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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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Celebrating Daan Utsav 2016

Daan UtsavJoy of Giving Week 2016 is here! This week-long event brings many individuals a step closer to donate to charity and helps in making a difference in society. Through noble acts of giving, India’s biggest philanthropic festival inculcates kindness among all of us.

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There’s a lot we can do to witness change and we believe change begins with you. Joy of Giving Week is one such platform that gives you opportunities to donate, make a difference and take with you a lasting pride of having contributed to society. Happiness is, after all, an act of giving.

About Akshaya Patra

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a Bengaluru-based children’s NGO, spreads joy with every meal served. After implementing its Mid-Day Meal Programme in 2000, the organisation’s beneficiary base has increased from 1,500 children to over 1.6 million children. In the last 16 years of its compassionate journey, Akshaya Patra has transformed the lives of many school children. This Daan Utsav, Akshaya Patra pledges to spread happiness with every meal. Help us enable more children to attend school – join us on the mission to feed 5 million children by 2020!

Every day is a fresh start for school children and teachers. Their days are packed with classes, lessons, assignments, tests, physical activities and so on. A break during the day is where Akshaya Patra comes in – serving nutritious mid-day meals to these enthusiastic children who fearlessly dream of their future. Mid-day meals bring joy.

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While India celebrates Joy of Giving week, read these testimonials by Akshaya Patra’s beneficiaries – every testimonial is an assurance that Mid-Day Meal Programme is indeed a boon for children.

“Joining the army will bring me a sense of pride. To fight for the country is the duty of every citizen in India. My dream started with my History lessons, where I was inspired by the many freedom fighters during India’s war for Independence. Many have fought for this country. Why can’t I do the same? I feel I am indebted to my country and I would like to serve my nation as an army officer. I love Akshaya Patra food for it gives me strength.”

Darshan, Karnataka

“I enjoy the Akshaya Patra mid-day meal on all days but my favourite is Wednesdays and Saturdays. We get pulao, khichdi and kheer, which are my favourites. At home, my mother doesn’t cook these delicacies because we can’t afford it. When I grow up, I want to become an actress and act in Assamese movies. Someday, I want to travel the world with my family.”

Pithali, Assam

“The mid-day meal has been a great relief for the parents. They feel that the children will at least get a nutritious meal if they attend school. Though the menu changes every day, the students look forward to eating dal-chawal, dal-dhokli, khichdi and sukhdi served by The Akshaya Patra Foundation. The children are able to enjoy the teaching process, since they are more attentive in class. They actively take part in various inter school sports activities too. The Mid-Day Meal Programme has positively impacted the children’s health in school.”

Reshmi Patel, Teacher, Gujarat

Read all the stories at our website: Joy of Giving Week

India’s biggest philanthropic event ends in a few days. Let’s take this opportunity to make a difference by donating to charity. Get involved in a cause today.

5 Ways to Get Involved with Akshaya Patra

Surya is born into a family whose monthly income is not more Rs 3,000. While his father toils to feed the family every day, he knows that someday, Surya would have to attend school to be more self-reliant. At the age of five, he is admitted to the closest government school. His father is motivated to send Surya to school for various reasons—free education, an opportunity to socialise and most importantly, a wholesome and nutritious mid-day meal served every day!

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in India, strives to feed the hungry children everyday by implementing mid-day meal programme in schools across the country. Currently, the Foundation is feeding over 1.5 million government school children in 10 states of India. You can get involved too and experience the journey of eliminating hunger among school children.

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Here are five ways to get involved with this children’s NGO that runs the world’s largest school lunch programme:

  1. Connect with the purpose: Akshaya Patra, an NGO for children, aims to end classroom hunger by feeding nutritious meals to school children on every school day. In the year 2000, the organisation was founded on the belief that no child should be deprived of education due to hunger and that has been the roadmap of this Foundation’s journey. When you empathise with the cause, you are a step closer to making India a hunger-free country for children.
  2. It only costs Rs 750: A young student in a government school gets free lunch for an entire year and that is possible through your small but significant contribution. It costs only Rs 750 to feed a child for a year to ensure that his/ her education is not interrupted. You can donate to charity and also benefit from 100% tax exemption on the donation. Small amounts, when accumulated, greatly enrich children’s lives.
  3. Create your own fundraising campaign: While there are many donation options, you also have a choice of creating a personalised online fundraising campaign on the Foundation’s website or on Akshaya Patra’s mobile app. Once a campaign is created, you can share it with your friends and together, reach out to more children.
  4. Download Akshaya Patra mobile app: The organisation moves along with technology. Its all-new app helps you extend your support while you are on the go—you can create campaigns, donate and stay updated at the tip of your fingers! The app allows you to search kitchen locations pan India and exhibits the total number of beneficiaries and schools each location is catering to. The mobile app is available on both Android and iOS.

5. Be a volunteer: Giving your time and effort towards a cause can help the society in many ways. When you volunteer with Akshaya Patra, you are not just connected to the cause but you are also exposed to mid-day meal programme and the overall operations of the organisation.

Feed the Children to Promote Healthy Living

Think of healthy food

Have you ever considered why children should eat healthy food? The answer is simple: childhood is one of the most important stages in life and following a proper, nutritious diet is crucial for remaining healthy later in life.

A healthy diet, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), is one which is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains like unprocessed wheat, rice. The experts also recommend eating at least 400 grams or 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day.  A healthy diet can help improve cognitive development in children and can also protect them against malnutrition, obesity, diabetes, stroke, cancer and heart disease.

In India, millions of children lack access to a single healthy meal a day. There are NGOs all over the country that works tirelessly to combat this. One of them is The Akshaya Patra Foundation, children NGO that has been providing unlimited food for school children in India since 2000.

Gujarat Children NGO

The NGO for Children has brought rays of hope to over a million underserved youngsters in India.  Starting the journey by feeding 1,500 children in Bengaluru, Akshaya Patra at present delivers nutritious and tasty meals to over 1.4 million children from 10,845 schools in 24 locations across 10 states in India. The meals prepared by the foundation contain the vital nutrients required for growth.

To feed the children, the organisation depends on support from the Government of India, corporates and donors.  People from across the world come forward to feed the children. The organisation accepts donation both in the form of money and kind. An interesting fact about Akshaya Patra is that it takes just ₹750 to sponsor a child for a whole year.  An additional incentive to sponsor a child is the opportunity to save on tax. Well-wishers who contribute ₹500 or above are eligible for 100%tax exemption under section 35 AC!

Although Akshaya Patra has made great progress in the past 15 years, the Foundation’s mission is to feed 5 million children by 2020. So Sponsor a child and enjoy the joy of giving!