Do items in your shopping basket add up to Rs. 95?

“Your total bill amount is Rs. 3,542”, said the cashier as he handed over the bill to me.
I took out my wallet, paid him the amount. And, as he was packing the items in a bag, I wondered ‘has my needs increased, am I buying impulsively, or has the prices of the commodities skyrocketed.’

Shopping basket

Graphically speaking, I fail to understand how my grocery bill constantly shows an upward trend every month. I don’t remember when was the last time somebody handed me a bill of below Rs. 1,000. It does bother me, but again with the usual humdrum and busy schedule, I forget about it until the next shopping. And, then came the moment of truth when on a regular day at work, I saw my colleague donating to an NGO named The Akshaya Patra Foundation. After she finished her transaction, I enquired about the NGO. Her reply completely left me amazed.

She said, “Akshaya Patra is an NGO for children that provide food to government school children on every school day. The NGO has been operating the school meal programme for the past 17 years. It has a pan-India presence and presently serves school lunch to more than 1.6 million children.” At this, I stopped her and said that it must be a really expensive affair because grocery for one household itself costs somewhere between Rs. 2,500 – Rs. 3,000. My colleague smiled and said, “Akshaya Patra feeds 3 children for an entire year with Rs. 2,850.” And, she pointed towards the donation page of the NGO. I was totally stumped at what I had just heard and what I was seeing on the screen.

She added, “Though I am in a situation where I can afford food, I know how the hunger pangs feel. On the days when I have to skip my breakfast and rush to office, or skip my lunch to complete a report, my body and mind give up. It becomes very difficult to remain focussed on what I am doing. Well then, what about those children who aren’t even sure of getting their next meal. This particular fact drew me to support Akshaya Patra’s cause because their effort ensures at least one nutritious meal per day. That’s why on every special occasion like my birthday, my parents anniversary or during festivals I make online donations for NGO.”

And, before I could process all that she was saying, my colleague scrolled down the page and said, “When you donate to Akshaya Patra, you also become eligible for 80G deduction on your donated amount. This means the amount you donate becomes eligible for tax exemption, a benefit that you can utilise at the time of income tax filing.”

That evening, to find answers to the innumerable questions popping in my head, I read up on the humongous task that Akshaya Patra is doing. In the end, I realised that maybe I can never bring down my grocery bill, but I sure can ensure nutritious meals for children for an entire year with an amount less than my monthly grocery expense. And convinced with Akshaya Patra’s endeavour, I took my first ever step towards contributing charity!

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NGO in Rajasthan Feeds a Child with Rs 950 for an Entire Year

NGO in Rajasthan

The sum of Rs 950 has a different a meaning for every person. For a few it’s the amount with which they can buy their favourite outfit or go to their liked place for dinner. But for many children, it is a source of hope, a hope that they will be able to relish a nutritious and delicious food for the entire year.

Though it sounds difficult, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been making it possible for over 1.6 million children. The food served is prepared according to the guidelines set by the Government. The food is nutritious and delicious at the same time. While the food gives them the freedom to choose education over work, it also gives them the ability to make their decisions and aspire to pursue a career of their choice. By choosing education over work, they also get enough time to participate in sports activities and other activities of their choice.

Akshaya Patra is among the major NGOs in Rajasthan and it ensuring good health for all its beneficiaries. The menu varies every day so as to ensure that the children don’t lose interest in food. To gain the best out of seasonal vegetables, the dishes are changed depending on the seasons.

The Foundation will soon be launching its fifth kitchen in Ajmer. The existing four kitchens are located in Jaipur, Baran, Nathdwara and Jodhpur. About 1,70,723 children from 2,672 schools are currently benefiting from the initiative across the state.

Your contribution of just Rs 950 can ensure that the children are able to relish a wholesome meal served by the Foundation on every school day. They will be encouraged to prioritise studies over work. With a full stomach meal, they will be able to concentrate on studies. This will in turn lead the country towards positive development.

Do your bit by donating to charity today.

Spread Awareness with Our Banners

We need your support – stand with us, raise awareness about our programme and help us get more community support.

It’s very simple: download our material and use it to support the noble cause!

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How to get the material: You can download our posters directly from the website or can access our ads from other public websites.

In our website, we have displayed a variety of banners for you. Each Akshaya Patra banner has a different message to convey and also differs in design. Hand out the material to people in your area or display it in your locality.

It’s your choice!  Pick a banner and support our NGO. Your initiative can help us to feed a child.

Akshaya Patra applies technology to run the mid-day meal programme

There are several advancements in technology that has indeed made our lives easy but how much of these development can benefit society from a three sixty degree view. Technology has indeed made impactful interventions but are we able to harness enough to benefit all?

Talking about mid-day meal we can have a distinct view on its applications and benefits. The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is one of the largest free school lunch programme initiated by the Government of India. It is to ensure that children receive nutritious meals and can concentrate on studies rather than on earning a square meal. It is to tackle classroom hunger and promote education. In order to implement this, there are kitchens across the country to run the programme. As these kitchens have to cater to thousands and millions of children every day, they are categorised as centralised kitchens and decentralised kitchens. Centralised kitchens are mechanised kitchens equipped for mass production of mid-day meal and they also act as nodal kitchen for a set of schools in a particular region. This model of kitchens is viable and largely seen in urban areas.

Akshaya Patra Centralized Kitchen

Signs of technological intervention are a sure sight in all the kitchens of The Akshaya Patra Foundation. A walk into any kitchen unit of the Foundation will give a well maintained factory-like feel. A closer look will reveal that it is a kitchen that bustles up every morning to prepare thousands and millions of meal. Right from huge rice cauldrons beginning with 500 litres cooking capacity and dal cauldrons with capacity of 1,200 litres to 3,000 litres of dal, there are mechanised roti making machines that can roll out 200,000 rotis from 6,000 kilograms of wheat flour. Not just for cooking, Akshaya Patra also utilises technology in storage and delivery process. There are cold storages in each kitchen to store ready-to-cook cut vegetables to retain freshness. For delivering the cooked food, the NGO makes use of custom-made insulated vehicles to control temperature loss so that freshness of the cooked meal remains intact till it is served to the children. In order to ensure safety and on-time delivery, methods like logistic charting for route optimization and GPRS are adopted and implemented in the kitchens.

Akshaya Patra Mega Kitchen

There many more applications of technology that have helped in continuous increase of productivity, enhanced quality and improved service. These interventions have also potentially affected sustainability of each kitchen allowing the Foundation to increase its beneficiary base. Yet, Akshaya Patra continues to explore newer avenues to further advance its capacity of feeding millions of children and move forward in eradicating classroom hunger.


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The Akshaya Patra Foundation Photo Gallery

Birth of The Akshaya Patra Foundation

The history of our Foundation starts with a story of compassion.

Looking out of a window one day in Mayapur, a village near Calcutta, His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada saw a group of children fighting with street dogs over scraps of food. From this simple, yet heart breaking incident, came the determination that: No one within a ten mile radius of our center should go hungry.

It is his inspiration which helped us to create The Akshaya Patra Foundation as it is today.

We began this initiative with the vision that “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.”

In June 2000, we started our mid-day meal program in Bangalore by feeding 1500 children in 5 schools. At that time there was no State run school meal program in Karnataka. Within a few short weeks we had received hundreds of requests from teachers who expressed the dire need of such a scheme.

This over whelming response was the impetus for the growth of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

Growth of The Akshaya Patra Foundation

In November 28, 2001 the Supreme Court of India passed an order which mandated that: “Cooked mid-day meal is to be provided in all the government and government-aided primary schools in all the states.” Akshaya Patra was called in to give testimonies to the Supreme Court in order to implement the mandate.

By the time the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of School Health and Education) extended its support to this noble cause in 2003, Akshaya Patra was already reaching out to 23,000 underprivileged children through the support of our donors.

With the partnership of the Government of India & various State governments, as well as the generosity of thousands of our supporters, we have grown from a small endeavor to a mammoth force that stretches across the country.

Now we are reaching out to 1.2 million children everyday.

For 10 years, we have been an international charity for children that has worked to transform a vision into a reality.

We will continue to do so…