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Our Enthusiastic Interns Tell Us Why We Are A Great Place To Work – Part 3

Internship at Akshaya Patra

The Akshaya Patra Foundation was certified as a Great Place to Work by Great Place to Work® Institute. Apart from employees, our interns play a major role in making the place what it is. They share their experience with us.

DIA-intern-Akshaya Patra

Q. Why did you choose this Organization?
A. I chose it because The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one of the well-known organizations in Bangalore. I also wanted to work with an organization that focused on improving the lives of children.

Q. How’s your typical day like?
A. It started with my work being assigned by my mentor and would end by 4 p.m. We got a lunch break at 1 and would break for tea at around 11:30.

Q. What are the challenges you faced so far? How did you overcome them?
A. This was my first time as an intern and my mentor guided me every step, from working on social media to doing write ups, and editorials. There were no such challenges.

Q. Any memorable moment you had at TAPF? What did you like most about interning here?
A. I had the opportunity of visiting one of the schools and interacted with the children and teachers and it was a memorable day.

Q. Why do you think Akshaya Patra is a ‘Great Place to Work’?
A. Akshaya Patra has a healthy work environment and my mentor was extremely helpful. Alongside learning new things, I enjoyed working at TAPF.


AMIRTHA-intern-Akshaya Patra

Q. Why did you choose this organization?
A. Akshaya Patra is an organization, which started off with a goal to feed a few hundred underprivileged students but currently feed millions of children today, with a very wide networking system. I wanted to work with an organization that works for the betterment of children’s lives as well as one that would give me exposure to the functioning of an NGO.

Q. How’s your typical day like?
A. My day would start off with a light conversation with my mentor and then I would be assigned my work, with which if I had any difficulty I would approach my mentor.

Q. What are the challenges you faced so far? How did you overcome them?
A. This was my first internship so I had trouble in drafting a piece formally yet putting my message forth in an interesting way, but my mentor gave me tips and guided me the whole way.

Q. Any memorable moment you had at TAPF? What did you like most about interning here?
A. While working on a project, I got an opportunity to visit one of the government schools and interact with the children and teachers, it was the most memorable day of my internship.

Q. Why did you think Akshaya Patra is a great place to work?
A. TAPF has a very friendly yet professional work environment and my mentor was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Besides this I enjoyed the lunch.

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Celebrate for a Cause

17 years, over 1.6 million children and still counting

Akshaya Patra Turns 17

Over 1.6 million children, 13,800+ schools, 33 kitchens, 12 states and the count still continues. Wondering what we are talking about? These are the milestones we have achieved in the last 17 years of our service to children. Yes, it’s our birthday on November 11!Over 1.6 million children, 13,800+ schools, 33 kitchens, 12 states and the count still continues. Wondering what we are talking about? These are the milestones we have achieved in the last 17 years of our service to children. Yes, it’s our birthday on November 11!

Journey through the past 17 years

We started with just 1,500 children in a school in Bengaluru, in the year 2000. The aim was to ensure that every school-going child gets to focus on studies without worrying about working to earn his or her meals. But then, we realised that there were many more children across the country who were forced to earn their meals. They were unable to attend school because of that. This made us add more kitchens to increase our reach. We currently have 33 kitchens in 12 states across India.

Hurdles faced

• The Foundation encountered its first challenge in the beginning of its endeavor when the vessels of khichdi would come back half-filled to the kitchen and there was no demand of a second helping. The headmaster of one of the schools helped the Foundation solve the mystery. He told us that the children need simple food, like something that is prepared at home. That’s when rice and sambar was introduced in the menu. Serving curd along with the meal proved to be a hit.
• Another challenge was to ensure that the food reaches schools on time. The routes were chalked out in advance to ensure that drivers don’t get confused and lose their way.
• The rice cooked in the schools was found to be sticky by the students. A machine was devised, which pushed the cooked grain downward. This ensured that the rice doesn’t get overcooked.
• With the staple food being roti in north India, the Foundation had to serve chapatis in the region. When making so many chapatis manually became impossible, the Foundation wanted to introduce a roti-making machine. Finding right one, which prepared chapatis in the way that children liked, looked impossible. After experimenting with a biscuit-making machine, which was customised to make rotis, finally the Foundation was able to deliver chapatis to the schools.

Milestones achieved

• 2000 – Started with feeding 1,500 children in Bengaluru
• 2002 – Understanding the need to serve children in north India, a roti-making machine was introduced in Vrindavan
• 2005 – The first de-centralised kitchen was set up in Baran. This was our first attempt to reach people in remote areas
• 2006 – Harvard Business School developed a case study on The Akshaya Patra Foundation
• 2009 – Akshaya Patra served 500 million cumulative meals
• 2012 – Served the billionth meal. Received Honorary Award on Social Responsibility by LASSIB Society. Ranked 23rd among top 100 NGOs by The Global Journal
• 2016 – Served 2 billionth meal

Awards won

• Chairman Madhu Pandit Dasa honoured with the Padma Shri in 2016, in recognition of the distinguished service rendered by Akshaya Patra towards the children of India
• Akshaya Patra awarded with Nikkei Asia Prize in 2016, in the category of ‘Economic & Business Innovation’ for bringing about socioeconomic development in Asia
• Received Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Award for Innovation in Governance
• Platinum Award at PRCI Collateral Awards, 2016 was presented to Akshaya Patra
• We became the first ever NGO to be inducted into the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’s (ICAI) Hall of Fame
• Awarded with the ABP News Positive Award in 2015
• Akshaya Patra conferred with the Asian MAKE (Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise) award by CII (Confederation of Indian Industry).

Donors appreciate

Thanks to all at Akshaya Patra who strive hard from the wee hours of the morning to get hygienic and nutritious meals out to children daily!

Veena Thimmaya, Director SA Global India

Charity means helping the hapless, the needy and the infirm in whatever way I can. That way, I can make them feel that they are not alone in this world. I am particularly impressed with the efficiency of the kitchens and the sincerity of the people manning the units at Akshaya Patra.

GP Girija Shankar, retired senior banker

Keeping our corporate philosophy of focusing on water conservation, providing nutritious food and education for school children, we are pleased to have been associated with Akshaya Patra. We are particularly impressed with the back end kitchen facilities which were hygienically clean. Wishing the children a great future under your patronage.

Harish Mehta, Senior General Manager, Dhanuka Agritech Limited

On this National Education Day, when we also celebrate our birthday, we feel proud of nourishing over 1.6 million children and helping them aspire for a better future. While the journey has been exciting and challenging, the response we have received is overwhelming. It makes us happy to see children motivated to come to school and focus on studies, rather than being forced to work. They are assured a wholesome meal in a day.

Working towards the same cause of ensuring education for all, Akshaya Patra aspires to serve 5 million children. Support us in our cause. Donate Today.

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