3 Stories of Hope from Akshaya Patra Would Make Your Day!

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Hope is a good thing. If you can still relate to this famous thought from the American classic The Shawshank Redemption, you are most likely an optimist. Regardless, it’s always good to know that hope can change things. It can inspire action and evoke positive spirits.

A lot of people engage in charity donations in the hope of building a better tomorrow. Had it not been for hope, several children charities wouldn’t get enough resources to help children. The Government of India works with several non-profit organisations and partners with local bodies in order to provide education, food and medical aids to deprived children. Donors are benefitted through tax exemption in India if they choose to donate to organisations such as Akshaya Patra.

Akshaya Patra is a children charity that engages in providing mid-day meals to school children around India. All of its donations get the benefit of tax exemption in India while the organisation works in tandem with the government.

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Back here at Akshaya Patra a children charity, we get to reap the rewards of great work in the form of various hope stories that we get to hear from beneficiaries. One such child is Manthan Jikarda who studies in Class VI at Maharana Pratap Primary School in Surat, Gujarat. He says, “Akshaya Patra food is tasty and protein-rich, which is why we like it. It is very nutritious, prepared using carrots, pumpkins, and other such healthy vegetables. The menu is different every day; sometimes there is Dal Dhokli, sometimes Khichdi.”

But that’s not half as exciting as seeing him come to school every single day and attend his classes sincerely. Manthan aspires to be a stage actor, wanting to entertain a live audience with his dramatic performances. He is an active participant in various extra-curricular activities that the school organizes.

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Riddhi Barot, an Akshaya Patra beneficiary from Veer Narmad Primary School in Saradnagar Tarsali, Vadodara, studying in Class VII, is another touching story of hope. She is the daughter of a father who works in an electric shop and a mother who is a homemaker. She has two siblings –sister Siddhi (Class V) and brother Jai (Class II), studying in the same school. What truly makes Riddhi stand out is that her inspiration comes from the noted Gujarati writer, freedom fighter and social reformer, Jhaverchand Meghani. This girl wishes to become a pilot when she grows up. Her focus is a matter of wonder for both her teachers and her parents. Riddhi loves Science and English apart from being an active member of scouts and guides. It is children like her who keep us motivated and restore hope that investing in today’s children is the best way to change the world.

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Similarly, Shri Baba Amte Primary School in Surat often echoes with the sound of a beautiful voice. This singer is an 11-year-old Divya Chandrakar who studies in Class VI. Contradictorily enough, she wants to be a dancer. This Akshaya Patra beneficiary brings so much joy and cheer to her class when she enters. Divya Chandrakar wants to be a figure in elegance and become a dancer. She says, “At school, we can study, play, learn new things and have nutritious meals.”

These hope stories have often moved parents of other children and they have been motivated to send their children to school. Let’s add more stories of hope. Donate to charity today and win tax exemption.

Mid-Day Meal and Its Secrets

There was a time when the school premises were bereft of the shrillness and joyful din of children, when classrooms were devoid of students, when children sat with heads bowed down in pangs of hunger, when children craved to have a square meal and accompanied parents to work. It was a time when attendance was low and drop-outs were more.

Most of the children in government schools hail from poor backgrounds whose parents are daily wage workers and cannot afford one proper meal a day.  The parents are not ready to send their children to schools as they wanted them to earn and have food at least a day. The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s vision ‘no child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’ has brought about a significant role in the future of children in government schools. The NGO implements the mid-day meal programme in collaboration with the Central Government and various State Governments.

After the commencement of the programme, the pall of despair in classrooms has changed to hopes of aspiration and dreams. The ambience of the school has come back where the school premises are filled with the high-pitched voices of students reciting poems, cheerful din of excitement and gleam, the teachers teaching with a sense of decorum paused by a high sound of scolding once in a while.

Let us hear from the children what they have to say of the secret impact of the mid-day meal scheme.

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Badal – Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Badal whose father is a mason and mother a cook is able to attend school regularly after the commencement of mid-day meals. He says, “I like all food items, and kheer is my favourite.” He opines “the Mid-day meal programme is good and it should be there as it helps children from hunger.”

Know more about Badal at: Badal Behara- The Young Yoga Enthusiast!

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Shrisha – Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

AP.Shrisha, the class topper of Namma Kiriya Prathamika Shalley School, says “Akshaya Patra’s food is very tasty and it increases my concentration and helps me remain active in class.”

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Darshan – Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Darshan, whose father is a bus driver and mother a homemaker has been an Akshaya Patra beneficiary since 2008. He says “I like rice and sambar served by Akshaya Patra.” He further says “my personal favourite is Bisibelebath served on Saturdays.” “The foods help me to concentrate in class”, he adds.

Know more about Darshan at: Darshan: A True Patriot in the making

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Harsha – Akshaya Patra Beneficiary

Harsha, whose father is a carpenter, says with enthusiasm that he is able to attend class as hunger is no more obstructing his level of concentration. He recites the full menu during the week and says that there is not one day he hasn’t liked the meal. “I love the mid-day meals served by Akshaya Patra especially the pulao.”  Every day my concentration in class is extended because of this nutritious meal,” he adds.

Know more about Harsha at: Harsha never misses a mid-day meal

We can see that mid-day meal scheme have solved multiple issues as hunger, poverty, illiteracy, child-labour and malnutrition among children. Children are eager to come to schools so that they get a nutritious meal, which gives them the energy to concentrate and learn. It has reduced the dropout rates with a reasonable increase in attendance. Teachers opine that there was a time when children went home for lunch and would not return to school. They now notice that afternoon attendance is almost as good as morning attendance. Parents who cannot afford to serve a proper meal to their children are more than happy with the assurance of one free wholesome meal a day for their children.

So let us donate to the NGO so that it can reach out to more children.  Let us work together to serve children and end class room hunger. Let us make others aware of the need to provide food for education. It takes just Rs. 750 to feed a child for a year! Every donation of Rs. 500 or above made to Akshaya Patra is eligible for 100% tax exemption under section 35 AC or 50% tax exemption under Section 80 G of the Indian Income Tax.