NGO in Karnataka & Its Kitchen

NGO in Karnataka

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a mid-day meal NGO serving nutritious meals to 1.7 million children on every school day. Its journey as a mid-day meal NGO began in Bangalore in the year 2000. After the Supreme Court’s mandate in 2001, Akshaya Patra partnered with the Central Government and State Government to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in Karnataka and across India.

Akshaya Patra started off its mission to provide ‘unlimited food for education’ by establishing itself as an NGO in Bangalore and providing school meal to 1,500 children in five government schools from its first kitchen in H.K. Hill. Over the years, the Foundation has expanded its reach to seven locations in the state – three in Bangalore, and one each in Ballari, Hubballi, Mangaluru, and Mysuru. Currently, Akshaya Patra has a beneficiary base of 4,86,172 children across 2,968 schools.

Advantages of Mid-Day Meal Scheme

The Supreme Court’s mandate on 28 November 2001 directed all the State Governments and Union Territories to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in every Government and Government assisted schools. As per the Scheme, every child must be provided with a prepared mid-day meal on every school day. The six main aims of this Scheme are:

  • avoid classroom hunger
  • increase school enrolment
  • increase school attendance
  • improve socialisation among castes
  • address malnutrition
  • empower women through employment

Being a mid-day meal NGO, Akshaya Patra strives to give these advantages of mid-day meal scheme to the each and every child of the state and the nation.

Akshaya Patra’s reach in Karnataka

Akshaya Patra serves nutritious mid-day meal in seven locations of Karnataka – three in Bangalore, and one each in Ballari, Hubballi, Mangaluru, and Mysuru. To know when the kitchens started its operation, visit: Kitchen details

All the kitchens in Karnataka are centralised and mechanised cooking units. Among all, H.K Hill and Vasanthapura kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 certified, whereas Ballari, and Hubballi are ISO 22000:2005, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 certified. The Mangaluru, Mysuru and Jigani kitchens are in the process of certification.

Meal Menu of Karnataka Kitchens

Akshaya Patra wants to make sure that children enjoy their meals. Thus, while maintaining the recommended nutrition levels, the Foundation designs its meal menu to suit the local taste of a particular location. So, Karnataka being a South Indian state, the menu caters to the typical southern taste. The meal menu in Karnataka consists of: rice, pulao (a rice-based dish made with vegetables), bisibelebaath (a rice-based dish made with vegetables and lentils), tomato rice, sambar (a mixed vegetable and lentil curry), upma (a semolina-based savoury dish), sweet pongal (a rice-based sweet dish), payasam (a vermicelli-based sweet dish), kesari baath (a semolina-based sweet dish), curd, and pickle.

The prepared meals are delivered to schools in customised insulated vehicles. This allows children to receive fresh and hot meals. And, for this, each of the kitchens in Karnataka has their designated meal delivery vehicles.

Socio-developmental Initiatives

Aside from serving nutritious mid-day meals as an NGO in Bangalore and in Karnataka, Akshaya Patra has also partaken several socio-developmental initiatives as follow:

  • Sponsoring hygiene practice & food safety guidance to government school students
  • Planting of saplings on World Environment Day
  • Distribution of 7500 Hygiene kits to Government School students
  • Blood Donors Camp on Blood Donation Day
  • Scholarship for Merit Students
  • Teachers Day programme

Eco-friendly methods in Karnataka kitchens

While ensuring that the advantages of mid-day meal scheme reach every child in the state, Akshaya Patra also implements various eco-friendly measures to benefit the environment. Some measures are as follows:

  • Biogas stoves that are smokeless have replaced LPG.
  • The recycled water from the Sewage Treatment Plant is used to water plants
  • Effluent Treatment Plant/ Sewage treatment Plants are installed to treat wastewater before it is released into the environment
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Solar lights and solar heater as an alternate source to reduce the use of electricity.

Make a difference

Akshaya Patra is striving to make a tangible, sustainable, and lasting change. In doing so, it is putting all its efforts to provide something as basic as food to maximum children. As responsible citizens, it is our duty too to ensure children receive healthy meals and education. Thus, support the efforts of Akshaya Patra by contributing NGO online donations. By contributing just Rs. 950, you can provide a year full of school meal to a child!

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Akshaya Patra Beneficiary – An Engineer in the Making!

Dreaming is one thing and the quest to achieve it despite all odds is altogether a different story. As children, we must have had our special dreams of pursuing a particular profession. But, over time many of us negotiated with our dreams either due to lack of resources, unavoidable circumstances, or maybe we didn’t hold on to our dreams as much as we should have. However, that’s not how Manikanta possesses his dream! And, that’s not how The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO in Bangalore perceives each dream!

manikanta-inner-page

Manikanta is a Standard VIII student at GHPS School, Doddabettahalli, Karnataka. He aspires to be an engineer and does not let any challenges and hurdles come in the way of his aspiration. Manikanta hails from an economically challenged background. He is well aware of his family’s situation and the struggle his parents go through every day to support the family of six. Manikanta’s parents work as labourers and their earning isn’t sufficient to support his dream. Yet, this has not deterred this young boy’s zeal and determination to become an engineer.

An Akshaya Patra beneficiary, Manikanta says, “I love the pulav (a dish made of rice and vegetables) served at school. I love Akshaya Patra’s meals as it is hot and tasty.” He is one of the millions of children getting benefitted by the Foundation’s mid-day meal programme in schools. The programme ensures nutritious school lunch for over 4 million children in Karnataka and over 7 million children across India, on each school day.

The mid-day meal is a source of nutrition for children. It is a significant factor that brings children to school every day, provides them with the required nutrition, and allows them to get closer to their dreams. So that Akshaya Patra can continue providing wholesome meals to Manikanta and many children like him, it requires your support.

Change occurs only when you act! So, step up and actively contribute your time and resources towards this NGO in Bangalore. Your involvement will open avenues for millions of young children to achieve their aspirations and dreams.

Read Manikanta’s full story at Meet Manikanta: Our Would-be Engineer!

5 ways an Indian NGO is empowering children

Empowering children

NGOs address a wide range of social, economic, and environmental concerns. But, every NGO has its own core area of work and influence. Similarly, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an Indian mid-day meal NGO focussing on providing nutritious school lunch to government school children to counter classroom hunger and promote education. The NGO began its service way back in 2000 by serving meals to only 1,500 children in five schools of Bangalore. Over the 17 years of service, this NGO in Bangalore has progressed to become a nationwide movement to promote education and health among children through the Mid-Day Meal Programme.

By implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme in schools, Akshaya Patra wants to provide nutritious food to children, encourage uninterrupted schooling, improve health, and provide an avenue to explore aspirations so that children grow up to be confident and reliable citizens of the nation. In simple terms, Akshaya Patra is empowering children to be the future leaders of the nation.

Mid-day meal benefits

Broadly speaking, the Mid- Day Meal Programme has had a significant impact on the education sector of the country. Studies report that there has been an increase in enrolment and attendance rate, improved health has been observed among children, and there is a decrease in the drop-out rate. This programme has proved itself to be a supporting pillar in bringing and retaining children at school. Working in a Public-Private Partnership model, Akshaya Patra is extending the mid-day meal benefits to children right at the grass root level. Currently, it is providing mid-day meals to more than 1.6 million children on every school day across 34 locations in 12 states.

Observing the impact of the school meal programme, Akshaya Patra aims to feed 5 million children by 2020. Indeed a humongous task, but is achievable with a concerted effort from all of us. Hence, Akshaya Patra has provided an online platform to contribute to the cause. You can opt to donate online, start a campaign, sponsor a school or kitchen equipment, or just spread the word about Akshaya Patra’s cause. Your involvement will enable this NGO to empower more children across the country. So, be a part of nation-building by getting involved with Akshaya Patra.

How Does Akshaya Patra Manage Food Production Process

Cooking for a large number of people is challenging as it requires that the chef ensures all elements are in place. In the kitchens of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, it’s an everyday operation that runs like clockwork.

Stop Hunger

The Foundation, an NGO in Bangalore, which runs the school lunch programme for children across 12 states in the country, now serves hot lunches to over 1.6 million school children every day. It supplies freshly-cooked food from 34 kitchens and is scaling up with every passing day. The food prepared here is distributed in 13,800+ schools.

Akshaya Patra’s established systems and process have been dealing with an emergent situation with ease.

Quality Assurance during procurement

The Supplier Quality Management System (SQMS) process covers subprocesses like supplier selection, supplier qualification, supplier rating, etc., to ensure the right and best raw materials are procured. One can sponsor a child to ensure a needy child is part of the system.

Storage and Handling 

Fresh vegetables are procured on a daily basis. Cold storage is used to store ready-to-cook cut vegetables to retain freshness. Rice is supplied by the Food Corporation of India.

Quality and Safety during cooking 

All kitchens of Akshaya Patra follow a standard process. This process is charted out to ensure hygiene and quality. Personal hygiene and Food Safety training are provided regularly to the kitchen staff to ensure hygiene standards are met.

Food Packing and Transportation 

The distribution staff picks the food from kitchens and delivers it at various schools around the kitchen. They travel by delivery vans fitted with a honeycomb structure to prevent food from spilling. The vehicles are also insulated to maintain the temperature of the cooked meals. The vans are also equipped with GPS, which makes it easy to monitor the van and ensure the food reaches the school on time.

The large centralized kitchens, on an average, have the capacity to cook up to 2,00,000 meals. For running such large scale operation, one can donate to charity to be part of the operations.

This NGO in Karnataka is contributing to eradicate classroom hunger

Karnataka celebrated its formation day recently. Akshaya Patra has many memories related to the state. Starting from first school to be benefitting from the meals cooked by Akshaya Patra, the non-profit organisation in Karnataka currently serves 2,968 Government and Government-aided schools in the state over 17 years of its existence in the state. It has been instrumental in bringing down the dropout rate among schoolchildren.

feed the children

Many NGOs work towards countering hunger and malnutrition. The Akshaya Patra Foundation has come to be seen as a major participant in the mid-day meals that reach thousands of children, mostly from the economically-challenged backgrounds. Given the reach and impact of the NGO, it is among the list of NGOs in Bangalore that are helping the children in many ways.

The State Governments have been partnering NGOs like the Foundation in implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme in their efforts to increase the number of children in schools.

The NGO has been using the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model as a route to improve the quality and reach of the programme. The NGOs selected in this scheme are picked based on many variables set by the State Government. Such organisations must be transparent and of proven integrity. Akshaya Patra has been feed the children a wholesome meal every day.

The Foundation today helps feed over 4.86 lakh children in 2,968 schools in Karnataka. Over 2 lakh children from Bengaluru benefit from this initiative. They are supplied freshly-cooked food from kitchens in the city. Many corporates and individuals come together and make charity donations to enable the NGO to feed school lunch to these children.

The programme has only been increasing in its scope and reach over the years and is widening its reach fast.

Role of NGOs in uplifting children

Non-government organisations often take up charity for children because they know children are the future of the nation. There’s a long list of NGOs in Bangalore that are involved in the causes related to children.

mid-day meal in school

Among them is a prominent NGO in Bangalore, Akshaya Patra that provides food and education to children through charity resources. This specific charity for children aims at reducing classroom hunger, thereby, bringing children to schools. NGOs like this are playing a crucial role in eradicating both hunger and illiteracy among children. The NGO in Bangalore follows a certain guideline which is used while preparing a wholesome lunch in their kitchen. With its state-of-the-art kitchens that prepare hygienic food, the NGO ensures that more and more schools are added in the list of serving the food in Bangalore schools.

This cause also encourages parents to send their children to school and gives them an equal opportunity to study as well as get a healthy meal. Akshaya Patra believes that both physical and mental growth of children could be stunted if they are not served nutritious food.

Even as the government in India strives to make primary education free and compulsory for children, school drop-out rate continues to rise. And the major cause of this rise is classroom hunger. The only effective way to eliminate this cause is to serve wholesome mid-day meals in schools so children are motivated to attend schools every day.

The NGO gives its well-wishers an opportunity to contribute towards this charity by inviting online donations, encouraging people towards online fundraising campaigns and partnering with corporate sector for resources and volunteers. You can also play a major role in helping NGOs such as Akshaya Patra by choosing to contribute in whatever way you can. Sponsor a child today!

 

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.

akshayapatrarighttoeducation

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!

Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam’s visit to Akshaya Patra Foundation

Dr. A. P. J Abdul Kalam , the Former President of India visited the Akshaya Patra foundation at Bangalore on June 7, 2003 to inaugurate the Kids for Kids scheme.

“When I entered the divine, beautiful temple, I turned to Swami Madhu Pandit Dasa and appreciated his power to spread the message and particularly giving food under the Akshaya Patra program”, said  Dr. A.P.J during his visit to the facility.

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Akshaya Patra in Mangalore

Our mission is to reach out to 5 million children by 2020.

Close to 13.5 million underprivileged children in India are out of school and into child labour in order to earn a single meal in a day. (Source:www.worldbank.org.in)

The surest way to break out of the cycle of poverty is through education. Education can significantly improve the quality of life of a family for generations to come. When the basic needs of a child, such as food are not met, education often becomes the last priority.

We are helping underprivileged children by providing them with a healthy, balanced meal that they would otherwise have to work for. The meal is an incentive for them to continue their education. It helps reduce the dropout rate to an enormous extent and increases classroom attendance.