How Akshaya Patra is moulding future heroes?

Akshaya Patra heroes

It is no novel idea that our future is a manifestation of our present deeds. Hence, if we wish to see a bright and prosperous future, we need to work towards it right from now. In line with this, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO for children in India is nourishing and nurturing 1.75-million children by providing them with nutritious school lunch on each school day across 12 states of India.

Before delving into how this NGO is moulding future heroes, let’s take a quick look at the aspirations of a handful of Akshaya Patra beneficiaries:

Akshaya Patra Beneficiaries

Aren’t these children heroes in their own ways? At a tender age, they have already set a goal for themselves and have the willpower to achieve it. Now, it is our responsibility to mould them and make them ready for the future. These were just a handful of aspirations from among over 1.75 million aspirations. Hope stories of children will introduce you to many more such zealous and determined children.

The role of Akshaya Patra

Akshaya Patra is cognisant of the fact that inadequate nutrition hampers age-appropriate cognitive and physical development among children. It hinders the learning process and the ability to concentrate. It also negatively affects the level of immunity and health in children. Thus, as an NGO for children, Akshaya Patra has been in the service of providing freshly cooked, healthy, and nutritious meals to children since 2000. So that more and more children can benefit from the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Akshaya Patra operates two types of kitchen – the centralised kitchen and decentralised kitchen. The centralised kitchens serve food to children in the urban and semi-urban areas, whereas the decentralised kitchens cater to children in remote locations.

giving every dream a chance

Alongside, Akshaya Patra is also honing the talents of its beneficiaries under the initiative called ‘Giving Every Dream A Chance’. This initiative is an attempt by the NGO to guide and train children in various fields of their interest such as dance, theatre, origami, culinary, science, and sports, with the support of other organisations and individual mentors. With this initiative, Akshaya Patra aims to provide a strong foundation to the dreams and goals of children.

By ensuring children receive nutritious meals on each school day, Akshaya Patra is supporting their education. By providing coaching to polish their talents, Akshaya Patra is instilling the hope that their dreams are achievable. Thus,

benefits of mdm

Be the Changemaker

The actual change happens when the whole society gets involved in the process of altering the present condition. Thus, take your step towards being a Changemaker. This Independence Day, pledge to feed children of India. Your contribution will ensure healthy food and rightful education for millions of children. Be the hero for the future heroes!

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National Education Day: There’s a need to strengthen educational institutions

National Education Day

The National Education Day, the annual observance to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first education minister of independent India. It is the day commemorated to strengthen the educational institutions in the country and raise the quality of education.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad served from August 15, 1947 to February 2, 1958. He laid foundations of the education system after the country became independent. He was instrumental in establishing national education system wherein free and compulsory education, until the age of 14, was introduced. An institution like Indian Institutes of Technology was also brought in under his guidance in the year 1951. He introduced University Grants Commission in 1953. His contribution in the development of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and the Faculty of Technology of the Delhi University has been phenomenal. He gave importance to adult literacy.

The late South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela said: ‘‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’’ Mandela hit the nail on the head in a way that the informed individuals understand their rights and duties.

Role of NGOs is crucial in ensuring that no one is left out of the education system. The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been playing a major role in ensuring that children stay in school and hence, it today reaches over 1.6 million children across the country.

The objective of celebrating the National Education Day should be to strengthen our educational institutions and raise the quality of education. It should be an occasion to remember Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s contribution in laying the foundations of the education system in Independent India as well as to evaluate performance in this field. This would go a long way in advancing India as a knowledge economy and society.

It’s also an occasion to focus on finding means to educate the people left out of the system for various reasons. Any help extended towards achieving this, through NGOs, for instance, are considered tax deductible donations.

For strong institutions and a robust education system, we not only need the adequate infrastructure, but also need good teachers who not only teach what’s prescribed in the syllabus, but are in fact, inspiring and turn the students thinking individuals.

For achieving this, the system needs to ensure that there is the right type of training given to teachers. While Akshaya Patra ensures children attend school every day by incentivising them with food, charity donations from individuals can ensure that this can be minimised.

How NGO’s in Uttar Pradesh is Ensuring Children’s Development?

Educating children and ensuring they remain healthy in the region has been an important goal for NGOs working across the world. Many NGOs in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar are working on the similar lines. This helps in increasing the awareness level of children. Many NGO’s in Lucknow are working towards ensuring that the children get quality food and education.

Education for children

Therefore, NGOs like The Akshaya Patra Foundation are reaching out to children in schools of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh among other states. The foundation is serving wholesome meals to school children. The NGO has a state-of-the-art kitchen in Lucknow from where mid-day meals are supplied to various Government and Government-aided schools in Uttar Pradesh.

This has a deeper implication. When children are motivated to attend schools, they develop dreams and aspirations of a career. Education opens up various subjects and avenues. As a result, children learn about their own inclination towards certain subjects. This in turn helps them to take steps towards a fruitful career in the subject they like.

When the NGO in Uttar Pradesh reaches out to school children, it becomes a part of the children’s growth. Children attending schools regularly discover the charms of science, language, politics, geography or humanities. This encourages them to explore their interests. The foundation laid during the younger days forms is important as that helps the children pick their career choices. The Stories of Hope demonstrate how children relish the opportunities of a great career.

NGOs like Akshaya Patra are taking these aspirations to far-off schools in and around Lucknow. These are areas where access to information is often limited. And so when children are exposed to regular dose of education and knowledge, they heartily appreciate it. The NGO thus calls for donors to sponsor a child and pave a career path for him/her. When donors choose to sponsor a child, they become part of his/her growth and become instrumental in his career development. You can contribute and help these children realise their life’s goals. Sponsor a child today.

Penning A Bright Future with Literacy

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International Literacy Day, observed on September 8 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), commemorates its 50-year anniversary in 2016. This day recognises the importance of literacy and promotes it through engagement on national and international levels. It is being celebrated under the banner ‘Reading the Past, Writing the Future’ this year.

According to the 2011 census, India’s literacy rate was 74.04% (82 .14% among males and 65.46% among females). The nation has made strides in literacy rate, with active efforts from the Government and organisations like The Akshaya Patra Foundation through its initiatives like food for education, but there is still a long way to go. The cause of literacy must certainly be on the top of the agenda for social improvement, as high rates of literacy benefit the individual and society in numerous ways.

Source: To know the ways to improve literacy rate, visit: International Literacy Day

This Teacher’s Day, Let’s Make Education Accessible to Children

A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart, it is said. And when children are free to use their hands for writing, their mind for thinking and their heart for learning, true education happens. But many children in India are deprived of education due to inaccessibility to school. They are forced to work to earn their meals. The need to for donation for education in India is a need of the hour.

Teachers day

Every year on Teachers’ Day, we hear amazing tales of extraordinary teachers who chose children charity as a mission of their lives. We learn about some of them who went an extra mile to donate or teach or volunteer for education in India. Many of these set great examples of teaching or doing children charity, became life mentors and brought several children to the light of education.

Our heart especially reaches out to hundreds of dedicated teachers serving in Government or Government-aided schools.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation serves mid-day meals to children in thousands of such schools. The volunteers interact with teachers who freely extend their support to the foundation in serving a wholesome lunch. These teachers encourage children to enjoy their meals and come to the school regularly.

The foundation is observing Hunger Month in September by educating teachers and students about the ill effects of under nourishment. The organisation is spreading awareness about the need to feed the children through charity or donation. We are thankful to teachers who are helping us fight hunger this month.

You may be a teacher or someone who is touched by a teacher’s charity. You may consider helping the society by donating for education in India. All donations with The Akshaya Patra Foundation gain income tax exemption. Donate today.

Let’s bring children #BackToSchool

Back to school 1

Hello May! Akshaya Patra, a children’s charity, welcomes a new month with a topic we all love visiting, something that has stolen space in hearts and something that all the children should have access to: School! As the month goes by, we will talk about bringing children back to school for the next academic year. Meanwhile, you can meet our beneficiaries from around the country.

Sahil from Nagpur, Lakshmi from Hubballi and Pawan from Mysuru are children with life changing aspirations. These children are different from the ordinary because they know that education is as vital as food. They understand that despite all the rules, discipline and a lot of other school things that they may not like a lot, they are being nourished in a growing environment of learning.

Sahil-Gajbiye

Sahil wishes to be a pilot in the Indian Air Force. This 14-year-old wants to fight for his country and make people proud. He vividly recalls history about freedom fighter Veer Savarkar who was imprisoned in Cellular Jail in Port Blair. He wishes to fly to Port Blair someday so he could re-visit the history he has learned in school. Such is the impact of education on children. Sahil comes to school regularly because a generous donor decided to sponsor the child. That’s precisely what inspires all of us at Akshaya Patra as we prepare for another school year soon. Children like Sahil, Lakshmi and Pawan are now able to truly learn at their schools because they are provided with mid-day meals in the school premises.

We wish to expand our reach and take mid-day meals to more places across India. We often urge our donors to sponsor a child so that more and more children are encouraged to study and go to schools. With a very small contribution alone, you are able to transform the life of children and take them to the light of education.

There are several other ways that you can extend your help. It could be sponsoring a kitchen for a year, donating a vehicle or sponsoring a school.  You could also sponsor a child’s meals for an entire year! Donate today to feed the hungry!

What is Education? From a Child’s Perspective

Everyone has a right to knock the door to their destiny, to which, undernourishment, money, and lack of resources should never be a hindrance. Education is a journey we all live through. We cannot go through life and learn nothing. We as kids start to initially learn at our homes, from our family and from childhood friends. From trials and observations, we learn that pressing a switch downwards turns on the light. But formal education in school helps us understand what actually makes the light or device turn on. There’s no child who doesn’t have a dream of growing up and becoming a successful person. Education for children is a chance to pursue their dreams of becoming a doctor, teacher, scientist, musician or anything alike.

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All kids admire going to school and learning how to read and write, but not all kids can afford going to school. If you look at the list of NGOs in Bangalore, you will note that Akshaya Patra supports millions of children. The organisation provides healthy mid-day meals in schools and hence, feed the hungry to give them a chance to lead a better life. So, let us donate for education in India and support this noble mission of Zero Hunger and Quality Education.

A chance to repay their parents’ hardwork

At a very young age, children start to realize the fact that their parents work very hard and sacrifice a lot to provide them all the comfort and grant them all their wishes. They see education as a chance to repay these efforts with good grades and making their parents proud. If we help these kids by providing them a chance to go to school, they can not only prove themselves as harbingers of hope but also provide better living conditions to their parents when they grow up as independent individuals.

A chance to make themselves capable of helping others

Only he who wears knows where exactly the shoe pinches. Students who are deprived of daily meals and education very well know how effective mid-day meal benefits are. They also know how it feels to be plunged into a situation they cannot control. Children with such thoughts, see education as an opportunity to become capable of helping others first and themselves being benefitted later. We ought to appreciate this spirit and provide food for the education of these children who even have to go to bed hungry at times. There’s nothing more satisfying than feeding the hungry.

A chance to create their identity in this whole wide world

Education has different meanings and forms for different children. For some, it is language, science or mathematics while for some it is music, dance or art. Children are always very passionate about chasing their dreams and if provided with all the opportunities, they can excel at their interests. They wish to make their parents proud by doing something extraordinary for themselves, their families, society and their country. If such determined kids do not get a chance to get an education, in spite of our capabilities to help, what sense does our education make?

We ought to come forward and donate for education in India. Let the children continue having faith in humanity and kindness. Sponsor a child today and win tax exemption in India!

The Beginning of Quality Education

‘Education for all’ has been resonating in everybody’s mind and yes, India is on the path to achieving this. However, education does not always synchronise with quality. United Nations, in one of their papers presented at The International Working Group on Education Florence, Italy in June 2000 defines quality education in five points:

  • Learners who are healthy, well-nourished and ready to participate and learn, and supported in learning by their families and communities
  • Environments that are healthy, safe, protective and gender-sensitive, and provide adequate resources and facilities
  • Content that is reflected in relevant curricula and materials for the acquisition of basic skills, especially in the areas of literacy, numeracy and skills for life, and knowledge in such areas as gender, health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS prevention and peace.
  • Processes through which trained teachers use child-centred teaching approaches in well-managed classrooms and schools and skilful assessment to facilitate learning and reduce disparities.
  • Outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes, and are linked to national goals for education and positive participation in society.

healthy-students 

The first point in particular talks about children who are well-nourished learners. What Akshaya Patra, a charity for children, is focusing through their Mid-Day Meal Programme is – increase a child’s nutrition intake as well as ending classroom hunger. Through charity fundraising activities, the Foundation receives sustainable help from several people and corporates across the globe.

Divya, one of Akshaya Patra beneficiaries, says she likes ‘warm and nutritious food.’ This one incentive that children receive every day encourages them to pursue their education without fear and also makes them aware of societal issues. Some of our beneficiaries testify that they would want to grow up to help the society – a value that helps spread kindness.

As we expand our Mid-Day Meal Programme to more schools and locations, we urge the people to contribute to a healthy future. Akshaya Patra’s donors can avail 100% tax exemption for donations above Rs. 500 as per section 80g of income tax act. This article gives you an overview of how you can avail the exemption and why it is important to donate for education in India.

Can You Feed a Child Today?

Even after gaining grounds on development in many sectors, India has been taking its own sweet time to combat against two major challenges of the present time – providing education and food to the underprivileged. According to 2016 Global Nutrition Report, 667 million children (in 129 countries) under the age of five have severe nutrition deficiencies which have resulted in: stunting, disproportion of height and weight, and overweight. Many organisations have been responsive to this but reaching the required level of pace is still a long way to go. This is where we need to realize our responsibilities towards society, donate generously to a cause, feed the children and do our bit in defeating all inhibitions to growth not as a gesture of tokenism but as a profound yearning to change the world.

Here’s how you can make a difference for children and help them to pursue their dreams by making a gift of an inexhaustible vessel of food and hope:

Why should you support Akshaya Patra?

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Akshaya Patra started off with 1,500 children a day which has now drastically grown to serve over 1.6 million children across 11 states of India. Seeing the splendid mid-day meal benefits, appreciations from many dignitaries including Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton, one need not have a second thought on contributing. The mission of this charitable trust is to serve 5 million children by 2020 which is achievable only if more of us care deeply about the cause and help in fundraising. Needless to mention, it is an overwhelming opportunity for us to contribute.

What can you do?

Akshaya Patra lets and urges you to help those in dire need of your sponsorship. And, you’ll be surprised to know that the amount to sponsor a child for a year almost equals a bill for two at a restaurant and so often, most of us do it fortnightly. Why not let the unfed taste some nutritious food as well? There is no better expenditure of money than donating some of it to a charitable trust who feeds the hungry. There’s so much to do and so fewer doers. Change the notion and make a donation in honour of someone!

How about the end-beneficiaries?

Mid-day meal is a strategic intervention to not only benefit children’s stomach but also to lay the foundation of a brighter India. It is a great satisfaction to hear beneficiaries like Aditya and Zinkal say that they are passionate about joining Indian army and serving the nation. Given the wings to fly, these ambitious kids would paint the sky in glory as Malala Yousafzai says, “One child, one book, and one pen can change the world.”

Do you know what the biggest threat to a needy is? It is a belief that somebody else, if not me, might help him. Embrace the humanitarian core and show that you care deeply about children who are underserved. Support us to feed the children!

School Days Are Here Again!

Crisp school uniforms, new compass boxes, polished shoes and packed school bags – it is time to welcome these sights again, as rain-soaked days herald the start of a brand new school year. After the lulls of the summer vacations, going back to school is a bittersweet experience indeed. No longer is it possible to sleep late into the morning or play and watch one’s favourite television programmes all day. It is now back to the old familiar – school friends, classes, homework and the discipline of following a schedule throughout the day.

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The reopening of schools also brings with it the most delightful hour in the bustle of school life – the lunch break. This is the most anticipated time of the day, as growling stomachs need to be silenced with a healthy, wholesome meal. Good nutrition is imperative to the physical, mental and emotional development of children. After all, who, be it adult or child, can think straight with hunger clawing at their gut? Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO for children that provides mid-day meals to 1.4 million kids across India, ensures that not only do children go back to school, but they stay there too.

In a country like India where hunger and malnutrition cripples the educational performance of children and even leads them to desist from the pursuit of education, it is imperative that an incentive like free mid-day meals be implemented. Education is the magic spell that needs to be cast for empowering children and this can only be done if, like their privileged counterparts, the socioeconomically underprivileged too have a full stomach.

Don’t let food be a mere thought for a child.

Your contribution could help keep a kid in school. Donate to NGO now!