Send 1.76 million children back to school with Akshaya Patra

Each year, during the months of April and May, you will come across ‘back to school’ advertisements especially in malls and e-commerce sites. At around the same time, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a charity for children, holds a ‘back to school’ campaign too. So, what’s the difference between the two campaigns? Well, the former is a call out to parents to fulfil school needs of their own children whereas the latter is a call out to public sector, private sector, businesses and individuals to fulfil the wish of not-so-privileged children to go back to school. And, by choosing to donate for children through Akshaya Patra, you can secure a whole year of education for more than 17.6-lakh children!

School - the right place for children

 

Akshaya Patra is an 18-year old NGO supporting education of children across India by implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme. Each school day, it serves school meals to 17,62,133 children studying in more than 15,000 government schools and government-aided schools in 42 locations across 12 states. The Foundation aims at bringing each of its beneficiary back to school for a new academic year so that continuity in education can be ensured. Cognisant of the power that school meals and regular schooling can have on the development of children and future of the country, here are some supporters who have generously spread the message and contributed towards Akshaya Patra’s ‘Back to School’ campaign:

  • Eros International’s partners with Akshaya Patra for #BackToSchool campaign. Click here for more details.
  • Ram Sampath, famous Indian composer, music producer, and musician supports Akshaya Patra’s #BackToSchool campaign. Click here for more details.
  • Suzzanne Bernert, German-born Indian actress extends generous support to the #BackToSchool campaign by Akshaya Patra. Click here for more details.

This charity for children encourages more and more supporters to generously contribute to this campaign because when children come to school, they are benefitted in multiple ways:

  • Receives nutrition-rich meals daily.
  • Receives rightful education.
  • Improved health.
  • Strengthening of goals and dreams.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Aware and confident of a better future.
  • Better academic and co-curricular performance.
  • Become a part of Akshaya Patra’s holistic initiatives: talent development, scholarship, and student and school transformation programmes.
  • In all, children grow up to be healthy, educated, skilful,
    and resourceful citizens of India.

 

To conclude, there are millions of children out there, for whom there is nothing more valuable than being able to come to school. These children are determined and zealous; all they need is a little support from you and me. When we donate for children or choose to conduct an online fundraising campaign in support of these children, we take a step towards transforming their life for the better; the result of which will be explicitly visible in the near future. So, this summer, support ‘Back to School’, support children! Act now!

Infographic Support School Lunch Of Children With BackToSchool

Advertisements

How back to school and mid-day meals are related in a child’s life?

Education is important for a child but food more vital!

Children education is a very aspect in the progress of the immediate society, and the country at large. But, an estimated 8.4 crore children in India do not attend school. It has also been reported that India is one among the top five nations with the highest number of out-of-school children aged 6-11 years. In order to tackle this situation and make India ready to embrace the title of being the youngest nation by 2020 in terms of working age populace, the Government along with many NGOs are striving to ensure education for all. But, the matter of the fact is, to achieve 100% literacy, we need to first address the issue of hunger because it is this very factor that pushes away children from schools to work fields.

In an endeavour to counter the critical issue of hunger, the Government initiated the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, a programme that provides free school lunch to children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools. Over the years, this scheme has gained momentum and has been successful in incentivising parents to send their children to school with the hope that children will at least receive a plate full of meal per day. The mid-day meals have potentially increased enrolment rate, attendance rate, while also countering classroom hunger and improving health and concentration levels among children.

School + Mid-day meals = Empowered children

Several NGOs have partnered with the Government to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme. These NGOs are able to bring about a drastic and sustainable change right from the grass root level of the society. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one of the pioneer mid-day meal NGOs with a remarkable history of 18 years in service of children. Each year this NGO in India runs a ‘Back to school’ campaign with the objective to bring millions of its beneficiaries back to school for a new academic year. This year Akshaya Patra is campaigning to support continuous schooling of more than 1.76 million children.

The real worth of being able to attend school is understood only by those children who has to overcome several challenges each day just so that they their place of learning. The mid-day meals and the lessons they receive nourishes and nurtures them making them confident of achieving their goals in life. Each of Akshaya Patra beneficiaries have their unique dreams and this motivates the Foundation to bring more and more children under the ambit of the school meal programme.

Today, you are resourceful and moving ahead in life and career, a big share of it goes to the education you received. Now, it’s time to empower the future generation. Come forward generously and actively is support of the ‘Back to School’ campaign. Your action will promote children education by ensuring their mid-day meals for the entire school year. Act now!

Consider tax exemption for a cause

The universe has a unique way of working and we never know how and when it brings us an opportunity to support and do something good for others. Here is a small incidence that introduced me to the path of charity. Just a week ago, I was consulting with my friend on how to cut down on tax. During the discussion, we came upon various ways such as housing loan, house rent allowance, children education allowance, medical insurance, donations, and the like. Though I had heard of these means, but contributing donation was something new for me. Curiously, I furthered the discussion on it. And, patiently my friend familiarised me with the whole concept of tax deduction on charity, the gist of which I have narrated below.

Food for children

Witnessing the impactful groundwork of NGOs, the Government of India has made a provision wherein contributing donations to registered NGOs or charitable trusts can exempt you from paying taxes on the donated amount under Section 80G. You can either claim for 100% or 50% exemption on the donated amount based upon the NGO you have donated and the terms set by the Income Tax Act. This is applicable for both online donations and offline donations.

For instance, I identify with children-specific causes such as the right to education, child rights, and child health and development. So, I chose to contribute my taxable income to The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO for children implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme in association with the Central Government of India and various State Governments. The Mid-Day Meal Programme is an initiative that provides freshly cooked nutritious school lunch to government school and government-aided school children on all school days. And, Akshaya Patra aims at providing ‘unlimited food for education’ with the intention of supporting the education of children. This NGO has been in the service of children for the past 17 years, with a current beneficiary base of over 1.6 million children across 34 locations in 12 states of India. The tangible impact of Akshaya Patra is clearly visible in the stories of children and the impact studies that have been conducted in association with third-party research agencies.

Personally, I was convinced with the service of Akshaya Patra and decided to make my foray into charity by donating to the Foundation. For more information on charity tax exemption, just click on tax-deductible donations. I am glad that I am saving tax by supporting millions of children, and would suggest everyone to connect with the cause.

Give Something Back to Society by Volunteering

Volunteering gives you an opportunity to become an attentive citizen of society

Summer holidays have begun! If you have decided to educate your children or peers or even yourself on development issues this summer, you can get in touch with Akshaya Patra to learn about classroom hunger and how the organisation is tackling the issue. In addition to that, you can also volunteer at the kitchen and visit our beneficiary schools.

At Akshaya Patra, an NGO in Gujarat and 10 other states, we identified hunger to be an issue that affected children’s enrolment in schools. For instance, there are more than 3 lakh children who are benefitted by Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme in Gujarat. If not for this incentive, many children would have irregular attendance, a few would choose to opt out of school and others would have to bring food from home which becomes a challenge.

Today, we are feeding fresh meals to over 1.6 million children from government schools and government-aided schools. While the programme continues its operations in 11 states across India, many volunteers have pitched in their time and energy towards Food for Education initiative!

VolunteerMakeaDifference

Akshaya Patra offers various volunteering opportunities in two areas:

(i) Kitchens

Akshaya Patra operates 26 centralised kitchens across 11 states in India. As a volunteer, you can get involved in mid-day meal operations – peeling coconuts, sorting grains, loading and unloading of food, and so on.

(ii) Schools

We currently reach out to over 13,000 schools across the country. As a volunteer, you can serve mid-day meals, interact with children and organise activities for them. If you would like to propose a programme that will benefit the school, you can share the same with us.

By volunteering, you will help society and yourself by lifting up your spirit. If time does not allow you to take up volunteering services, you can sponsor a child’s mid-day meals for a year!

Three Important Reasons Why You Should Give Back

The word ‘Give’ in the context of ‘Giving Back’ has a very interesting meaning to it. According to Etymonline, “The Middle English noun yeve (Give), meant “that which is given or offered; a contribution of money,” often as tribute, or in expectation of something in return.”

giving-back-has-its-benefits

‘Giving back’ usually supersedes with the word society. Ever since, people realized that humanity could make a great difference, the race has been helping communities by empowering them. Similarly, Akshaya Patra has been feeding the children in India to ensure they do not experience classroom hunger.

If you have been thinking of giving back to society, now is the time! We collated three important benefits of giving back and here they are:

You will help someone grow

As an individual, you may want to give back to society by paying someone’s school fees. Many families who come from difficult background are burdened by their children’s schools fees and unable to pay, they choose to send them on work. This could be your chance to give back.

beneficiary-of-akshaya-patra

Giving back will not only help the child be a part of school system, but will also help you grow as a person. To understand the issues deeply and to step up to correct them is our responsibility and by giving back, you will have contributed to the growth of an individual, their family, and their community.

You will build stronger communities

Among many activities, Akshaya Patra regularly organises Health Awareness Programmes for school children with the help of corporates; these programmes include discussions and hygiene kit distribution.

jp-morgan

Kit Distribution

When we as a community go out to help another, it transforms and structures their living standards and also contributes to their health. This includes helping a community with a nursing home, a school, awareness programmes and basic infrastructure. For Akshaya Patra, a children’s charity, registered under section 80G of Income Tax Act, providing a mid-day meal is one way to empower a network a students.

And finally, you will spread happiness!

This is probably the most important reason for the giver and the receiver; happiness. The experience of giving back to society keeps you content! The inner joy of having transformed a life, without expecting returns, is a feeling that words cannot describe.

hello-new-shoes

Shoe Distribution

To experience this joy, go out and do your noble act that you’ve always wanted to do. Try visiting a school, buying stationery for a child or maybe even a pair of school shoes. The simple things in life tend to leave a curve on your face. Happiness is contagious and so is an act of giving back.

As you call it a day, think of reasons why you should give back to society and when you do, Akshaya Patra’s children will be waiting for your help.

Sponsor a child today!