with which the statement has been articulated, but there are numerous reasons why it stands true. Firstly, one’s self-image is of paramount importance. Ironic though it is, giving enhances one’s self-worth because the act puts others before oneself. In a world that believes that individuals are wired to be selfish, doing something truly selfless makes one remarkable indeed. Secondly, with the suffering, wealth disparity and wars that are a common fixture, the smallest measure, be it charity fundraising or sponsoring the education of an underprivileged child, matters in making the world a kinder place.

Charity is also a mutually beneficial relationship for all those involved in the exchange. It helps one connect with individuals who are in a vastly different place in life as compared to themselves. This gives one the power that is rare indeed – one to empathise with one’s fellow beings, rather than just sympathise with them. Empathy – the ability to truly understand the other person by putting oneself in his/her shoes – is a hallmark of a mind that has grown and evolved. It allows one to be humane, instead of just human.

In the age of materialism, giving also helps one manage its stresses and uncertainties by nudging one towards the spiritual. Spiritual wellbeing is as important as material success. Giving, which helps one look beyond oneself to the oneness of the universe, is a spiritual activity that helps individuals love and be at peace with themselves. The greatest minds in the world have all extolled the benefits of charity, and now, scientific research backs these ideas, which go back thousands of years. Giving, in its essence, is a way towards self-realisation.

akshaya patra_donate now

Help nourish a schoolchild’s dream of uninterrupted education by supporting Food for Education. Donate to Akshaya Patra for mid-day meal programme now!