This NGO in Ahmedabad wants to take children back to school

Zinkal Wariya is a beneficiary of an NGO that serves mid-day meals in schools of Ahmedabad. A student of standard VIII at Bhadaj village in Ahmedabad, Zinkal wishes to join the army in future. Apart from sports and her passion, she looks forward to school for the nutritious mid-day meals served by an Indian charitable trust. She knows the day menus now that involve daal bhaat, subzi-roti, khichdi, sukhdi, daal dhokli and the likes.

Donate for a cause

Like Zinkal, several children in Ahmedabad are motivated to come to school regularly because they are being served nutritious meals every day by the NGO in Ahmedabad Akshaya Patra. These children today feel fearless about their future because they don’t go back home empty stomach and have enough energy to study throughout the day. Their basic nutrition needs are fulfilled to a great extent through the healthy meals served by the Indian charitable trust. This NGO in Ahmedabad also serves children across India.

Through this, the NGO in Ahmedabad aims to address both hunger and education for children. The NGO is targeting remote schools in Ahmedabad in order to reach out to more and more children with wholesome lunch. For that, the charitable trust needs resources so that Indian children don’t miss schools due to hunger.

Donating to a charity like this should come more like a responsibility towards an educated society for future. Children who grow up having nutritious food and valuable exposure to education found a more civilised and a more sensible society. As adults, they would be motivated to educating their children to make India a developed society. Such a society is able to nurture innovators and positive influencers who have the power to change the world.

The NGO is committed to bring more children to schools in Ahmedabad. Your contribution would help them in their endeavour Donate to this Indian Charitable Trust.

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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.

Are you looking for a tax exemption? Try donating for a cause

Have you thought of making a donation and also earn tax exemption? It’s simple. As per IT sec 35AC/ 80GGA, if you make a donation of Rs 500 or more to Akshaya Patra, you will be eligible for a 100% tax exemption.

What is Tax Exemption?

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO registered under section 35AC of the Income Tax Act 1961. Therefore every donation above Rs 500 made to The Akshaya Patra Foundation is eligible for a 100% tax exemption under Section 80GGA.

The exemption is calculated by reducing the donated amount from your taxable salary. For instance, if your taxable income per year is Rs 200,000 and you make a donation of Rs 5,000 then your net taxable income will become Rs 195,000. Your tax will now be calculated on this new amount basis the prevailing tax rates.

Is it important to donate for a cause?

Yes, if you would like to witness equality and fairness in society. Many NGOs in India and individuals are working towards strengthening the nation by working towards education, empowerment, employment, improvement of living conditions and so on. An NGO’s role in India is of utmost importance today.

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Similarly, Akshaya Patra, an NGO in Bengaluru is working towards children’s education by providing them with fresh nutritious mid-day meals. In the last 16 years of our service, the growth has expanded from 1500 hundred to over 1.6 million beneficiaries pan India, thanks to charity donations. Food for Education is a concept where children are given meals within school premises so to encourage them to attend school. In India, many children often do not go to school and unfortunately, their economic condition is such that they are made to help parents with work or look after their younger siblings at home.

In a situation where there are often far too many mouths to feed, education is given least importance. The most practical solution to this problem is to bring children to school and provide them with one-time meal, known as Mid-Day Meal.

100% Tax Exemption in India

Akshaya Patra is a registered charity for children working across 11 states in India. Donations to Akshaya Patra are eligible for 100% tax exemption in India under Section 35 AC/ 80 GGA of the Income Tax. Under Section 35 AC of the Income Tax act, the Central Government – on recommendation from the National Committee for the Social & Economic Welfare – has notified the Project “Mid-Day Meal Programme run by The Akshaya Patra Foundation” as an eligible project for the allowing of 100% deduction of the contribution made by the Assesse.

When you make a contribution, you receive a certificate of 100% tax exemption benefit along with Thank You letter via courier or post. You may use the certificate to avail the benefit for the respective financial year. There are many reasons to donate to a great cause. This is one of them. Donate to charity today!

Uninterrupted Education for School Children

How does Mid-Day Meal Programme help school going children in India? The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in India that serves mid-day meals to over 1.5 million children, can help you answer that just right. Children are not only getting nutritious wholesome meals everyday but are also encouraged to attend school regularly. We believe your contribution can help us reach 5 million children by 2020 and help you get 100% tax exemption.

Serving mid-day meals to school children creates a vicious cycle – a child like Ajay wakes up to attend school, sprinkles great lessons into his head, feasts on healthy food and returns home after a sumptuous meal, and looks forward to the next day.

Here is an infographic of a school boy who is having Akshaya Patra‘s mid-day meal:

Infographic_Life of a School boy_Akshaya Patra

According to the UN World Food Programme, one out of six children is malnourished in developing countries and roughly 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry—these are just numbers that indicate the severity of hunger. A recent article on Buzzfeed India (www.buzzfeed.com/gayatrijayaraman/broke-hungry-and-on-trend) recognised urban people who go hungry almost every day but their lifestyles reflect otherwise. In both scenarios, we have two classes of people who are unable to satisfy the stomach because food is far from reach. While one is unable to afford it, the other is not able to prioritise on food.

As a society, what can we do to curb hunger in India and how can you, as a working class Indian, benefit from contributing to Akshaya Patra? The Foundation believes in nourishing the young minds who are the future of tomorrow. Because education is of foremost priority, Akshaya Patra began serving mid-day meals to school children in India to reduce dropout rate and enhance class attendance. Thanks to the government, Akshaya Patra’s donors can benefit from 100% tax exemption for contributions that are above Rs. 500. All it takes is Rs. 750 to feed a child every year!

Food and Education: A Solution for India

According to the famous theory ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ food is one of the most fundamental needs—if hunger is not solved, it becomes impossible for humans to reach higher standards of needs like education. This theory asks us a simple question: Will a child be able to sit in a classroom with an empty stomach?

Food and Edu Jpeg

In an attempt to relieve children from classroom hunger, The Akshaya Patra Foundation began providing mid-day meals to government school children in India to ensure they receive both nutrition as well as education. The role of NGOs in India is increasing every day to reduce the nation’s socio-economic issues—lack of education being one of them. The Foundation believes that food for education will contribute to achieving economic stability in the long-run and will also improve every section of the society. 15 years ago, Akshaya Patra began serving mid-day meals to only 1500 school children. Today, it has progressed to more than 1.5 million children across 10 states in India making it the world’s largest (non-for-profit) run Mid-Day Meal Programme in India.

There are two ways many children in India are benefitting from Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meals—a wholesome meal every day to be on the healthier side and uninterrupted education despite the financial hurdles at home. Akshaya Patra has been working along with the Government of India and State Governments to reduce the number of children exposed to severe hunger. The combined and continuous efforts with the government have resulted in tremendous opportunities for children to attend school; for it is education that projects a secure future.

For India as a developing nation, feeding the future is a mission. The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2008 states that more than 200 million people in India go hungry every day making food sufficiency an urgent priority. Despite economic progress over the decade, the report still highlights the severe hunger situation in India.

India has many challenges to fight. Solutions are many. However, if the country continues to focus on two aspects – food and education, the results can be what Planning Commission of India has envisioned for 2020—achieving 100 per cent school enrolment of all children.

It is also The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s mission to target 5 million children everyday by 2020 and ensuring that these children are able to concentrate better in classrooms. You can get involve by joining Akshaya Patra in raising awareness about the programme as well as contributing to the cause. All it takes is Rs. 750 to feed a school going child and you can help us too.


You can download the Akshaya Patra Mobile App to support the foundation cause. Download the app on Android and iOS store

Serving Hope in Every Meal by Akshaya Patra

As a baby, you’d cry for food and as a school child, you would run home right after the school bell rang because your stomach groaned for food. Your mother would then serve you a little snack to help you along with your homework. After a good wholesome dinner, you would call it a day! However, this isn’t the case for many children in our country simply because their situation does not allow them to expect a meal. If you’ve been cared for, how about you donate in honour of someone who looked after you? Read on to know why your contribution can make a difference in a child’s life.

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. The role of NGOs have expanded drastically over the years and at The Akshaya Patra Foundation, it is a promise kept to feed a wholesome meal to the underserved children across many states. With an ever-growing dedication, The Foundation has been feeding nutritious meals to more than 1.5 million children in India and aims to reach 5 million children by 2020.

Akshaya Patra beneficiary in Karnataka

Since its inception, The Foundation’s cause has been receiving generous support from many individuals, organisations and the Government. With the growing support, we believe we can help children escape classroom hunger. Most of our beneficiaries do not miss school only because they are served nutritious mid-day meals every day. For Ashwini, who is benefitting from Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal programme, it is important that her studies are not interrupted due to a devastating situation in the family. In Ashwini’s life, each mid-day meal plays an important role by encouraging her to attend school on a regular basis. To know more of Ashwini’s hopes and that of other children’s whose education is assured through mid-day meals, you can visit hope stories.

Children benefiting from Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meals are more than encouraged to continue their studies with a hope of achieving something big—for it is hunger that steals their right to learn. When a child has to strive for food or sleep on an empty stomach, it creates an injustice to the humanity itself. By bringing nutritious food closer to children, Akshaya Patra helps them concentrate on education because when the school bell rings, they can run to the playground instead.

You can care for our cause too!

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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. 750 which feeds a child for an entire year! You can also make your contribution by donating in honour of someone you admire. By this, you not only honour an individual but you also honour the cause of ensuring that children are fed.

School Admission Time for the Beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra (Part-2)

In the first part, we have seen how Akshaya Patra improvises the quality and excellence of its kitchens for welcoming its beneficiary children after the vacations. This non-profit organisation in India is striving hard to provide nutritious mid-day meals to children in Government schools.

The burning problem in India is hunger and illiteracy among school children.  Most of the children studying in Government schools hail from low income families, who do not have provision for a proper meal a day. A hungry child becomes unhealthy, less attentive and hence a poor learner.  The child might be a drop-out and start searching for his own food ending up as a child labourer.

Alarmingly, National Census 2011 reveals that in India there are 10.12 million child labourers aged 5 to 14.  In the backdrop of food insecurity, a child can never concentrate in class. Realizing the issue, Akshaya Patra serves unlimited food for education to school children, so that hunger won’t be a restraint in their path to education. If the problem of hunger and malnourishment are solved, children can concentrate in studies.

NGO for Children

In the recent years, it has been witnessed that mid-day meals attracts children in coming to school. Its benefits extend beyond class rooms, making children healthy by boosting their energy, breaking poverty in households, serving as an investment for the future of a child making him/her educated and literate. For most of the children it would be the only nutritious meal in a day. Thus, micronutrient deficiencies that cause severe health problems are solved. It can also be considered as a bonus that will help children to stay at school so that the enrolment and attendance are increased in schools and hence paving the paths of progress, development and success of the nation.

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Education plays an important role in the life of a child.  It is education that moulds an illiterate child into an enlightened individual. So, this non-profit organisation in India, feeds the children with mid-day meals to keep hunger at bay and help them to lead a progressive future. Thus, solving the problems related to health, education and child labour.

Akshaya Patra reaches out to 1.5 million children in 24 locations across 10 states of India. Here is a brief survey of the states Akshaya Patra is serving mid-day meals in

  • Andhra Pradesh, 28051 children are served across 109 schools
  • Assam, 53649 children are served across 592 schools.
  • Chhattisgarh, 23647 children are served across 160 schools.
  • Gujarat, 400158 children are served across 1653 schools.
  • Karnataka, 463682 children are served across 26289 schools.
  • Odisha, 125242 children are served across 1461 schools.
  • Rajasthan 135910 students are served across 1830 schools.
  • Tamil Nadu 718 students are served.
  • Telangana, 54849 students across 454 schools and
  • Uttar Pradesh, 150663 students across 1983 schools.

The organisation is striving tirelessly to spread its roots across to other states in India.  As responsible citizens of society, let us join hands to solve the problem of hunger which is an obstacle in a child’s progressive life. It is our social responsibility to see that no child becomes a labourer for the want of food and be malnourished for dearth of food. It is our duty to ensure that students will not be drop-outs for food.

Let us be part of Akshaya Patra in serving unlimited food for education by giving donation for the NGO. Every donation of Rs 500 or above is eligible for 100% tax exemption benefits. Within ten days of making the donation, tax receipts can be expected. It takes only Rs.750 to feed a child for a year!

Read the previous blog on School Admission Time for the Beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra

Resolving Global Issues Surrounding Children

Millions of children across the world are denied the opportunity to enjoy childhood and are still in search of basic necessities like food, education, shelter and safety.  Child trafficking, child marriage, poverty, malnutrition and child labour are some of the main global Issues surrounding children.

Child trafficking

Image Courtesy: cseindiaportal

Child trafficking affects millions of children across the world. Children are bought and sold for various activities including forced labour.  According to a 2012 report released by the International Labour Organization, 21 million people are trapped in forced labour across the world.  Of the total, 5.5 million are below 18 years.  Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia (COSA), Children of the Night, Called to Rescue, Love 146 and Maiti Nepal are some of the charities working to end child trafficking and exploitation across the world.

child_marriage

Image Courtesy: newzimbabwe.com

Similarly, more than 700 million women marry before turning 18 and about 250 million get into wedlock before age 15, according to a data released by the UNICEF in 2014. Though efforts to end child marriage have been going, the custom is still prevalent in several parts of India. The after effects include early pregnancy, school dropout, violence, abuse and exposure to HIV and AIDS.  Some of the charitable organisations trying hard to free young children from the clutches of early marriage include Girls Not Brides, Care and Breakthrough.

Poverty is another issue we need to take care of. About 1 billion in the world live in poverty, according to UNICEF.  Poor nutrition claims 3.1 million young lives every year. In developing countries, about 100 million children are underweight and 66 million primary school children go hungry to school. Poor nutrition can damage the immune system and increase a child’s risk of contracting deadly diseases. It can also affect learning ability, cognitive and physical development of children.

Feed the hungry children

Image Courtesy: brighterbrains.org

Some of the organisations fighting hunger and poverty include Action against Hunger, the U.N. World Food Programme and Bread for the World Institute. In India, apart from the government, charitable organisations like The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Annamrita, No Hungry Child, Annapoorna of Adamya Chetana distribute mid-day meals in schools. Initiative taken by these charitable organisations has helped fight hunger and improve nutritional status of underprivileged children in India.

It’s also shocking to know that about 100 million children are homeless and live on streets.  The reasons differ from war or poverty to harmful diseases. Some of the children are orphans, while some live in streets to support their families. Street children, according to UNICEF, are the most difficult to protect and provide education and care.  They face risks from various sources including the police and are sometimes murdered as part of the cleaning up of the city. Charitable organisations like Youth Advocate Program International (YAP International), Consortium for Street Children (CSC), Dreamz (Mumbai), Support (Mumbai) and Railway Children have helped improve the situation and given new meanings to the lives of street children across the world.

Akshaya Patra Inititative4

Image Courtesy: Akshaya Patra

In addition to this, millions of children today are trapped in child labour. Children are often forced to work in several dangerous environments.  A data from UNICEF shows that about 150 million children are engaged in child labour including mining, quarrying, domestic service or agriculture.

However, the number of children who work in India has come down over the past few years.  In 2011, only 43.53 lakh children aged between five and 14 were working compared to 1.26 crore in 2001, thanks to the work of organisations like International Labour Organization, The Child Labor Coalition and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).  Apart from them, the list of charities for children also includes UNICEF, United Nations and Save the Children.

There is no doubt that these issues have made children’s lives miserable and hard. But, the situation has definitely improved than earlier, thanks to the thousands of charitable organisations across the world that have engaged in charities for children.

If the good work of charitable organisations continues at this pace, we can soon completely free our children from these issues and return their rights.

Let’s Say ‘No’ to Child Labour

There is nothing worse than forcing a child to work and earn a living at a young age. Child labour, no doubt, closes doors of opportunities, fun and freedom to kids.  At a time meant to attend school, play or spend time with friends, thousands of children in India today find themselves trapped in hazardous working environments like mining, quarrying, agriculture or domestic service.

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It is shocking that approximately 168 million children, aged between five and 17, are employed in these kinds of occupations in different parts of the world.  Of these, nearly 15.5 million children, the majority being girls, work in domestic service.

There has been a huge global effort to end child labour, however according to UNICEF more than 100 million children will still continue to be engaged in child labour till 2020.

In India, several acts prohibiting employing children in mines, factories or any other hazardous fields have been introduced since independence.   The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act in 2009, made education free for underserved children.

Apart from these, efforts of several non-profit organisations like The Akshaya Patra Foundation have also helped bring change to children’s lives.

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Akshaya Patra, a NGO dedicated to underserved children since 2000, supplies freshly cooked mid-day meals to over 1.4 million children across 10 states in India.  Interestingly, the initiative taken by The Akshaya Patra Foundation has helped bring a notable decline in child labour. The Mid-Day Meal Programme has also helped boost school enrolment, classroom attendance and concentration in children.

Not surprisingly, only around 43.53 lakh children aged between five and 14 are employed today compared to the 1.26 crore working children in 2001.

However, thousands of children in India still miss out school and go to work at an early age. These children will grow up as uneducated and economically backward adults and will affect the nation’s progress and development.

To end classroom hunger and child labour in India, Akshaya Patra is planning to extend its feeding reach to 5 million by 2020.

A world without child labour is not very far away.  But, each one of us has to come forward to turn it into a reality.

 

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