Celebrate for a Cause

Celebrate World Food Day with Akshaya Patra

world food day

“Our Actions Are Our Future. Healthy Diets. For a #ZeroHungerWorld.”

Each year, 16th October is observed as World Food Day across the globe. In order to address the various aspects of global hunger and the ways to tackle it, this day is celebrated with a specific theme each year and the theme for 2019 is quoted right at the beginning. This year will focus on the fact that food is the not the only solution to achieve zero hunger. Rather, it will emphasise on the need to ensure accessibility to nutritious food while also appealing everyone to be conscious of what they eat – so that as people are nourished, the earth gets nurtured too!

Aside from the dramatic change in our eating habits and lifestyle in recent decades, challenging socio-economic background is a major factor that hinders consumption of nutritious food. While the former is a resultant of personal choices, the latter is a concern that needs to be addressed in a concerted manner by the world organisations, government bodies, corporates and businesses, non-profit organisations, and the general public.

Celebrate World Food Day 2019 with Akshaya Patra
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a children NGO in India that has been serving school children with healthy and wholesome mid-day meals on each school day for the past 18+ years. Currently, the Foundation is providing daily school meals to more than 1.8 million children in 16,856 Government schools across 51 locations of 12 States and 2 Union Territories. By providing mid-day meals, Akshaya Patra aims to address two Sustainable Development Goals: Zero Hunger and Quality Education.

Akshaya Patra ensures that children eat healthy every day. Hence, it follows locally palatable and cyclic menu in each of its operational locations. The menu consists of various food items made of rice, wheat, pulses, green vegetables, legumes, milk, and curd. This provides children a balanced and nutritious diet on each school day.

As many meals, so many dreams!
Nourished children have a healthy mind that allows them to learn better and aim higher. And, it gets well reflected in the dreams of Akshaya Patra beneficiaries:
• “I aspire to be a Mathematician”, says Krishna from Gujarat.
• “I want to be a Nutritionist”, says Megha from Karnataka.
• “I aim to be an Architect”, says Tanaya from Odisha.
• “I want to be a Doctor”, says Sohil from Rajasthan.
• “My aim is to be an Astronaut” says Atharva Ajay Kale from Maharashtra.
• “My goal is to be a Physical Education Teacher” says P. Narasimha Raju from Andhra Pradesh.
These were just a handful of dreams that are getting nurtured by Akshaya Patra’s food for education.

It’s time to take action
The above-mentioned dreams are not mere aspirations, they are the means to reach the desirable end – a nourished, healthy, and vibrant world. Your support to Akshaya Patra has both immediate and gradual impact. Your one moment of generosity will instantly ensure daily school meals of children and fulfil their daily nutritional requirement while also supporting their education. Gradually, these factors will empower children to become resourceful and responsible citizens who can provide for themselves and their family thereby resulting in a #ZeroHungerIndia and eventually a #ZeroHungerWorld.

This World Food Day, take action for a healthy future by choosing to feed the children with nutritious school meals.

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Discussion Room

Interns From Hong Kong University Shares Their Learning Experience – Part I

interns of akshaya patra

The last week of June marks the end of Akshaya Patra’s internship programme for the students from Hong Kong University. Out of all the good feelings that we own for what we do and why we do it, one is – listening to the stories and testimonials from our dear interns once they’ve completed their internship programme. We love to look through their eyes on the improvisational grounds too for the Foundation. To hear how their internship taught them about a completely new culture, how they’ve evolved, made lasting friendships is exciting and so much more.

This series is dedicated to the young and lively souls who gained hands-on experience to see the operations of a non-profit organisation and meet the beneficiaries. Part 1 is about a cheerful young boy – Ben. Here is how he narrates his experience.

Interns of tapf

My internship at The Akshaya Patra Foundation

Prior to joining The Akshaya Patra Foundation, I was mostly ignorant of how classroom hunger can be such a big barrier for children to attend school. Joining Akshaya Patra has broadened much of my horizons and made me realise the importance of food for education.

Working at Akshaya Patra, a charity for children has been an absolute delight and joy for me. I was able to learn more about the intricacies of the problems millions of children are facing in the dimension of classroom hunger, visit the impressive and organised structures of Akshaya Patra kitchens, and most importantly, visit the beneficiary children during their school time whom the Foundation serves.

During my first school visit, I was very touched by the interactions I had with the children. I was overwhelmed with the sense of tenderness and affection seeing the children laugh and play around the playgrounds. Visiting the schools was undoubtedly the most memorable and enlightening experience Akshaya Patra has given me. It has bestowed upon me profound gratitude and vitality for my work and the entire Foundation. The rewards of working in Akshaya Patra, knowing you are helping all these children attain their education and giving them a shot for their dreams, is more than enough that I could ever hope for. Every day while going to work, I felt constantly renewed in the purpose and meaning of my work, and LIFE at large.

I am thoroughly grateful for my colleagues and managers. I have been perfectly blessed being able to work closely with them. They are, without a question, the most understanding and pleasant people I have ever worked with. They were gentle and kind and always actively tried to help me improve my work. My colleagues were also very amicable and charitable.

On my second school visit, I also have had the privilege of talking to the children. Despite not speaking Kannada (the regional language of Bengaluru), I was unaffected by it and asked a friend who helped me communicate with them. As a result, I could clearly see the lives that Akshaya Patra empowers. The children said that they feel very excited to attend school and have tasty mid-day meals. Their eyes gleamed with joy and they fluttered like fledging birds. It reminded me of my childhood and school days.

My visit to the Akshaya Patra kitchen enlightened me about the processes and logistical management of feeding 1.76 million children every day. I was in awe at the vessels and quality of work being done there. It is nothing less than perfection to feed such a huge number of children every day while maintaining the highest standards of food safety and nutrition. Juxtaposed with the size of the office, visiting the kitchen made me truly appreciate the scale of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

“Working with Akshaya Patra has been a fruitful and invaluable learning experience for me, both as an individual and professional. It is truly my honour and privilege to have had the chance to help alleviate classroom hunger from the lives of schoolchildren, the generation that would soon lead India and drive progress. It has been nothing but an illuminating experience and it carries its own reward. I would not replace it with anything else.”

I felt that my time as an intern in The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a charity for children came to an end all too soon. But amongst the sentiment and melancholy, I reminisce on what the wise always used to say, “Life, well-lived, is always long enough.” And truer words have never been spoken for my time in Akshaya Patra.

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