Sponsor a Child and Develop Hunger Free India

As we celebrate 70 years of independence, let us pledge to sponsor a child and give him the education he deserves.  Millions of children in India suffer from hunger as a result of which their growth is stunted.

Hunger free India

We cannot truly call our country free unless we free our children from the shackles of hunger. Hunger in India is directly related to lack of education and growth among children. Akshaya Patra, an NGO that serves wholesome lunch to school children, is trying to free children from both hunger and illiteracy. When you choose to sponsor a child beneficiary of Akshaya Patra, you get tax exemption in India. But most importantly, you get to be a part of a mission that’s feeding and educating children of India. Let’s together develop a hunger free India.

The history of mid-day meal scheme in India dates back to the year 2000 when the Akshaya Patra Foundation began the mid-day meal programme in Bengaluru. The organisation began serving children nutritious meals, several donors came forward to sponsor children, several others donated vehicles and other resources. The organisation joined hands with the government and now serves meal to children in 12 states in India.

Donors in India started getting tax exemption, more resources were added, the Sponsor a Child programme helped get nutritious meals to many more children. The history of mid-day meal scheme that began with serving 1,500 children continued and served 1.6 million children and became the largest mid-day meal programme in the world.

It’s a scheme that creates a free environment for our children to grow and get education. Our children would make our future society that we visualise as independent and free. And we can ensure this only by setting our children free from hunger today. The mid-day meal scheme is creating history every day in India as more and more children come to school and get wholesome lunch.

If we donate for this cause, we can easily get tax exemption in India. Sponsor a child today.

Make your weekends productive by volunteering with NGOs

What’s your first instinct about spending the weekend? It could be as mundane as doing the laundry or as fun as going for a picnic. But wait, even doing something for the children at a non-profit organisation can be fun, isn’t it?

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So here’s a little inspiration. Meet a Std VI student from Puri, Badal Behera, who loves Yoga. He is a beneficiary of the Mid-day Meal Programme in Odisha. Now he loves all sport in general but is particularly passionate about Yoga. He says: Yoga improves memory power and helps in maintaining blood pressure.

There are many children like Badal who have benefitted by the Mid-day Meal Programme run by non-profit organisation for children named Akshaya Patra. You can choose to be an active contributor in one of these hope stories.

The non-profit organisation serves mid-day meals in not only Odisha but also in other states and invites volunteers, donors and contributors for the same. Some sponsor a child, others donate kitchen equipment, still others simply engage in volunteer activities with the organisation.

Volunteer for NGO

Got a free weekend? You can simply choose to be an online contributor by for the Akshaya Patra. You may promote the non-profit organisation for the children on your social media accounts, invite friends to follow the organisation’s Facebook page or simply download the screensavers, wallpapers, posters or banners and build awareness.

You may use your weekend to write blogs on topics like sponsoring a child or about mid-day meals across various states including Odisha. That’s not all, you may engage in online fundraising activities where the funds would be used for serving mid-day meals to children.Weekends are personal and precious to you. But when you involve others, such as children, in this personal space, for a great cause, they become productive too. Volunteer today.

How can parents inculcate social responsibility among children?

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James A. Baldwin once said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” One of the best ways that parents can teach their children to contribute to the development of the community is by setting examples of social service. Here’s how they can do it:

Volunteer for education

Take them along on weekends to teach children in slums who have no or little access to school and education. You can also teach them importance of opting for wholesome meal instead of junk by sponsoring meal for the children there. You can talk about Akshaya Patra that’s on a mission to get children back to school by serving them mid-day meals. They will realise the importance of wholesome meal. You can donate online on Akshaya Patra’s website and involve them in the activity.

Work for environment

Buy seeds and saplings and encourage them to plant those. They can also indulge in online fundraising to fund tree plantation drives. But most of all you can involve them in nurturing a beautiful garden at home so that they can learn to respect the environment.

Non-profit fundraising ideas

Children read and observe more than you can imagine. Have a brainstorming session with them at home discussing fundraising ideas. Reap some benefit out of this activity. For example, they can create an artwork that can be sold through social networking sites. The funds raised can be donated to non-profit organisations.

Social responsibility

It’s only when such thoughts and acts are encouraged among children that we can build a selfless society. When you choose to donate towards charity, it’s the biggest gesture you can make in order to encourage children towards social service. Sponsor a child today!

Charity fundraising ideas to take children back to school

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A fully literate nation is a step closer to the prosperity of its citizens. As children get back to school, we can engage in some charity fundraising activities to aid their education. Here are some interesting non-profit fundraising ideas you can look forward to.

Selling handmade cards/bookmarks

Bring together children from your area to create interesting art work depicting their school life or subjects they love the most.  Let the children use their imagination and create cards, posters and bookmarks. Organise a non-profit fundraising activity in your area, school or college where you can sell the art works. Use these proceeds to sponsor a child’s education in organisations like Akshaya Patra.

Book exchange

Students in school or colleges or even working executives can be invited on Facebook to exchange their books as a charity fundraising campaign. Motivate people to give away their unused or read books that they don’t wish to retain anymore. Set a nominal fee to enroll in the activity. Inform the participants that the proceeds generated from the activity will be used to send children back to school.

Online fundraising campaigns

Browsing online for information and engaging activities has become a second nature of millennial generation. A thoughtfully created online activity can engage them easily. Use the power of online media to start a charity fundraising campaigns for non-profit organisations such as Akshaya Patra. It’s easier to create online non-profit fundraising campaigns; and if done smartly, you can raise a significant amount of funds for the cause.

Garage sale

You can simply organise a garage sale in your office or colony and ask people to donate things they don’t mind parting from. Participants can not only donate the stuff but also buy some of those that are kept there by others. Use the proceeds of this sale towards any cause related to education.

As you engage in these activities, Akshaya Patra does its bit by incentivising school children to attend schools by serving them wholesome lunch? You can also be a part of the great mission of sending children back to school by starting your own online fundraising campaign. Create a campaign today.

We are a few steps closer to being a fully literate country. Reaching there is not so tough if we come together.

Feeding children with nutritious mid-day meals in Uttar Pradesh

Jacques Diouf once said – hunger is not an issue of charity, it is an issue of justice.

Feeding the hungry, therefore, cannot be a one-time job or a temporary charity. It needs to be a mission of a lifetime till this social evil is completely erased. Akshaya Patra is an NGO that’s currently serving mid-day meals alongside the government in various schools around the country as an attempt to feed the hungry.

Nutritious meals

Apart from other parts of India, the NGO is serving mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh in two cities – Lucknow and Vrindavan. The NGO has ISO-certified centralised kitchens in Lucknow and Vrindavan that are able to serve a total of 2,11,680 children.

Due to these mid-day meals, the NGO is not only able to feed the hungry in Uttar Pradesh but also bring school children back to studies. The NGO’s mid-day meal menu has been modified as per the local palate of Lucknow and Vrindavan. Akshaya Patra serves roti with locally cooked vegetables in Uttar Pradesh as against its South Indian palate. The centralised kitchens that are serving these meals take utmost care in parameters such as nutrition, hygiene, quantity of food etc. This ensures that the children don’t just get a meal but are able to truly enjoy a healthy diet every school day.

The government schools that are benefitted by the NGO in Uttar Pradesh have testified a rise in school attendance due to the serving of mid-day meals. Akshaya Patra has made it its mission to feed the hungry and bring children back to school by combining the two causes intelligently.

The NGO needs more contributors in order to expand its reach in more cities in Uttar Pradesh. You can sponsor a child today.

Sponsor a child on World Day against Child Labour

The International Labour Organisation had launched the World Day against Child Labour in 2002 which is observed every year on June 12th. This year as the world pledges to protect children from child labour in conflicts and disasters, let us pledge to sponsor a child in order to secure his healthy upbringing and educational growth.

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The World Day against Child Labour 2017 focuses on the impact of conflicts and disasters on child labour. Around 200 million people are affected by disasters every year, of which a third are children. A major proportion of the 168 million children engaged in child labour live in areas affected by conflict and disaster. The challenge is to feed the children, protect them from mental and physical consequences of disasters and provide them with the basic necessities of life.

Child labour is equally rampant in India and several charitable organisations are striving hard to eliminate the evil through awareness and protection. A lot of these children are found working haphazard conditions and are dropped out of school due to financial responsibilities. A charitable organisation in India Akshaya Patra, thus, is trying to root out this problem through taking mid-day meals to schools. That way, the organisation is able to feed the children, thereby, luring them to attend schools. The parents, therefore, understand now that the whole challenge of feeding all their children is met by simply sending their children to schools. This has significantly raised the school attendance in government schools while also reducing the number of child workers around the country.

Many charitable organisations in India are encouraging individual donors to sponsor a child by donating a meager amount. Akshaya Patra also has a simple plan for sponsoring a child by contributing merely Rs 950/- that would help feed a child for a year. As a result, the child automatically gets education since he is motivated to come to school for his share of wholesome lunch.

One of the most efficient ways to eliminate child labour would be to eliminate the reason for child labour. These reasons are orphaned children, financial responsibilities on children due to a large number of family members to feed, dropping out of school due to disinterest, illiteracy and so on. These children are often desperately put on jobs and therefore must endure the haphazard conditions, low salaries and over-work. Charitable organisations like Akshaya Patra are engaging volunteers to feed the children and use mid-day meals as an incentive to attend schools. Several stories of hope tell the tale of the success of this approach since beneficiary children are learning the importance of education and are working hard. Many of these children are learning to have dreams and aspirations in life, they are inspiring others to study hard and are bringing their siblings to school.

This is surely a good way to eliminate both hunger among children and exploitation of children. As the world observes the day against child labour, you can choose to join the cause of feeding the children and thus indirectly impacting the cause of eliminating child labour.

Sponsor a child today. Donate for Akshaya Patra.

What happens when you sponsor a child?

Bhanupriya is a student of Class VII at the Government Higher Primary School in Jyothipura, Bengaluru. She is 13 years old now and wishes to be a doctor. This young girl loves to wear the doctor’s coat and do a mock examination of patients with the stethoscope and listen to their heart’s beats. When she grows up, she wishes to treat poor patients free of cost. This is what happens when donors sponsor a child. It is more than just a charity donation.

bhanupriya - Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Bhanupriya, who is a beneficiary of children’s charity Akshaya Patra in Bengaluru, is not alone. Like her, there are millions of children who are now motivated to attend schools regularly since they get a wholesome lunch free of cost at the premises. So families that may not be able to afford to feed their children with wholesome meals three times a day, have to simply send their children to schools. In school, there is an assurance of receiving freshly-cooked lunch!

Sponsoring a child thus has now become more than just a charity; it’s now taken the shape of a revolution for incentivising children to attend schools. The children, on the other hand, have learnt to value education like never before. They have clear goals. A lot of beneficiaries of this children’s charity in Bengaluru make their career plans when they enter their teen years.

Teachers and staff often testify about several children who have inspired their classmates about the importance of pursuing goals in life. Every school year thus brings the excitement of not only getting nutritious meals every day but also as a lucrative prospect for making and realising life’s goals for the children.

As a donor, here’s the volume of difference that a small amount towards sponsoring a child can make. All you need to do is choose to donate today.

3 Ways Every Student Can Stay Organised!

The school year is back with the same excitement and anticipation. Aren’t you looking forward to it? But how would you spend this school year differently?

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We at Akshaya Patra, one of the children’s charities engaged in feeding the hungry, work for children who are excited to come back to school every year. We have some ideas for you to stay organised this year.

Write down your timetable and carry it with you

Writing down your class timetable twice can save you from a lot of hassles like late arrival or missing a class. Write down your timetable at the back of a classwork notebook and always carry it in your class. Keep one timetable always pasted on the wall of your house for reminders.

Keep your bag organised

How many times have you been rebuked in class simply because you forgot to carry your homework copy? That happens when you fail to organise your schoolbag. Now that you have already written down your timetable, make sure you keep your bag organised according to it.

Carry your daily needs

Apart from books, what do you need in your bag? Is it a handkerchief, a water bottle, a box containing pencils and pens? Make sure you carry all your daily needs in your bag. Nobody likes boys and girls who always borrow things like pencils or erasers from other students. This habit will make you self-sufficient and also help you value your belongings.

Children, now that you are back to school, make the new academic year’s resolution to always keep your things safe. There are children who cannot afford these things and often, children’s charities all over India have to work hard to get these children some basic school needs. Do you know that many organisations work to help such children?

Akshaya Patra is on a mission of feeding the hungry through its school lunch programme. If you know anyone who can contribute in this cause, do encourage them to sponsor a child, so they can help that child get both food and education. Spread the good news today.

3 tips to prepare yourself for the next academic year!

A few more weeks and you will be back to school. Are you prepared to face another academic year? If not, here are a few fun tips to help you get into the school state of mind once again.

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Learn the tables

 You will definitely have the new year’s syllabus and Math would get more advanced but there’s one thing that you can never outgrow – multiplication tables. How many tables do you remember from last year? Gather all your friends every evening and take turns leading each other in recalling various tables. If you work on your math, you can later become a pilot, or go for engineering or join the Indian army just like 13-year-old Lakshmi from Hubballi. She is good at math and is serious about her career. She is a beneficiary of the mid-day meal scheme run by a non-profit organisation Akshaya Patra.

Work on your general knowledge

Do you know who’s the President of India or President of the United States? Do you know the largest state in India? Ask your friends around you, ask your parents. Get yourself old newspapers and see if they have this information! Work on your general knowledge as you gear up to attend another academic year. It would not only get you good grades but also make you smarter than other peers.

Practise painting

Do you like drawing or painting? Did you get a chance to practise these in summer vacation? If not, you can do so now. These activities open up creative faculties in your mind, making you smarter and sharper. Meet Pawan, a 14-year-old school student from Mysuru. He regularly practises his painting skills and wishes to become an artist when he grows up. How wonderful! Pawan goes to school every day because he gets a wholesome lunch at school free of cost, thanks to several charity fundraising initiatives from volunteers.

A lot of children like you are excited to get back to school because they are prepared. Many of these children are part of the mid-day meal scheme that’s run by a non-profit organisation Akshaya Patra. They feed wholesome lunch to school children like yourself in various government schools and invite several volunteers for charity fundraising. If you know anyone who can donate or sponsor a child, ask them to join hands.

Let’s bring children #BackToSchool

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Hello May! Akshaya Patra, a children’s charity, welcomes a new month with a topic we all love visiting, something that has stolen space in hearts and something that all the children should have access to: School! As the month goes by, we will talk about bringing children back to school for the next academic year. Meanwhile, you can meet our beneficiaries from around the country.

Sahil from Nagpur, Lakshmi from Hubballi and Pawan from Mysuru are children with life changing aspirations. These children are different from the ordinary because they know that education is as vital as food. They understand that despite all the rules, discipline and a lot of other school things that they may not like a lot, they are being nourished in a growing environment of learning.

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Sahil wishes to be a pilot in the Indian Air Force. This 14-year-old wants to fight for his country and make people proud. He vividly recalls history about freedom fighter Veer Savarkar who was imprisoned in Cellular Jail in Port Blair. He wishes to fly to Port Blair someday so he could re-visit the history he has learned in school. Such is the impact of education on children. Sahil comes to school regularly because a generous donor decided to sponsor the child. That’s precisely what inspires all of us at Akshaya Patra as we prepare for another school year soon. Children like Sahil, Lakshmi and Pawan are now able to truly learn at their schools because they are provided with mid-day meals in the school premises.

We wish to expand our reach and take mid-day meals to more places across India. We often urge our donors to sponsor a child so that more and more children are encouraged to study and go to schools. With a very small contribution alone, you are able to transform the life of children and take them to the light of education.

There are several other ways that you can extend your help. It could be sponsoring a kitchen for a year, donating a vehicle or sponsoring a school.  You could also sponsor a child’s meals for an entire year! Donate today to feed the hungry!