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Feeding the Children is Feeding the Future – Stories of Children

stories of children

Healthy children grow into healthy adults
How can we ensure good health for children?

Good health comes from consuming healthy food
Since they are the adults of tomorrow, it is imperative that we feed the children so that they get the required nutrition which ensures their holistic development.

Around 40% of children in India are undernourished

Various NGOs like The Akshaya Patra Foundation are working towards reversing these numbers. By implementing the Central Government’s Mid-Day Meal Scheme, it feeds nutritious meals to children belonging to challenging socio-economic backgrounds. It works towards two causes simultaneously – food and education. It feeds unlimited food for education to 18,00,907 children studying in 19,039 Government schools and Government-aided schools. The Foundation feeds in 52 different locations spread across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India.

To know about locations in which Akshaya Patra implements the Mid-Day Meal Programme, click here.

Children are the foundation on which lies the progress of the nation. Akshaya Patra feeds healthy meals that take care of the nutritional requirements stated by the Central Government of India for providing mid-day meals to school children.

Locally palatable meals are served to children in a cyclical order to avoid wastage of food. This means that each state prepares meals that are region-specific. For example, roti and aloo matar is served in Haryana, while bisibele bhath is served in Karnataka and pulisu curry is served in Andhra Pradesh. This initiative ensures that children also relish their food.

Here are a few stories of children who enjoy eating meals prepared by Akshaya Patra:

Mitali from Gujarat dreams of becoming a Designer

stories of childrenMitali and her little sister live with her mother who stitches mattress covers. She aims to be a mattress designer and says, “I feel that by being a designer of mattresses, I would create and sell dreams.” She never misses Akshaya Patra’s meals because they are very tasty. It is very much needed for us when her mother has to leave home early in search of work.

Megha wants to become a nutritionist when she grows up

stories of childrenMegha was prone to falling sick very often in her childhood. Knowing the importance of healthy and nutritious meals early in her life, she says, “Even though we go to school empty stomach, we come back home with tummy-filled happiness as Akshaya Patra serves unlimited tasty meals.”

Tanaya from Odisha wants to become an architect

stories of childrenA 6th standard student studying in Odisha wants to give shape to the blueprints of dream homes of people. She has been Akshaya Patra’s beneficiary for six years and says she loves “the food, especially the soya bean curry. It is my favourite and I like to have it with rice.” The food delights her every day that it reaches on time daily excites her.

To read more such stories of children, click here.

The hope that meals bring in children’s lives is worth a read. Your online donations have the capacity to help children realise that they can dream and achieve them too. Meals are a medium to bring them one step closer to reality, support the feeding of children by joining Akshaya Patra.

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Donate to Akshaya Patra’s COVID relief services on World Hunger day

world hunger day

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India that not only provides mid-day meals to school children but also provides cooked meals and essential kits during the Corona pandemic. As a part of its COVID-19 relief services, it has served a total of 5 crore meals to lower-income sections of the society. With your donations towards Akshaya Patra, you help your fellow citizens during the Lockdown period.

Good nutrition, adequate and balance diet is the epitome of good health. These are the founding stones of a strong and healthy immune system. Boosting immunity during this hour of COVID-19 pandemic is what reaps bountiful benefits.

Millions of people around the world are abiding to the ‘social distancing’ and ‘staying safe at home’ norms laid down by the Government of India during the lockdown. Due to the increasing number of people being tested positive for COVID-19, the lockdown that aims to reduce the rapid spread of the disease, seems very far from being lifted. There are millions of people who are unable to go back to their homeland and are stuck at various places. Along with these people, there are others who are not able to access basic resources that are essential for survival; as they rely on daily wages.

The pandemic threatens the ‘at-risk’ population including children, new-borns and the elderly as well. With no catering services to feed them and schools not functioning during the pandemic, they do not get the adequate amount of food that they would otherwise have access to. To help them fight the threat of hunger lurking during the pandemic, many Non-Government Organisations have come forward to provide support. As per The Economic Times, according to the World Food Programme analysis, 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020, due to COVID-19.

Going by those number, hunger would kill more number of people than COVID-19. The Akshaya Patra Foundation stepped in to address this problem and started its COVID-19 relief services on 25th March 2020. Working in close coordination with Government of India, State Governments & District Administration, along with receiving ample support in the form of COVID-19 donations from individual donors, corporate donors and the help of thousands of volunteers, it provides food relief to the needy people. It feeds the marginalised and low-income sections of the society that comprises of daily wage workers, construction site workers, migrant labourers and needy people at old age homes and night shelters. The Foundation is serving cooked meals and distributing dry essential kits to the needy on a daily basis during the lockdown period. Till date, Akshaya Patra has served a cumulative of 5 crore meals in the states of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tripura, West Bengal and Punjab.

This World Hunger Day, be a part of Akshaya Patra’s COVID-19 Relief Services. Donate to feed the marginalized sections of the society.

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#BlogToFeedAChildFood and Education

Rajasthani Menu served in Akshaya Patra’s Rajasthan Kitchens

rajasthan kitchens

Akshaya Patra is a not-for-profit organization serving mid-day meals on a daily basis to around two lakh children studying in Government and Government-aided schools in Rajasthan. The NGO has been operational in the state since 2004 and currently feeds 2,31,187 children studying in 4,428 schools. These children are fed mid-day meals that are prepared from 10 kitchens situated in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Nathdwara, Ajmer, Baran, Bhilwara, Jhalawar, Bikaner, Udaipur, and Chittorgarh.

How would you like to be deserted in a land surrounded by palaces, forts and museums, and rich heritage? Overwhelming isn’t it? Palaces and forts ring only one bell in our minds – Rajasthan, the princely state of India.
In stark contrast to this beautiful side of the state, there prevails some concerning facts too!

Did you know? Rajasthan has
• A literacy rate of only 66%.
• The 3rd lowest literacy rate nationwide.
• Is one of the BIMARU states.

Is there a way in which you can work to make the scenario better? Is there any NGO in Rajasthan that you could associate yourself with?

Of course!

In every sphere of life, in every situation, there is a scope for betterment. This is why the Government of India started the Mid-Day Meal Scheme.

What is mid-day meal? How does it impact education?
There are millions and millions of children who belong to challenging socio-economic backgrounds. Hence, it is difficult for them to eat one square meal a day. The Akshaya Patra Foundation started the implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme so that school children get the right nutrition for their development and are able to concentrate better in their school. Mid-day meals act as a catalyst in bringing children to school.

What is Akshaya Patra?
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is the largest implementer of the Mid-Day Meal Programme in India. The seed of this idea was sown with a vision that ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’

Today, the organization feeds 1.8 million children spread across 52 locations in 12 States and 2 Union Territories in India.

With Rajasthan trying to battle the school drop-out rate, this was an initiative that was welcomed with open arms. The Foundation started its first kitchen in Rajasthan in the year 2004. Today, this charity nourishes 2,31,187 children across the state on each school day.

Advent in Rajasthan
In the year 2004, a centralised kitchen was started in Jaipur. From the day of inception, it has been continuously feeding school children who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Today, it feeds mid-day meals to school children studying in 4,428 Government and Government-aided schools.

The Foundation works for the cause ‘Food for Education’ of children across the nation and in 10 locations of Rajasthan:

akshaya patra kitchens

The first and foremost priority in any kitchen is hygiene and cleanliness. Akshaya Patra operates from both centralised and decentralised kitchens which adhere strictly to the norms laid out as per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The Nathdwara, Jaipur and Ajmer kitchens are ISO: 22000:2005 certified. The rest of the kitchens in Rajasthan are following the suite.

What does the meal contain?
Mid-day meals are prepared keeping in mind the recommended dietary norms for children have to get while maintaining a hygienic environment. As pulses, grains and vegetables enhance growth of children, Akshaya Patra includes them in the daily school meals of children. Rice and dal are prepared in large cauldrons that are cooked and transported in high grade Stainless Steel.

The kitchens in Rajasthan serve locally palatable meals that children would enjoy eating in their schools. The kitchen follows a cyclic menu so that there is a variety in each day’s meal but contains adequate nutrients too. Some of the menu items served in Rajasthan are:midday meal ngo

Apart from the raw materials that go into preparation of mid-day meals, there is lots of love and care that is packed into these meals. Soon these meals will reverse the current literacy scenario of the state and empower children with health, education and confidence to achieve, turning Rajasthan into a truly royal state.

Wouldn’t you like to contribute in the making of a royal state?

Support generously. A contribution of ?1100 will feed a child on every school day for 1 year.

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Importance of Midday meal in India

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FLASHBACK:

During our childhood days, we would pulsate with so much energy that our parents would find it difficult to tame us. Remember how you escaped from your mom’s clutches to go and play with your friends? Do you remember the days when you constantly engaged yourself in some games or activities to keep yourself from disturbing others or bombarding your parents with un-answerable questions? This is what high energy levels would do to you.

Ever wondered how children have such high energy levels? The secret lies in the food that our parents fed us. No amount of our nagging or saying ‘I am full’ could stop our parents. Call this love or call this concern, our parents knew the best. Food is the biggest source of energy for children. For children who hail from challenging backgrounds cannot afford wholesome meals. Here Midday Meal Scheme comes by as a potential intervention.

FACT: A child between 4-8 years needs a minimum of 1200-1400 calories a day.

When children are in the developing stages of their lives (6-14 years); given the high metabolism in children, food gets digested faster and is absorbed very easily. Which makes it all the more essential to increase nutritional content in meals.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation aims to cater food to those children who come from challenging socio-economic backgrounds. It feeds 1.8 million children by implementing the Midday Meal Programme on an everyday basis. It addresses the nutritional gaps to fight long-term hunger which in turn increases concentration levels of children. This NGO in India has been recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme. It operates in 51 locations of 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India. With the vision of ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’, it aims to feed 5 million children by 2025.

The nutritious meals that the Foundation serves, becomes an incentive for young children which in turn opens doors to education and opportunities. Healthy and wholesome meals improve children’s nutritional and health status, which ensure better cognitive development.

How can you contribute towards Akshaya Patra’s cause?

The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been working relentlessly since 2000 to nourish children with healthy school meals. In order to support the development of children, you can make an online donation to the NGO with an amount of ₹1100 to feed 1 child for an entire academic year. If each one of us thinks and contributes towards the development of children studying in Government and Government-aided schools, we can ensure a healthy upcoming generation of Doctors, Engineers, Teachers, Data Analysts, Directors, Photographers and Choreographers and much more.

Set the stage for a bright future of the Country.
Your support to children is important!
Sponsor meals & Save Tax!

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Brighten Up a Child’s Life This Diwali..!

diwali 2019 celebration

This Diwali, share the goodness of wholesome meals
and the light of education with 1.8 million children
across India.

Diwali, the festival of lights is one of the most awaited festivals in India. It is celebrated with much enthusiasm by people across all age groups and regions. While we engage in making this festive season joyful and memorable, let’s take a moment to spread the joy among children who needs our support. All we need to do is, gift them school meals! Celebrate Diwali 2019 with Akshaya Patra.

Diwali is one of the most-awaited festivals of India. People across the country and ages celebrate it with much enthusiasm and vigour. They decorate their homes and offices with diyas, flowers, and rangolis, offer prayers, distribute gifts and sweets to near and dear ones, organise get-togethers, and enjoy fireworks. This festival of lights brightens up our homes and hearts with love, joy, and warmth. Diwali celebration has its significance across various belief systems, but the symbolic cord that runs common across all of them is the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.

Diwali 2019 – Let’s make it brighter!
Diwali comes just once a year and celebrating with and gifting our loved ones is an expression of our love, goodwill, respect, and gratefulness. While most of us have made our shopping and gifting lists ready, how about adding one more thing to make this year’s Diwali celebration better and brighter. Well, all you have to do is add ‘Gift a Meal’ to your list.
diwali-note

This Diwali, take a moment to gift children the goodness of nutrition and education. These children hail from challenging socio-economic backgrounds, yet their willpower and zeal to attend school and achieve their dreams defeats all the odds and hurdles. Your choice of contributing a donation on Diwali to The Akshaya Patra Foundation will make sure 1,802,517 children receive nutritious lunch on each school day. Akshaya Patra delivers freshly cooked, wholesome meals to 16,856 Government and Government-aided schools from its kitchens located in 51 locations of 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India.

When you ‘Gift a Meal’, you:
• Nourish children with the goodness of wholesome meals;
• Brighten up their lives with good health;
• Empower them with education; and
• Prepare them to be resourceful individuals in the near future.

How you can ‘Gift a Meal’
Let’s make Diwali 2019 a memorable one for ourselves and the children. Here are the many ways you can brighten up a child’s life with food and education:
• Add joy to a child’s life instantly by contributing Rs. 1,100 as donation on Diwali.
• Multiply the joy by conducting a fundraising campaign to benefit more children.
• Make your Diwali celebration bigger by sponsoring a school.

Share the joys of Diwali celebration with children for whom regular school meals are a ray of hope for a happier and prosperous future!

diwali 2019 celebrate with us

 

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Celebrate Teacher’s Day With Akshaya Patra!

teachers day

“A good teacher can inspire hope,
ignite the imagination,
and instil a love of learning.”Brad Henry Love

As a token of respect, care, regards, affection, gratitude, and honour, Teacher’s Day is celebrated across India and world. We too believe that teachers are no less than an architect or a designer of our society as a whole. Teachers, gurus and mentors play a major role in shaping the young minds of the society. Akshaya Patra bows down to pay a heartfelt respect to those makers of the society, called – Teachers.

We bring you an example of a teacher who went against the wind in her life so that little school children can create their own success stories someday.

teachers day

 

 

Age doesn’t matter with being an epitome of inspiration. Smt. G. Chandrakala, a teacher from Government Model Primary School, Jigani, Karnataka is one such example.

 

 

 

This middle-aged lady encourages her students in school to sharpen their skills, has elders in the village approaching her to solve issues, and has been navigating change in her own family too. But the actual course of change began with her— eighteen years back when she became a Teacher in a Government School.

Elders say, ‘Decisions Determine Destiny.’ These words proved to be true for Chandrakala Miss (as is lovingly referred to by students) and her family. Instead of keeping aside her certificates and cornering skills at an early age, she decided to pursue her studies further. Despite of economically challenged background, with her unparalleled will-power, she cracked through all the tests and finally joined the school.

“I knew I had to do well in academics and for that I was ready to sacrifice all the little happy moments of my growing up phase, extend my study hours leaving behind all the household chores including offering help to my mother. All these paid off when I see myself within the gates of the school every day, teaching children for their bright future,” says Chandrakala.

Chandrakala further mentions that most of the children coming to the school belong to an economically challenged background. They look forward to the support from Non-Government Organisation (NGO) like The Akshaya Patra Foundation. Being in the school, she has closely noticed the fact that mid-day meals tremendously enhance the enrolment rate of students. And the increasing number of students in the attendance register has been a testimony to this.

Share the most delightful moment with your favourite teacher in the comments section below. Relive your sweet childhood that still lasts in your memories and make you smile, even today!

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Help Children to Start Another School Year

back to school

It’s that time of the year again when schools are gearing up to re-open and begin the new academic session. While some children will get worried about going back to the school, it is a blessing in disguise for many, who long for school days to be with their friends & teachers, to achieve their dreams & make parents feel proud, and to enjoy happy lunch hours.

Breaking down barriers with ‘Back to School’

“Children should work on dreams, not on fields,” isn’t it?

This National Child-Labour Day, The Akshaya Patra Foundation will commence its ‘Back to School’ campaign that is held annually from April to June. The objective of this campaign is to create awareness on the significance of continuing education and mid-day meal’s role in bringing children back to school. Let’s do our bit to fulfil the responsibility we hold as social citizens to end child labour by bringing children #BackToSchool for a new academic year.

This heart-warming story will reveal why and how the #BackToSchool campaign is significant in the lives of children. Manisha, a 12-year child is an Akshaya Patra beneficiary who has been missing her school and friends and is eagerly waiting for the vacations to get over so that she can go back to school.

 

Excited that the next morning will be her first day of school for a new academic year, Manisha went to bed dreaming of the possible events that can take place the following day.

 

 

Manisha woke up early at the dawn and completed all the household work from bringing water from the nearby well to cooking for her old grandfather and four young siblings (since her parents are no more). She combed her little sisters’ hair and gave some biscuits to them before they left for school.

Holding the hands of her siblings and playing the role of a mother, for she was the eldest, numerous memories flashed back as Manisha walked down the road to school. And, her sisters talked about the fun they were going to experience at school.

Manisha waved bye to her younger siblings after dropping them at the pre-primary section. Now, it was her turn to step into the new classroom, meet new friends and learn from new teachers.

The new class teacher welcomed Manisha and her friends for a fresh session and discussed about the various activities that they will be taking up in the class, this year. The teacher said, she would take us to a room full of books called “Library”, a word that Manisha had heard last year but hadn’t quite understood its exact meaning at that point leaving her curious. The teacher said, “We will learn geometry this time. We will also recite some lessons too.” “Hurray!” exclaimed the children.

Now it’s time for lunch. All the students gathered in the school lunch area. By now, Manisha was hungry too as she had given the last biscuit to her younger sister and had come to school empty stomach. She ate her school meal heartily.

After lunch time, Manisha and her friends played ‘Kho-Kho’ – a sport that needs tremendous energy. Everyone said, Manisha was the best player in this game. In the class, the teacher asked the children to draw and paint. Manisha painted a beautiful landscape with the rising sun as the backdrop of her school.

Finally, it was time to go to the ‘library’, which she had been longing to see. As she entered, Manisha could see tall shelves and cupboards – all filled with books. She picked up a picture story book. It was very interesting and she wanted to read it completely but suddenly…

The school bell rang!
And her first day of school was over.
She woke up only to find that it wasn’t the school bell rather
the sound of the siren from a nearby factory.

As another school year is fast approaching, Akshaya Patra is striving harder to send its 1.76 million children like Manisha #backtoschool. Join our Back to School campaign and support children who fight all odds just to go to school, every day.

Contribute here: https://www.akshayapatra.org/onlinedonations

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S.S. Rajamouli Supports Akshaya Patra’s #iShareMyLunch Campaign

I Share My Lunch

Do you remember the good old school days when you shared lunch with your friends? Well, The Akshaya Patra Foundation brings you an opportunity to feel the same joy sharing lunch with its recently launched #iShareMyLunch campaign. This campaign gives you and all of us a chance to share our lunch with a school child for one entire school year by contributing just Rs. 950.

S.S. Rajamouli, the famed Director of the award winning Indian film Baahubali has already supported #iShareMyLunch campaign by sharing his lunch with 2,500 children for an entire year.

Rajamouli tweet - isharemylunch

School lunch is an important aspect of education. It positively impacts the health, concentration levels, and enthusiasm among children to actively participate in school activities. Studies have also indicated that school lunch has significantly increased school enrolment and reduced drop-out rate. School lunch also acts as an incentive for families from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds to send their children to school. More so, school meals instil confidence and determination among children that they will certainly be able to achieve their goals and dreams.

It’s time we all share our lunch with budding hearts. Click here to share your lunch! Akshaya Patra will use your contribution to provide nutritious, freshly cooked, tasty meals to school children for an entire year.

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Our Hope This World Hunger Day!

Our-Hope-This-World-Hunger-Day!

This World Hunger Day, here’s what we truly hope – win over hunger and all forms of hunger! As a NGO involved in providing mid-day meals to school children, we are not only targeting at eliminating classroom hunger, but we are aiming at enriching children with nutrition-rich meals – the only way to tackle hunger, hidden hunger, and malnutrition.

World-hunger-day

 

Facts and figures based on FAO, WFP, Global Hunger Index, Livemint, and The Wire

Childhood is a memoir of sweet recollections. It kindles in one, inestimable joy that lives forever in our hearts. It plays a pivotal role in an individual’s development and how they grow up as social beings. If there is something called a ‘complete’ childhood, then it should comprise of innocence, enjoyment and self exploration. But most of all, it should comprise of food in plenty, a school to study and friends to have a sense of belongingness. These serve as the perfect ingredients for a happy and much desired childhood!

Now the begged question, why food?

Firstly, because it keeps the child alive! Secondly, “hunger makes a thief of any man” and finally, it prevents them from attending school. Hunger forces them into labour, depriving them of education, their right as defined by The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).  Above all, it stands between them and their classrooms.

Second important question, why school?

School is children’s second home. It is their seat of education. Education builds a strong foundation in children’s lives. It helps break chains of poverty that is inextricably linked to their future, their empowerment, their economic growth.  Education offers them a ticket to their dreams which are as diverse as stars of the constellation.

Third, why sense of belongingness?

Belongingness because, it is a child’s inherent, intrinsic desire to belong. The child desires to be an element of something important, something fascinating, and larger than selves. That sense of belongingness comes from a friend that the school helps in finding. After all, what is childhood without the sweet bonds of friendship? It is impossible to fathom the joy children feel amidst their friends. For them, it is the perfect feeling to know that they have precisely the right person/people around to live their childhood. Be it lunch time or school itself, nothing is complete without that friend!

Why are we saying all this to you?

We say so, because we at Akshaya Patra believe in the maxim, ‘feed the children’. Why we believe so, because that is our only answer to the question, ‘how to end world hunger?’ Our wholesome, lip-smacking mid-day meals attract millions to their school doors. The very thought of a meal is enough motivation for our beneficiaries to attend school, receive education, cultivate friendship and say bye-bye to classroom hunger.

Hence, this World Hunger Day, let’s celebrate childhood through our meals. Let’s feed the children in need who have every right to a healthy childhood. Let’s all come together as a community and endeavour to find ways on how to end world hunger. We should do so with utmost priority because every hungry child must be fed and education should be accessible to every child. Hunger must not be a threat to childhood because only when there will be no hungry bellies, childhood will be complete and lessons will be read in unison!

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Giving Every Dream A Chance!

Giving every dream a chance

The Conviction

Every child has a dream; each dream is valid – for their dreams, thoughts, and aspirations make these children what they are.

Giving Every Dream A Chance

In an effort to provide overall development for its beneficiaries, The Akshaya Patra Foundation launched ‘Giving Every Dream A Chance’ – an initiative to nurture the unique aspirations of children. It is the Foundation’s attempt to identify children with special dreams and give them the opportunity to realise their dreams by providing mentorship programmes wherein children will be coached, groomed, and guided by the experts of respective fields.

A Flashback

‘Giving Every Dream A Chance’ was launched on 11 June 2016 at the Vivanta by Taj, Bengaluru, by Chief Guest, Mrs. Sudha Murty – Chairperson, Infosys Foundation and a benevolent supporter of Akshaya Patra.

Beneficiaries

In Chapter 1 of the initiative, three beneficiaries: Shivu, Manjula, and Shekar were given necessary mentorship and training through professionals in the field of their choice.

• Shivu with the aim to become an astronaut received an in-depth insight and understanding of the celestial world under the guidance of Ms. Preethi Krishnamurthy, Senior Research Fellow in Astrophysics.
• Manjula, a budding actress, received a thorough professional training in theatre and acting at the Bangalore School of Speech and Drama under the guidance of Dr. Zulfia Shaikh.
• Shekar a chef in the making, got an opportunity to hone his culinary skills at The Taj Vivanta, Bengaluru under the guidance of Chef Ramasamy Selvarju.

The Present

The success and goodwill received for the initiative in Chapter 1 motivated Akshaya Patra to script Chapter 2.

Talents

In the year 2017, 300 children from 15 Government Schools in Bengaluru, Hubballi, Hyderabad, and Vrindavan were mentored in their respective field of interest. These children received training in various fields, with the support of professionals and specific academies such as:

• Sri Raksha Natya Kala Academy for classical dance
• Just for Kicks & Team were the coaches for football goals of children
• Art& Design Studio for origami
• Vivanta by Taj for culinary workshop
• Spektrum Dance Studio for freestyle
• High Heels for contemporary
• Mr. Mahesh, a professional theatre artist for a well-written play on cleanliness

On 14 April 2018, an event was organised to showcase the talents of the children at The Taj Vivanta, Yeswantpur, Bengaluru. The stage was enlivened by a variety of performances ranging from vocal and instrumental music, folk and contemporary dances, theatre acts, on-stage origami creations, and remarkable display of math talent. All the performances received reverberating applauses and praises from the guests and audiences. Aside from the performances of beneficiary children, the audience witnessed enthralling performances of Vaishnav Girish – participant of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs and Indian Idol Junior, and Anjana Padmanabhan – First Indian Idol Junior Winner.

The event came to a close with the launch of the mascot ‘Sunny’ and the two child characters ‘Bhoomi’ and ‘Akash’ representing “Swachh Vidyarthi, Swachh Vidyalaya, Swachh Gruha” – an initiative by Akshaya Patra to achieve Swachh Bharat.

Guests and Dignitaries

The ‘Giving Every Dream A Chance’ Event on 14 April 2018 at The Taj Vivanta was graced by select guests and dignitaries from various spheres of profession and talent.

Celebrities

Director of CBI, Special Director General CRPF Screenwriter was the Chief Guest for the evening.

– Padma Shri Honoree Shri D. R. Kaarthikeyan, Advisor- Law Human Rights – Corporate Affairs and         former Director General of National Human Rights Commission
– Mr. Roberto Narain – Head of Drumjam
– Mrs. Vasundhara Das – Singer, Actress, Composer, Lyricist, Entrepreneur and Environmental Activist
– Mrs. Mayuri Upadhya – Co-Founder and Director of Nritarutya Dance
– Arjun Halappa – Former Captain of the Indian Hockey Team.

The event was studded with prominent stars from the film and entertainment industry namely Suraj Gowda, Meghna Gaonkar, Dhananjay, Shruti Hariharan, Samyuktha Hegde, Vashista N Simha, Sonu Gowda, Ragini Dwivedi, Navdeep, Naveen, Arun Sagar, and Rajshri Ponnappa.

The event was presided by Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa – Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation in the presence of Shri Chanchalapati Dasa – Vice Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, and the Unit Presidents of Akshaya Patra kitchens from across the country.

Guests Speak

Rajshri Ponnappa – “I am really honoured to get this chance to be a part of this platform, this opportunity that they (Akshaya Patra) are giving these children. Everybody deserves to dream and every dream deserves a chance. And, I think everybody coming here to support this, is fantastic.”

Roberto Narain – “My very reason to be here is – it’s very easy to talk but very difficult to do. So, the more you give the kids to go out and do things, we get the change we need.” When asked to define Akshaya Patra in three words, Narain said, I would rather define it in one word, that is ‘Dream’, and that’s the future.”

Vasundhara Das – Opining that the song ‘Any dream will do” rightly fits the initiative, she added, “It doesn’t matter what the dream is, what matters is how you go about getting there. And, a chance to follow your dream is the most precious thing in the world.”

Mayuri Upadhya – It’s truly an honour to be associated and be a part of such an event, such a beautiful initiative. And, Akshaya Patra definitely is doing a fantastic job. I have seen the documentaries on Akshaya Patra’s process of working in The Great Kitchens series, and they are right from the grass root level. I think every child is so different, every child is gifted with a very different intelligence whether it’s with art or sports. And, what we should do as a society and as an initiative is to create the best and suitable environment for it to flourish and blossom. And, that is being held and Akshaya Patra has taken the forefront in it.” She also acknowledged and appreciated the efforts of the mentors in guiding and coaching the children.

Samyuktha Hegde – “After seeing all of them (children) today, I am really glad and happy that our country is growing towards the idea of not just becoming engineers and doctors, but everything else that a child wants to be. I am glad to be a part of this.”

Arun Sagar – “If there’s innocence, we are all children. This was a really good act. I really liked it. Children’s performance was superb. What’s truly exciting to me is, I learn more when I work with children. It feels like I’m with God. For the organisation that is involved in this initiative must provide opportunities to all the children and also encourage them.”

For the complete video of the event, follow us on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/akshayapatra

The Journey Will Continue…
Akshaya Patra is looking forward to scaling up this initiative to transform lives of 5000 beneficiary children in the year 2018-19.

We would love to hear from you, so please use the below comment section to share your thoughts and feedbacks.

Read more about the event at Giving Every Dream A Chance 2018.

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