Feed school children this Father’s Day!

Fathers who believe in their children are those who are able to instil a strong sense of confidence among their children. Children need this. As fathers, you can feed children with values, beliefs and a sense of pride. As the world honours the spirit of fatherhood on Father’s Day, let us lend a helping hand to all those fathers who provide for their family.

Fathers Day

There are millions of children who are thankful that their fathers allowed them to go to school. These children come from humble families where there are too many mouths to feed and only few people bringing food to the plate. So a non-profit organisation in India – Akshaya Patra reaches out to help these families by feeding the children with wholesome lunch in schools. Now the fathers truly had someone to help them feed their children.

Akshaya Patra is on a mission to feed the hungry and eventually end classroom hunger. The non-profit organisation is driven by the principle – no child shall be deprived of education due to hunger. As a result, the organisation has been able to feed millions of school children by also promoting education.

This has turned out to be especially crucial in rural areas where parents cannot practically ensure that their children go to school regularly. Many of these parents are daily wage workers who may work until dusk to be able to feed the family. But when the children are motivated to attend schools due to a nutritious meal served free of cost, this solves a major part of the problem.

Feeding the children with wholesome lunch has truly turned out to be a mission of physical and mental growth of the children. Isn’t it what all fathers want for their children? You may help some of these fathers by being part of the school lunch mission. Donate to charity today.

Read our blog on Father’s Day!

Have fun fundraising with Akshaya Patra!

School bell!
Children rushing inside the gates of the school!
The shouts and cheers at the playground!
If all these bring back some great memories, you have had a great childhood. Yes, school is that important and that memorable.

Our Reach Make an Impact

Akshaya Patra, the NGO that’s working to provide wholesome meals to school children in India, wishes that school remains a memorable part of every child’s life. It’s on a mission to bring the dropped-out children back to school by serving wholesome lunch in government schools.

Ask any Akshaya Patra staff and they would tell you that serving meals to children is most fulfilling. For that matter, any charity related to children is often transforming for donors, volunteers and staff. So as we urge people to join our mission of serving mid-day meals, we also encourage them to have fun as they do. You don’t need to always donate cash or kind to charity in order to make a difference. You can simply involve yourself in online fundraising to make your valuable contribution.

You may create your own online fundraising campaign, give it a personality that you want, share your thoughts about it and inspire your friends, relatives and even strangers. For instance, a volunteer Mr M Shiva Krishna raised Rs 15,000 in a simple campaign that he called ‘Hungry for School.’

You can share your thematic campaign and our website links on your social media handles and invite millions of people in a cause that you believe in. You may post some of our pictures, do your own posters with a message and inspire people to donate to charity.

We genuinely want you to understand the meaning as you engage in this online fundraising since after all our goal is to spread smiles, laughter and joy among school children. Start your campaign today.

We need your support for a new academic year!

If there’s one thing that parents dread, it’s convincing their children to get ready for a new academic year, especially after a good summer vacation. A new year can be fascinating but children always tend to be reluctant in giving up the carefree summer routine. On the other hand, there are many children who are eagerly waiting for school to begin because their lunch is taken care of.

Children in Assam

Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme is currently available in 11 states including Assam, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. But before the schools re-open, the Foundation is looking forward to donors’ charity support which will ultimately help millions of children.

What is Akshaya Patra’s role as an NGO?

 With a mission to end classroom hunger, Akshaya Patra began its initiative called the Mid-Day Meal Programme. If the students are provided an incentive to attend school, they get encouraged to complete their education. Its meals constitute a balanced diet that’s delicious and motivates the kids to attend the classes every day. This venture is spread across 11 states today. Akshaya Patra also feeds the hungry in Uttar Pradesh where the percentage of undernourished kids is high.

How can you support us?

 Because undernourishment and illiteracy are social problems, their eradication plans would inevitably involve the contribution of society. There are a number of ways by which we can help the efforts to ensure maximum attendance of kids in school. Donors have the option of sponsoring a school for a year, fundraising or simply donating some amount to charity and help in feeding the children.

As the schools reopen in a few months, remember that there are a whole lot of children who are in need of nutritious food. This is possible with your support towards Food for Education initiative by Akshaya Patra – an effort to aid 13,577 government schools in India.

To encourage children to attend school, Akshaya Patra urges people to donate to charity, and most importantly, for the betterment of the future.

Earth Day 2017: Akshaya Patra’s kitchens strive for energy-efficiency

We are all children of the Earth and we return to her when our time on the planet is up. To honour all that the Earth gives us and to support the cause of environmental protection, Earth Day is celebrated all over the world on April 22 every year. The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a top NGO in India, which operates the world’s largest NGO-run Mid-Day Meal Programme to benefit school children in the country, too is committed to the cause of environmental protection. It has undertaken many initiatives to produce its meals in the most sustainable, energy-efficient manner possible.

earth-day-poster

Three of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens that feed the children are equipped with biogas plants – the Vadodara kitchen in Gujarat and the Vasanthapura and Ballari kitchens in Karnataka. These are all ISO-certified kitchens and the kitchen at Vasanthapura also has a solar plant. The biogas plants use the waste generated during the preprocessing of vegetables prior to food preparation and leftover from the schools if any. A single biogas plant at the Akshaya Patra kitchens uses an average of 200 kg of mixed vegetable waste per day, while the food returns used amount to 500 kg a day. An average of 65.7m3 per day and the biogas used in place of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) amounts to an average of 55m3 per day. Meanwhile, the LPG equivalent generated by the biogas plant amounts to 20-23 kg per day.

The Vasanthapura kitchen in Bengaluru also has a solar plant that generates 12kw electricity per day. The electricity thus generated is used for lighting up the building and all the other single-phase power applications. Akshaya Patra’s upcoming kitchens too have been designed in such a way that they can accommodate solar panels and plans are underway to equip existing ones with them too. The Foundation also seriously undertakes water conservation efforts. Water consumption in its kitchens is reduced with the help of vegetable washing machines, rice washers, steam cooking, high-pressure jets for equipment and vehicle cleaning, vessel cleaning machines and vessel cleaning showers with tanks.

Akshaya Patra, as one of the world’s top NGOs conducts training and awareness programmes for its employees to raise awareness about water management and conservation. Wastewater generated in its kitchens is recycled. This recycled water is reused for gardening. The kitchens, besides using renewable energy such as solar energy and biogas, also harvest rainwater.

Akshaya Patra feeds over 1.6 million children in 13,577 schools in 11 states of India and strives to ensure that it does so in the most sustainable manner possible. To contribute to the Foundation’s cause of ‘food for education’, donate to charity now.

Akshaya Patra – Blazing a trail in Uttar Pradesh to eradicate hunger

One school meal a day has the power to fuel the educational pursuits of India’s children. It eliminates classroom hunger, keeps them in school and helps them concentrate better. The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), helps the cause of ‘food for education’ through its Mid-Day Meal Programme. It works in partnership with State and Central governments in India and feeds its nutritious mid-day meals to over 1.6 million school children in 11 states across India. These meals are cooked in state-of-the-art ISO-certified centralised kitchens that strictly adhere to hygiene standards.

Reach in UP

The Foundation is now taking a big leap in expanding its footprint throughout the country, especially in U.P. In December 2016, as an NGO in Uttar Pradesh, Akshaya Patra laid major expansion plans in the state. The state will witness the launch of 11 new kitchens in the districts of Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, Etawah, Kannauj, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Rampur and Ballia. The groundbreaking ceremony for the same was performed by Akhilesh Yadav, former Chief Minister of U.P, at Lok Bhavan, New Secretariat, Lucknow, on December 26, 2016. With the addition of these new kitchens, the Foundation’s reach will expand to 13 lakh beneficiaries in U.P. from 2,11,680 children it is presently feeding, benefitting 10,88,320 more children, starting the next academic year.

Taking its mid-day meals in Uttar Pradesh to a larger number of children will bring Akshaya Patra closer to its vision of ensuring that no child is deprived of education due to hunger. To feed millions more children in India and aid their quest for education via a nutritious school lunch, the Foundation needs the support of all the individuals committed to eradicating classroom hunger. Join Akshaya Patra in nourishing the health and furthering the education of India’s future by making a charity donation towards it.

For Every Child’s Education in Karnataka!

As a child, what was the first thing you did after waking up? The answers may differ – finish pending homework, get ready in a rush, complain about disappeared items like tie, belt or socks, or help the younger sibling get ready.

For every childs education

For many Akshaya Patra beneficiaries, their morning tales are quite different. While one wakes up to help mother fetch water from a nearby tank, another wakes up to clean the house. Although it’s not a relaxed morning, their energy in classrooms never takes a back seat. While the Government is providing them free education, an NGO in Karnataka is ensuring that they do not drop out of school due to hunger.

Akshaya Patra provides mid-day meals to more than 4 lakh school children in Karnataka. Through this initiative, we have understood the importance of two aspects that eventually orients children’s future – food and education; ones that play a key role in Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme.

Because, children matter

India is home to one-third of the world’s poor and millions of children in the country are away from school to earn a single meal a day. Although hunger is a prevailing condition, we believe there are sufficient resources to provide food for children in the country.

In Karnataka, we began our operations in 2000 and with every passing year, we have expanded our presence in different states. Today, we serve over 1.6 million school children across India. Here are the two recent updates from Akshaya Patra Karnataka:

  1. Taste of Joy in Bengaluru
Taste of joy

Employees at Global Village Tech Park

The Akshaya Patra food truck was at Global Village Tech Park in RR Nagar, Bengaluru on February 23, 2017, as part of its Taste of Joy initiative. About a 1,000 people working at the tech park got a taste of nutritious meals, served hot! The initiative, besides offering people a taste of the food we prepare, also brings to their notice our cause of Food for Education aimed towards eliminating classroom hunger.

  1. Roti-making machine installed in Ballari
Ballari-Roti-Making

Inaugurating the Roti making machine 

Recently, we inaugurated our first roti-making machine in South India at Ballari kitchen. The 40-feet machine, donated by Vijaya Bank as part of its CSR activities, is fully automated and has the capacity to produce 20,000 rotis per hour. We would like to thank Vijaya Bank for their generous support towards our Food for Education programme.

You can care for our cause too!

Our focus continues to be hunger relief among school goers through nutritious mid-day meals every day! To ensure that a child is not deprived of education due to hunger, you can contribute Rs 950 to feed a child for an entire year! Donate to charity and get 100% income tax exemption.

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.

daan-utsav

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.

celebrating-indias-festival-daan-utsav-2016

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.

Akshaya Patra Serving a Plateful of Smiles | World Smile Day 2016

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. No one said it better than late William Arthur Ward, a renowned author, who rightly related smile with kindness. It’s the principle that has inspired several acts of philanthropy around the world.

celebrateworldsmileday

Here’s a quick bite on World Smile Day! A commercial artist named Harvey Ball, who is known to have created the Smiley Face, initiated this day back in 1963 with a similar thought in mind. After his death in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation created the slogan – Improving the world, one smile at a time. And smile, often the result of a moment of happiness, is a thing to be shared and spread around.

For many people around the world, just getting decent meals for one day is a matter of happiness. On World Smile Day, let’s pledge to donate to charity. If you have any non-profit fundraising ideas related to providing meals to school children, it will definitely help Akshaya Patra in spreading smiles.  

Healthy Meals for Kids

For children, food is directly related to happiness. A child’s day consists of the games he plays and the food he eats. And so at Akshaya Patra, feeding hungry children is not only a duty but also a matter of happiness. Through our Mid-Day Meal Programme, we strive to spread smiles with each meal. Being the world’s largest not-for-profit Mid-Day Meal Programme, the organisation serves wholesome food to over 1.6 million children in India.

What truly drives our initiative, however, is the smiles of various children who are now motivated to study and come to school. That’s because we believe it’s also equally vital to ensure their happiness in future by making them independent and educated. We wish to spread the happiness of aspirations among these children by taking care of their meals in school so they could focus on their mental and physical growth.

In government schools in India, several children have a natural acclivity for academics. They have dreams and are often inspired to make a difference in the environment around them. One such student is Bhanupriya who studies in a Government Higher Primary School in Bengaluru. Talking about her aspirations, she says, “There are many people who are unwell. I wish to be a doctor and serve them. I would treat poor patients for free.” (Read her story at Stories of Children)

bhanupriya-org

Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Bhanupriya, like her counterparts in private schools around the country, has ambitions of her own. Dearth of resources around her is in no way a hurdle to her dreams but she makes the best of her school education and studies diligently. With the motto ‘food for education,’ Akshaya Patra aims at ensuring future happiness of children.

Happiness is Feeding the Hungry

Akshaya Patra offers several opportunities and invites people to contribute for the cause of happiness. We strive to engage people in civic-minded activities through non-profit fundraising ideas. Fundraising is definitely one of the most effective ways to help a cause – you can help feed a child for an entire academic year by donating only Rs 950!

akshaya-patra-smiles

Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme is run with the support of the government and many individuals and corporates. With small contribution, you can engage in deeper acts of happiness and kindness – it may turn out to be more rewarding than you think as you join hands with an organisation that has made a huge difference since the year 2000.

We have found a way to spread happiness through meals, have you? Donate today!

How Nutritional Value is Important for Children?

Dictionaries define nutrition as “the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.” Unfortunately obtaining food for health and nutrition worldwide has proved to be tougher challenge than it was perceived. Providing healthy food for children is a concern that transcends geographical boundaries. Fresh and healthy food is a basic right of every child, and there is a need to make sure that they get it every day.

role-of-ngos

Unfortunately, we live in a divided world where one section of the society is wasting food while the other is deprived of it. Children are on the receiving end because quite often they are not the bread-earners to be able to fetch food. Several children, who do get food, may not get a diet full of health and nutrition.  At Akshaya Patra, when our target of 2 billion meals was achieved recently, nutrition was still top of our priority. 

The Global Nutrition Report 2016 reveals data on the status of hunger, malnourishment and poor diets in children and adults as well. The report suggests that it’s even more difficult for little children who have to experience hunger and a hard time to get meals twice a day. Nutrition is required for children so as to ensure their growth and a hunger-free life. In India, however, the reality is major part of the population isn’t capable of arranging food for hungry children even once a day.

Nutritional status of children in India:

  • UNICEF reports, almost 20% of children less than 5 years are wasted due to undernutrition.
  • Approximately 61 million children are stunted due to chronic undernutrition
  • More than one-third of wasted children and three out of every ten stunted children in the world, live in India itself
  • Millions of children suffer from micronutrient malnutrition and calorie deficiency
  • The ratio of underweight children is in rural areas increase every year unexpectedly
  • Around 50% of the children under 5 years are underweight and prone to infections

 How’s nutrition vital for children?

Physical growth: Studies have proved that a child needs proper nutrition in order to achieve full height. The same is also true for the rest of his physical growth. There are children who suffer from several physical ailments due to lack of nutrition and good health.

Mental faculties: Health and nutrition pave way for the children to develop their mental faculties. Any pediatrician would testify that the right balance of omega fatty acids in children’s daily diet contribute towards brain activity, development and capabilities. Similarly, each ingredient in a balanced diet adds to a child’s mental growth. That’s precisely why we combined mid-day meals with education in schools and emphasised on providing healthy food for children.

Feeling of wellness: Children who get regular diet and nutritious food are often active in their school and on playground. Remember that children are still exploring the world with their little experience. They have more energy that needs channelising physically. This can happen only when a child has ample nutrition in his body. Such children have a greater sense of well-being and wellness.

Health and nutrition have a lot of value in a child’s growth. It goes without saying that for the overall mental and physical development of any human being, nutrition plays a vital role. It becomes crucial especially for children who are not aware what’s best for them. The children need help and guidance along with a regular supply of nutritious food. We have been providing mid-day meals in schools through our centralised kitchens in 24 locations across 10 states.

You can help children get the right balance of diet with just a click. Donate to charity 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!