An NGO in Ahmedabad Supporting Hopes of Children

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an Indian NGO implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states of India, and Gujarat is one among them. The Foundation is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka and made its foray into Gujarat in 2009. Since then, strategically, it has expanded its reach across five locations in the state as an NGO in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Surat, and Kalol. Currently, the Foundation is providing meals to 4,07,452 children in 1,621 government schools across the state.

NGO in Ahmedabad

Akshaya Patra is providing mid-day meal in Gujarat from its five centralised kitchens located in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Surat, and Kalol. Each of these kitchens strictly adheres to hygiene and cleanliness practices while preparing meals and ensure that the cooked meals are nutritious, tasty, and hygienic. And, so that children readily consume the meals, the kitchen follows a locally palatable menu.

Akshaya Patra is cognisant of the fact that in most cases food brings children to school. It is an incentive for parents to send their children to school with the hope that their children will receive at least one stomach full of meal a day. And, once children are at school, they also receive education empowering them to become resourceful and independent in the future. Thus, while providing regular mid-day meals in the existing schools, Akshaya Patra, as an NGO in Ahmedabad, also strives to extend its service to other locations of the state.

By providing mid-day meal in Gujarat, Akshaya Patra is not only supporting health and education of children but is also upholding dreams of millions of children. Here is an anecdote of one of the beneficiaries:

Mayur - Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Mayur Kanaji Thakor, a bright student of Golvanta Primary School, Gujarat aspires to be a doctor. He comes from a family of four with his father as the sole breadwinner earning a monthly income of Rs. 6,000. But, this not-so-privileged economic background has not deterred Mayur’s determination and he is confident that he will achieve his dream. An Akshaya Patra beneficiary, Mayur’s favourite food at school is Dal-Dhokli. Read the full story of Mayur here.

There are many more such dreams and they are all waiting for a little support from you. Hence, Akshaya Patra gives you a platform to be a part of young yet determined dreams of millions of children. You can support meals and hopes of children by choosing to donate to charity. Your contribution to Akshaya Patra will be diligently used in providing wholesome meals to children thereby empowering them with health and education. Feed a child, nourish a hope!

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How Children in Gujarat Benefit from Mid-Day Meal Scheme?

Gujarat is the second state after Tamil Nadu to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across government schools. This Scheme makes the provision to provide freshly cooked meals to children of government and government-aided schools on every school day, completely free of cost. The chief objectives of this scheme are to address classroom hunger, malnutrition, and support education of children. In order to maximise the reach, the government has partnered with NGOs to implement the Scheme. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one of the mid-day meal NGOs that has been serving nutritious meals to children since 2000. The Foundation currently provides healthy and tasty meals to 1.7 million children across 12 states of India.

mid-day meal in Gujarat

Remaining specific, Akshaya Patra started serving mid-day meal in Gujarat in 2009 by establishing its centralised kitchen in Vadodara. Presently, Akshaya Patra operates five centralised kitchens in the state – Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Surat, and Kalol. The kitchens in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, and Surat are ISO 22000:2005 certified facilities whereas the kitchens in Bhavnagar and Kalol are in the process of certification; thereby testifying the Akshaya Patra’s utmost priority towards cleanliness, hygiene, and other obligatory operational aspects in carrying out the mid-day meal programme effectively and efficiently.

Across all operational locations, Akshaya Patra follows a locally palatable menu so that every child consumes the mid-day meal readily and enjoys it completely. So, as an NGO in Ahmedabad, Akshaya Patra’s meal menu is designed around Gujarati palate such as:

Peas pulao, kabuli chana pulao, vegetable pulao, groundnut jeera pulao, soya chunks pulao, lauki khichdi, jeera rice, plain rice, soya dal, chana dal, dal fry, mixed dal, roti, thepla with til and mix vegetables, thepla with potato, thepla with louki, mix vegetable curry, mixed vegetable with desi chana, and dal dhokli.

In addition, to make this meal more nutritious, Akshaya Patra recently started fortified rice feeding in Ahmedabad benefitting 1,15,578 school in 522 schools. Aside from providing mid-day meal in Gujarat, Akshaya Patra is also involved in providing meals at Anganwadi centres in three locations – Ahmedabad, Surat, and Vadodara nourishing and impacting 44,895 children.

Over the years, it has been observed that the mid-day meal has been instrumental in countering classroom hunger and supporting education of children.

mid day meal benefits

This impact has been acceded by teachers and headmasters too. For instance, Ismail Malik, Principal, Antti Kumar Prathamik Shala, Padra Taluk, Vadodara, Gujarat said, “The mid-day meal has brought a tremendous decline in the student drop-out rate. In the primary school, the increase in attendance is nearly as high as 60% to 70%. The numerous awards that now decorate the school office are a testimony to this.”

Currently, Akshaya Patra is providing nutritious meals to 4,07,452 children in 1,621 government schools across the state. However, the Foundation wants to extend the benefits of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme to more and more children. And, it is possible only with your support. Choose to donate to charity because your contribution will transform the lives of millions of children in a healthy and sustainable way.

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!