Akshaya Patra’s Effort in Assam Flood Relief 2019

Water level rising every hour… 30 of total 33 districts submerged… 4,157 villages inundated… approximately 43-lakh people affected… 95% of Kaziranga National Park under water… This is the current situation of Assam!

Akshaya Patra Effort in Assam Flood Relief 2019

Assam has been hit by one of the worst floods in a decade leaving the entire state paralysed. The Government of Assam issued a red alert on 15 July 2019 as the situation worsened every passing hour. Nearly 1.5 lakh people have been provided shelter in relief camps operational across the state. In a grim situation like this, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO in Assam has stepped in to provide cooked meals to affected people in Kamrup district.

Guwahati flood relief work by Akshaya Patra

Akshaya Patra, a mid-day meal NGO has its kitchen in Guwahati, Assam. It begun its Guwahati flood relief activities from 17th July. The NGO is providing meals to affected people twice a day – lunch and dinner from its Guwahati kitchen. It began the relief operations by feeding 700 people in a relief camp in Athgaon area and now has extended its service to other relief camps in Kamrup district. So far, this NGO in Assam has already provided more than 22,000 meals. The Foundation is serving rice, vegetable pulao, kabuli chana, and mixed vegetable dal for lunch; and khichdi and labra sabji for dinner. In order to garner support from people, Akshaya Patra has started a campaign where one can contribute online donation in aid of Assam flood relief.

Past relief activities of Akshaya Patra

Be it within the borders of India or beyond, Akshaya Patra has always been proactive in responding to disaster situations. The NGO is always present to provide relief to crisis-hit people by providing cooked food.

akshaya patra past relief activities

Support flood relief activities

Over the years, Akshaya Patra has received heart-warming responses from people coming forward to support disaster-affected fellow citizens. They have generously contributed towards Akshaya Patra’s relief campaigns at different occasions. Currently, Assam needs your urgent help. Come forth and support Guwahati flood relief campaign by generously contributing online donation in aid of people of Assam. Support now!

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Akshaya Patra’s work in Assam and Andhra Pradesh

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-profit organisation in India has been supporting education by providing nutritious and tasty school lunch to children of Government schools and Government-aided schools since its establishment in 2000.

 

table1- pan india reach

 

  • Akshaya Patra is one of the oldest implementors of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
  • Initially, it provided food to children of just five schools in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • Today, it is operational across India.
  • Akshaya Patra has received ICAI Gold Shield Award for excellence in financial reporting for consecutively seven years and has been inducted to ICAI’s Hall of Fame. It is the only NGO in the 70 years history of ICAI to have won this distinction.

 

Akshaya Patra operates centralised kitchens in 43 locations and decentralised kitchens in two locations. It has a well-managed logistics with dedicated fleet of customised meal delivery vehicles for each location. In order to ensure children consume their meals readily and happily, this non-profit organisation has designed location-specific menus by keeping intact the recommended nutritional levels. The menu is also cyclical in nature so that each day children receive different items as part of their school meal.

Below is a quick overview of Akshaya Patra’s service in Assam and Andhra Pradesh.

tapf kitchens assam and andhara pradesh

What do beneficiaries say?

The mid-day meals act as an incentive for parents to send their children to school and it adds hope in lakhs of children that their ambitions and dreams are achievable. As an NGO in Assam, this is how Akshaya Patra upkeeps the right to nutrition and education:

  • “Mid-day meals are very important. The mid-day meal served in the school is a relief for the family. At home, it’s mostly rice, dalor pitha (a type of local bread made of rice flour). Vegetables or lentils are not on the family’s menu every day. I enjoy my school lunch especially on Wednesdays and Saturdays when we get kheer, khichdi, and vegetable pulao – a delicacy which is rarely cooked at home.” Mrinmay Malakar.
  • Parvati hails from a challenging background and has the complete support of her mother with regards to her education. She aspires to be a Police Officer. Parvati’s mother opines that education will help her daughter succeed in life and also aid in leading a better life than the current one. The fact that Parvati gets mid-day meal at school comes by as a great relief for the mother.

As an NGO in Andhra Pradesh, this is how Akshaya Patra nurtures dreams:

  • Narsimha Raju says, “If I concentrate on one particular sport, I will excel in that sport only. But, if I concentrate on different sports and education, it will help me become a teacher and produce good sportsmen for our school and the country.”
  • Lalita says, “Due to corruption, people who are in need of the several government schemes are not able to avail the benefits. I want to become a District Collector and make my state corruption-free and ensure that people get the benefits of various schemes.”

Akshaya Patra kitchen in Assam and Andhra Pradesh

You can do wonders with just Rs. 1,100!

Yes, with just Rs. 1,100, you can transform the lives of lakhs of children across India. Your generous contribution to Akshaya Patra, one of the pioneer mid-day meal non-profit organisation in India will nourish, nurture and empower children into resourceful and responsible citizens. Support Akshaya Patra. Support Indian children.

Akshaya Patra’s Mid-day Meal Secret

Have you ever read or viewed an interview of a successful personality where the interviewer doesn’t include the question, “What’s the secret behind your success?” Guess not! Call it the awe of success or impact of the achiever, all of us want to know what do these achievers do differently that they reach such inspiring heights. And, the same question has been posed to The Akshaya Patra Foundation because of the magnitude of work carried out by the Foundation.

Mid-day meal

Akshaya Patra is an NGO that implements the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states in India. The Foundation is headquartered in Bengaluru and has been in the service of children since 2000. The Foundation provides mid-day meals to more than 17-lakh children across 38 locations in 12 states on each school day. Turning back the pages to 2000, this NGO began providing meals to just 1,500 children in five schools in Bengaluru and today it is nourishing lakhs of with healthy and nutritious meals. And, this popped the question, “What’s the secret behind this scalability?” So, let’s begin from the first!

Importance of mid-day meal

For many of us, we don’t have to worry about our next meal. Alas, that’s not the case for many children across the country. These children hail from not-so-privileged backgrounds and thus are faced by the uncertainty of receiving meals. In a scenario like this, mid-day meal comes as a ray of hope for these children and their parents too. Mid-day meal acts as an incentive for parents to send their children to school with the hope that the children will receive at least one proper meal for the day. This brings children to school. And, once they are at school, they not only receive stomach full of wholesome meals but also the much-needed education. The mid-day meal is a win-win for health and education – be it for the specific sector or for the growing children.

– Akshaya Patra kitchens and meal

To implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme and benefit children right from the grass root level, Akshaya Patra operates two models of kitchen – the centralised kitchen and the decentralised kitchen. The centralised kitchens are huge cooking units that can cook up to one lakh meals per day. The mega kitchen in India serves meals to schools located in urban and semi-urban areas. The decentralised kitchens serve meals to children in remote areas. Currently, the NGO operates centralised kitchens in 36 locations and decentralised kitchens in two locations. These kitchens follow standard operating processes and many of the kitchens are ISO certified facilities.

The NGO adheres to the nutritional requirement as stated in the Central Mid-Day Meal Guidelines. However, it also prepares its meal menu to suit the local taste so that children enjoy their meal and consume it readily. Thus, Akshaya Patra’s meal is freshly cooked, nutritious, hygienic, and tasty.

– Akshaya Patra food is…

– So, what’s the secret behind Akshaya Patra’s meal?

Nutrition content, spices, special recipe… we can keep guessing and adding to this list. But, the real secret behind the dedication, efforts, expansion and sustainability of the Foundation is the smile and satisfaction on a child’s face after having a plate full of fresh and healthy meals. This video will reveal what keeps Akshaya Patra motivated to reach out to more and more children.

 – Conclusion

Maybe we all have a secret to our success, or maybe the ‘determination to achieve something’ itself becomes the real ingredient for our success. However, for this Foundation, the smiles and aspirations of children are the reasons or say the ‘secrets’ for the success of implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme for the past 17 years!

Idea Cellular Programme Conducted in Jaipur School

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

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.

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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.

You can read more about the program at http://www.akshayapatra.org/news/idea-cellular-programme-held-in-jaipur

The bond between donors and Akshaya Patra

Donors are the pillars on which a NGO like Akshaya Patra relies on to keep working on its cause. Such is their role that building trust and good relationships is critical to the existence of the organisation. We need to achieve our goal and fulfil our mission and they are there to support us. This is a constant need that is likely be met by a number of donors over time.

Donor Relationship

Our relationship with donors builds a connection that result with potential funding. The stronger that trust and connection, the more likely donor will support Akshaya Patra. But it doesn’t mean that a donor who once supported us will keep extending the favour. So, it is essential to earn their loyalty and trust again and again.

How do you earn this? We have to comply with the rules and regulations and communicate.

When communicating with donors, we have to address the key elements that shape a donor’s perceptions and willingness to continue supporting the mid-day meal programme. Donors want to know:

  • If The Akshaya Patra Foundation is using its funds effectively and efficiently for the intended purpose
  • Are we effecting positive change on the lives of children we serve every day
  • Do we have a good image and reputation

Akshaya Patra has to communicate effectively. It has to be as clear, direct and honest in the communication both verbally and in writing. Follow up on donors regularly. Akshaya Patra needs to send written summaries of key issues and actions. It needs to be responsive to donor requests. Questions need to be asked to understand what is being requested and when it is due. There should be honest interactions.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation has to be realistic and deliver on the promises made. It has to be careful not to compromise the quality of the programme. It has to use donor funds as expected. The financial transparency it observed stringently is also a key factor that allows donors to trust the organisation.

Building a strong relationship with donors through open, two-way communication is the key to making Akshaya Patra successful. The confidence of people in the organization develops the willingness to support.


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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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Akshaya Patra Foundation and Vasudev Adiga’s Initiative to Provide a Million Meals for Children

Akshaya-Patra and Vasudev-Adiga’s-Initiative-to-Provide-a-Million-Meals-for-Children

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

Akshaya Patra Centralized Kitchen in Mysore for School Meal Program

A centralized model is one where all the cooking activities of a particular location are concentrated within one large kitchen.

Each centralized kitchen has the capacity to cook between 50 000 to 150 000 meals daily thus achieving economies of scale. Cooking takes place in mechanized, steam heated cauldrons custom built to reduce the cook to consume time.

Mechanization has also helped us meet the highest standards of hygiene by minimizing human handling of food. Freshly cooked food is packed in stainless steel containers and transported to various schools in custom built vehicles (about 10 to 15 schools per vehicle). Security personnel escort each vehicle to ensure safe delivery of meals. There are two types of menus prepared throughout the country: North Indian and South Indian.

 

For more information visit: http://akshayapatra.org/centralized-kitchens