Surya is born into a family whose monthly income is not more Rs 3,000. While his father toils to feed the family every day, he knows that someday, Surya would have to attend school to be more self-reliant. At the age of five, he is admitted to the closest government school. His father is motivated to send Surya to school for various reasons—free education, an opportunity to socialise and most importantly, a wholesome and nutritious mid-day meal served every day!
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in India, strives to feed the hungry children everyday by implementing mid-day meal programme in schools across the country. Currently, the Foundation is feeding over 1.5 million government school children in 10 states of India. You can get involved too and experience the journey of eliminating hunger among school children.
Here are five ways to get involved with this children’s NGO that runs the world’s largest school lunch programme:
Connect with the purpose: Akshaya Patra, an NGO for children, aims to end classroom hunger by feeding nutritious meals to school children on every school day. In the year 2000, the organisation was founded on the belief that no child should be deprived of education due to hunger and that has been the roadmap of this Foundation’s journey. When you empathise with the cause, you are a step closer to making India a hunger-free country for children.
It only costs Rs 750: A young student in a government school gets free lunch for an entire year and that is possible through your small but significant contribution. It costs only Rs 750 to feed a child for a year to ensure that his/ her education is not interrupted. You can donate to charity and also benefit from 100% tax exemption on the donation. Small amounts, when accumulated, greatly enrich children’s lives.
Create your own fundraising campaign: While there are many donation options, you also have a choice of creating a personalised online fundraising campaign on the Foundation’s website or on Akshaya Patra’s mobile app. Once a campaign is created, you can share it with your friends and together, reach out to more children.
Download Akshaya Patra mobile app: The organisation moves along with technology. Its all-new app helps you extend your support while you are on the go—you can create campaigns, donate and stay updated at the tip of your fingers! The app allows you to search kitchen locations pan India and exhibits the total number of beneficiaries and schools each location is catering to. The mobile app is available on both Android and iOS.
5. Be a volunteer: Giving your time and effort towards a cause can help the society in many ways. When you volunteer with Akshaya Patra, you are not just connected to the cause but you are also exposed to mid-day meal programme and the overall operations of the organisation.
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?
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
The UPS Sindhi Government School of Sanganer in Jaipur hosted an Idea Cellular Programme recently.
A team from Idea along with BEEO of Sanganer block participated in the programme. Mukul Khanna, Idea State Head was the chief guest of the occasion. Raghupati Dasa coordinated the event.
Roti making machine at Akshaya Patra Kitchen in Jaipur
The programme was kicked off with a visit to the Akshaya Patra kitchen. During the visit, the Idea team got a live experience of the different processes involved in the making of the mid-day meal.
In the second half of the programme, the Idea team served mid-day meals to children in the UPS Sindhi School. In return, the students entertained their guests through various dance programmes. The school children also got an opportunity to exhibit their writing skills through an essay competition titled ‘sharing to society.’ The programme held by the Akshaya Patra Jaipur concluded with prize and memento distribution.
VasudevAdiga’s, a popular chain of restaurants in Karnataka, has committed to raise funds to support The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO which serves mid day meals to government school children in India. VasudevAdiga’s aims to fund one million meals in collaboration with its customers, partners and employees. Continue reading →