Celebrate Daan Utsav 2018 by giving food to children

The joy of giving is much more than the joy of receiving. Daan Utsav is a festival of giving and it gives an opportunity to every one to contribute to the needy in some way or the other. Akshaya Patra too observes the Daan Utsav with the anticipation that numerous children will be benefitted with acts of generosity.

Daan Utsav

Somebody has rightly said, “Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” And, this totally resonates with Daan Utsav. Previously known as the Joy of Giving Week, the Daan Utsav is considered as the ‘festival of philanthropy’. It was launched in 2009 and is observed annually in India during the week of Gandhi Jayanti i.e. from 2 October to 8 October.  Daan Utsav gives each and every one of us, from all sections of the society, an opportunity to do something good for our fellow citizens. The significance of this giving week is it engages and encourages people to imbibe the ‘act of giving’ by contributing money, time, skill or resources with the ones who are less privileged.

The Joy of Giving Week is celebrated with much enthusiasm by all sectors and sections of people – Government organisations and institutions, corporates, NGOs, schools and colleges, and the general public. It is an initiative aimed at creating awareness regarding various needs of the society, garnering support to tackle these issues, and bringing about a sustainable change. With the same spirit, The Akshaya Patra Foundation observes this giving week to generate maximum support for its beneficiaries – the children.

Joy of giving week

Akshaya Patra is an Indian NGO implementing the Government Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states of the country. It provides nutritious school meals to more than 1.76 million children, on each school day throughout the year. And, most of these children hail from such low socio-economic backgrounds for whom to receive even a single meal is a big struggle. It has been observed that the school meal has played a crucial role for these children in ensuring that they receive at least one meal per day. This meal has opened the gates of school for millions of children thereby saving them from entering the world of child labour. Akshaya Patra understands this critical situation and thus strives to provide nutritious meals on each school day. By doing so, the NGO is instilling a sense of joy, confidence, and hope among little children of India. These children are being nourished with healthy food and nurtured with education each day thereby preparing them to be assets of the country in the near future.

This Daan Utsav, choose to dedicate your ‘act of giving’ for Akshaya Patra’s little children. be the source of hope for children who have the zeal to learn and achieve but are seeking for a little help. When you donate on Daan Utsav, you ensure the much-needed daily meals of the children, you help the NGO to increase productivity of its kitchen units and thereby allow it to feed more children who are still waiting for the opportunity to attend school. This Daan Utsav, let your generosity flow to provide ‘unlimited food for education’.

Advertisements

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.

Water is an essential part of children’s nutrition

Most nutritionists recommend that children must get three meals in a day along with two parts of healthy snacks. As far as the lunch is concerned, Akshaya Patra ensures that school children get a proper diet through its Mid-Day Meal Programme. The organisation has fed over 1.6 million school children so far.

Water - Nutrition

Clean drinking water is an integral part of the Akshaya Patra school lunch menu that this top NGO serves to the children. Children are often never concerned about how much water they need for proper hydration. But water is an essential part of their daily nutrition. Water helps keeping their body temperature stable and it is responsible for carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells, protects tissues and organs, soothes joints and removes waste.

Apart from meal time, children would typically drink water after playing outside and thirsting for it. It doesn’t usually strike them that they need more water. Children aged between nine and 13 need 1.6 litres/6 glasses (boys) and 1.4 litres/5 glasses (girls) of water every day. In the 14-18 age-groups, boys need to drink at least 1.9 litres/7 glasses and girls need to drink at least 1.6 litres/6 glasses per day. Apart from water, children can also be fed low-fat milk that nourishes them without giving them sugar or additives that are found in soft drinks or flavoured mineral water. Akshaya Patra encourages children to drink sufficient water after their meals. You can also play a part in this charity fundraising.

Of course, children must be taught to consume more water during hot days or if they are indulged in a lot of outdoor activities or sports. In India, the easily available drinking water is tap water. But the good news is tap water contains fluoride that helps in developing strong teeth. However, the children who go to government schools in India often don’t have access to clean tap water at their homes. We ensure that a wholesome meal apart from clean drinking water is provided to all the children going to the government schools. These children can be benefitted through charity fundraising for Akshaya Patra. Donate for an NGO today.

Mid-Day Meal Components that define Child Nutrition

We know about nutrition and we ensure it as well. We take utmost care of our kids and provide them all the amenities. But what about those children who belong to marginalised sections who have to go to bed hungry at times, who have never had more than a quarter of chapati in their meals, whose parents are dependent on daily wages which cannot fulfil daily needs – who would take care of them?

Shouldn’t we?

Along with love, acceptance, appreciation, encouragement, and guidance; good living conditions including healthy meals are also essential for the cognitive development of children.  A diet comprising all necessary components facilitates their all-round development. A balanced intake of proteins, carbohydrates, fats etc., is mandatory for their bodies to stay healthy and minds to function well. All parents ensure this for their kids and so must we for every child who does not get a fair chance.

But it is shocking to know that India, which is developing otherwise, is a home to millions of children who are underweight. Their parents often cannot afford a healthy living. In such scenarios, should we do something to empower the children? Yes, without a second thought.

nutritious-food

Akshaya Patra, one of the top NGOs in India, has come forward to address this issue by feeding the children. We should also educate people about the importance of a healthy diet and ways to ensure it. So what are the necessary components that define child nutrition?

Calories and Proteins

According to dietary norms stated by Central Mid-Day Meal Scheme, 450 Calories and 700 Calories as well as 12 grams and 20 grams of proteins are required for Primary and Upper Primary groups respectively. The quality of meals protects children from a sluggish metabolism, low energy levels, low immunity, underweight etc. Mid-Day Meal benefits more than 1.6 million children every day!

Fats and Carbohydrates

Fats are a source of energy for the body. Besides keeping children high on energy for a long time, they also strengthen their immune system, help in absorption of vitamins, production of hormones and insulation of body. Carbohydrates also act as energy suppliers. They help in regulation of blood glucose, the breakdown of fatty acids and act as a dietary fiber. Potatoes, beans, milk, grains are rich in carbohydrates. Both these components are an essential part of child’s nutrition because they help in their vital growth and keep them energetic. Akshaya Patra ensures that the meals provided by them have the required quantity of fats and carbohydrates so as to ensure proper nutrition, energy supply, and growth of the children.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are the micronutrients that are required by our body to carry out several metabolic functions. Vitamin A helps maintain soft tissues, mucous membranes, healthy skin and good eyesight. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that promotes healthy gums and teeth. It helps in the absorption of iron and promotes wound healing. There are many other vitamins like Vitamin E, K, B6, B12 that are important for the body. Like vitamins, minerals also help the body to grow, develop, and stay healthy. Minerals are used for several functions- from building strong bones to transmitting nerve impulses. Some minerals are also used in the production of hormones and maintaining a normal heartbeat.

Akshaya Patra ensures that their meals are of good quality, hygienic, and include all these components. It has a mission of serving healthy meals to 5 million kids by 2020. You can make a donation in honour of someone to help children get the best diets for their growth. Let’s donate today!