One Donation can Empower the Future

feed the future

The unemployment rate in India shot up to 7.83% in April 2022 from 7.60% last month. Offering a helping hand to improve the situation may seem impossible with your busy schedule. But there is a solution!

Donate to NGOs and help India’s future gold-medalists right from where you are.

Did you know a huge chunk of poverty in India arises from acute malnutrition in growing children? Here’s how.

Absence from school
Due to financial troubles, underprivileged children skip school to earn for their families. After the pandemic, this risk has become more severe. According to UNICEF, the number of children being gripped by child labour can rise from 160 million to 169 million by the end of 2022 due to the pandemic. (Source)

Providing mid-day meals (MDM) at school is a proven solution to this challenge. Studies show that when free meals are provided to feed the needy children at schools, families approve of sending their children to school.

Akshaya Patra is a charity in India that works in Public-Private Partnership with the Central Government to serve mid-day meals to children from low-income backgrounds. We are the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme to children at Government and Government-aided schools.

Inability to focus
What decides a child’s future is their ability to focus and actively participate in multiple activities at school. An under-nourished child is unable to concentrate despite being present in the classes. This results in their underperformance in social activities such as discussions and physical activities like sports.

Therefore, feeding the children free meals once every day does not end the story. The children must be given the right nutrition in adequate quantities to nurture their complete cognitive and physical development.

Keeping this in mind, Akshaya Patra decided not just to fill stomachs but also to meet the specified requirement of nutrition declared by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in every meal.

Thus, each mid-day meal at Akshaya Patra is cooked from a planned cyclical menu that contains carbohydrates, proteins, and micronutrients like iron, folic acid, vitamins, minerals and so on in standard quantities.

Continuity of Poverty Cycle
Whether a child is absent from school due to responsibilities or lack of strength from undernourishment, it has a direct impact on their future. Due to a lack of knowledge, physical strength, and mental health from nutrient deficiencies, the child loses multiple opportunities to do well and break the cycle of poverty.

As a result, the child, who could have been the next economist or international athlete, ends up in menial jobs with below-average earnings.

When you give charity in India with Akshaya Patra, you support mid-day meals of 1.8 million children across 14 states and 2 union territories. Your contribution will not only feed the needy children but also fund our upcoming programmess to support other underserved sections of society.

Final Thoughts
In conclusion, mid-day meals can be the ultimate weapon to push the future generation to achieve on their own terms. When you donate to Akshaya Patra, you become a part of the revolution without compromising your existing responsibilities.

Your one-time contribution can fund one child’s nutritious meals for an entire academic year. So, donate to NGOs that empower the future.

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Express Your Love for Children This Mother’s Day

mothers day

Mother’s day is fast approaching. You can express the love of a selfless mother on this special occasion with a thoughtful donation to support children. Won’t it be a perfect gift to let her know that you honour her spirit of care and concern?

When you donate to NGOs, you change the lives of people bereaved of basic needs. Akshaya Patra is an NGO in India that uses contributions from generous donors like you to serve mid-day meals to 1.8 million children across 60 locations in India.

Mid-day meals not only fill the stomachs of children from challenging backgrounds but also nourish them for a holistic psychosocial development while taking care of their physical growth too. We prepare the meals to match the local flavour of the beneficiaries to bring smiles to their faces and avoid wastage of food.

Your donation this Mother’s Day can feed a child for an entire academic year.

Just as a generous mother, we, at Akshaya Patra, never stop feeding these young and bright minds. We direct donations from benevolent contributors like you to ensure continuous improvement in meal preparation procedures and to guarantee high-quality meals for children.

Akshaya Patra started by feeding just 1,500 children in five schools in 2000. But we are now working relentlessly to support mothers and other sections of our population, who are deprived of the required support. Thus, the aim now is a collective progress that you can be a part of!

Akshaya Patra as a Mother
Akshaya Patra is known for running the world’s largest NGO-run Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Programme. Every day, it feeds 18,00,907 children studying in Government and Government-aided schools.

Being as safe as a careful mother, our authorities follow strict sanitization and hygiene guidelines to prepare meals in the most hygienic manner. We use clean uniforms, gloves, gumboots, caps to cover hair and masks to cover mouths every single day.

Meal Preparation at Akshaya Patra Involves

• Centralized mega kitchens with 100,000 meals cooking capacity.
• Semi-automated kitchens to minimize human touch.
• Cooking utensils made of food-safe stainless steel of 304 Grade that are sanitized before every use.
• Kaizen, CI Projects and Six Sigma methodologies for constant improvement and involvement of every member.
• Meals prepared from a standardized cyclical menu.
• Well-structured Quality Assurance programme implemented during Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production stages of meal preparation.

Why Mid-DayMeals?
The Supreme Court of India mandated the Mid-Day Meal Programme (MDM) in 2001 to support children’s growth requirements with free nutritious meals in government and government-aided schools.

Several not-for-profit entities partnered with the Government of India for effective implementation of the programme. Akshaya Patra is an NGO in India that works on a Public-Private Partnership model to provide mid-day meals for children from low-income families.

Nutritional Guidelines Followed at Akshaya Patra

Guidelines by the Supreme Court of India
• Every child must get a minimum of 300 calories and 8-12 grams of protein per day.
• Adequate nutrition must be provided on all school days for a minimum of 200 days.

Mid-Day Meal Guidelines by the Ministry of Human Resource Department
• Every meal must contain carbohydrates, proteins, and micronutrients such as iron, folic acid, Vitamin A etc.
• Primary school children must receive at least 450 calories with 12 grams of protein, while upper primary and secondary school children must receive 700 calories with 20 grams of protein.

Since its inception in 2000, The Akshaya Patra Foundation is persevering to meet all these requirements, while maintaining a certified quality and constantly improvising based on the beneficiary schools’ feedback.

Your Contribution This Mother’s Day

Your motherly concern for a brief moment on this special occasion will contribute to our efforts in executing new programmes that will support homeless mothers and mid-day meal beneficiaries across India. So, join our mission to ensure that ‘no child in India is deprived of education because of food’ and ’to feed 5 million children by 2025’.

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Akshaya Patra feeds in times of distress

ngo works – disaster works

‘Natural disasters may destroy great cities…’
Every year, states and cities of India experience natural disasters. And this time of the year, it is Uttarakhand and the cities of Tamil Nadu that suffered during the floods. It is a pitiable sight to see the plight of families affected by the wrath of nature. It has caused loss of lives, property damage and injuries to many people. To provide flood relief to victims who suffer without food and shelter. The governments of the respective states are doing their best to assist such families and individuals. Many individuals were evacuated from the flooded areas to relief centres run by certain groups or NGOs.

Help from NGOs in India
To ensure that flood relief reaches every individual in need, non-profit organisations took it upon themselves to feed and protect them. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India that has partnered with the Central Government, State Governments and District Authorities to provide food relief to flood victims.

Akshaya Patra’s flood relief in Chennai in 2021
Chennai – the manufacturing capital of India came to a standstill in one single night. Cars were submerged underwater, trees were uprooted and the city came to a standstill. Food relief centres and medical camps were opened up in various places. The Greater Chennai Corporation asked NGOs and corporate entities to take part in relief work. One such NGO that fed flood victims of Chennai was Akshaya Patra. Those in need in Puducherry and the surrounding districts received cooked meals and grocery kits. Apart from this, the NGO in India also supplied 10 tonnes of rice.

Akshaya Patra’s flood relief in Uttarakhand in 2021
Uttarakhand suffers from natural calamities like landslides, torrential rains, flash floods, etc. The erratic weather conditions make way for insecurity and adverse effects. Many people are left homeless, have lost livelihoods, and suffer huge losses. They have so much to think of – how they will rebuild their lives, how they will take care of their family, etc. The first thing on their mind is how do they survive?

The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s Gadarpur kitchen is currently cooking meals to support people who suffer in and around the surrounding areas of Rudrapur. Working in association with the Government of Uttarakhand, freshly cooked meals (khichdi/rice and dal) are provided to people in distress.

As the need to feed people in distress increases, Akshaya Patra continues to serve freshly cooked meals and kits to provide food assistance. Though the core service of this NGO in India is to serve mid-day meals to school children, it does not back off from cooking for disaster-struck victims of the country. It has earned the distinction of being the world’s largest NGO run school lunch programme, serving freshly cooked nutritious mid-day meals to over 1.8 million children in 19,039 schools of 13 states & 1 union territory of India.

Join hands with Akshaya Patra; donate online and support to help nutritious meals reach people in need.

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Anganwadi feeding – a boon for early childhood development

anganwadi feeding

Adequate nutrition is vital for growth and development in children, especially during the early years of life. An NGO in India, dedicated to providing nutritious mid-day meals to children across the country, Akshaya Patra also provides nutritious meals in Anganwadi centres. At present, the NGO serves 1,39,272 beneficiaries in 6,251 centres across 10 locations of four states.

Anganwadis are care centres for children aged 0 to 6 years old, pregnant women, and lactating mothers belonging to socio-economically challenging backgrounds. These centres are a part of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme. Anganwadis implement the health, nutrition, and early education programmes of ICDS. Focussing on nutrition, Anganwadis provide support to improve the nutritional status and health of children aged 6 years and below. It also works towards educating mothers about nutrition and health thereby enabling them to provide better care for their children. Along with caring for children, Anganwadi centres also provide healthcare and nutritional support to pregnant women and lactating mothers.

In an endeavour to support the efforts of Anganwadi centres, the 21-year-old NGO in India, The Akshaya Patra Foundation stepped in to provide nutritious meals to the beneficiaries of these centres. Akshaya Patra is one of the most reputed mid-day meal NGOs in the country with a beneficiary base of 18,00,907 children in 19,039 government schools and government-aided schools located across 13 States and 1 Union Territory. Having been a provider of mid-day meals to children, Akshaya Patra is well-aware of the significance of adequate nutrition in growth and development of children. Hence, by initiating the Anganwadi Programme, the NGO aimed to feed the children and women in Anganwadi centres with nutritious meals daily.

Significance of Anganwadi Feeding Programme
Nutrition is of utmost importance during the initial years of children. It directly impacts overall health and growth in children along with supporting attainment of developmental milestones during the first six years of life. To ensure the beneficiaries receive the required quantity of nutrients every day, Akshaya Patra follows a cyclic and locally palatable Anganwadi food menu. This results in inclusion of a variety of nutritious food items, taste, and ready consumption of the served meals by the beneficiaries as well as prevents monotony.

The Anganwadi Programme is a great boon to children.

  • It provides adequate nutrition.
  • It supports age-appropriate physical growth and cognitive development.
  • It supports health and increases immunity.
  • It addresses malnutrition and related health concerns.
  • It reduces mortality and morbidity rates.

Impact so far
Currently, 1,39,272 beneficiaries in 6,251 Anganwadi centres are benefitting from Akshaya Patra’s freshly prepared, nutritious Anganwadi food menu. Of these, 1,35,612 are children in the age group of 3-6 years in 5,928 Anganwadi centres across 10 locations of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana; and 3,660 are pregnant women and lactating mothers across 323 centres in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

As an NGO in India, Akshaya Patra is continuously striving to expand its programme to feed the children and women in more Anganwadi centres across the country.

Your support is essential
Anganwadi Programme is a crucial intervention to make sure each child receives a healthy start in life. Contribute generously to feed the children and women during the most crucial years of their lives. Your support will indeed make a big difference.

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Food and Education

Mid-day meals give dreams to fly high


As children, we all dream of studying in top universities and working towards our goals of becoming well-known personalities in different fields. However, as we grow up, we realise that studying in top schools and colleges is expensive. Our parents arrange for the fees to ensure that we get the right education to support our dreams.

But have you thought about what would happen if your parents can’t arrange your school fees?

Many people want their children to achieve their dreams but cannot support them due to financial difficulties. People from the below poverty line, marginalized communities and low-income sections can hardly make their ends meet; getting an education for their child is out of the question. To help such families, the Government of India took upon addressing two major issues – education and hunger. The Supreme Court of India mandated the midday meal programme (called madhyaan bhojan yojana in Hindi) for primary and upper primary children. This scheme was designed to better the nutritional status of school-going children. Which meant that mid-day meals would act as an incentive to help children get educated.

As per the midday meal programme, every child will receive free lunch every school day. The nutritional guidelines for different age groups were given by the Supreme Court, where every child will receive a minimum of 300 calories and 8-12 grams of protein on each day of school for a minimum of 200 days.

To implement this programme on a large scale, many NGOs in India joined hands with the Central and State Governments. Some NGOs cater to primary students while others feed upper primary students and the rest serve high school students.

Service of Akshaya Patra – an NGO in India
The Akshaya Patra Foundation worked in tandem with the Government of India to implement the midday meal programme on a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model. With firm support from the Government of India, the State Governments and associated organisations, this NGO in India began feeding school meals to 1,500 children in five schools of Bengaluru. Today, it has the distinction of being the world’s largest NGO run school lunch programme, serving freshly cooked nutritious mid-day meals to over 1.8 million children in 19,039 schools of 13 states & 1 union territory.

Out of these 1.8 million beneficiaries is one young boy from Odisha, named Sachin.

He is one beneficiary who has benefitted from Akshaya Patra’s wholesome meals. He was a frail-looking boy and underweight. He would always stay aloof in school while his friends and classmates enjoyed playing outdoor games like kabaddi, kho-kho, running race, etc. He did not have the energy to play; would huff and puff even after playing for five minutes and would have to rest to catch his breath.

Teachers remember the first week of his school when he would never concentrate in class, never participate in classroom activities and would often complain of unbearable stomach cramps which would eventually lead to being sent back home. After knowing about his daily activities, it was understood that he was malnourished and would come to school every day without eating anything.

Teachers spent more time with him, they took interest in what he eats and how much. After constant efforts from everyone in school, he is a healthy child today. He is an active participant in class and fares well in his academics too.
Care and concern of teachers, Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meals and online donations from generous donors who ensured that he gets nutritious meals for one year every day, has made him what he is today. He is very optimistic about following his dreams of becoming a pilot.

Support for people who want to bring a change in the lives of children has kept Akshaya Patra going for 21 years now. As the NGO restarts implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme, many more children like Sachin look for a hope source, to achieve their dreams; dreams of studying in top universities and making a name for themselves. Let’s continue making a difference to dreams of a better life.

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Conquering COVID crisis in Schools with HAPPINESS KITS

happiness kits programme

“If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger”, is a highly motivating quote by American Former Astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Food is a dream for some children, without nutrition we cannot imagine education. And this is the inspiring motto of The Akshaya Patra Foundation. Since the last 20 years the members of this NGO have been working in conquering hunger for a better education and life with their constant inspiring efforts. The winner of The BBC’s ‘Global Food Champion Award 2019’ also the ‘International Achievers Award 2021 for NGO of the Year’ by the Blueberry Intn’l Group and NG Eduwizer Pvt. Ltd and many more, has constantly acknowledged their heartiest efforts for health and education, Mid-Day Meals, continuous relief initiatives for the society.

In this tough times of COVID Pandemic, Education has faced a sudden challenge. Schools are not operating in usual routine. Digital Classes are now new normal. It has paused the Mid-day Meals benefit. But the Akshaya Patra Foundation has conquered COVID through a beautiful boon in the form of “Happiness Kits” that happily serves a child Nutrition, Immunity, Hygiene, and Education.

We are waiting for things to get normal but till then the Akshaya Patra Foundation has promised to serve the mid-day meal beneficiaries : health, happiness, education through the HAPPINESS KITS. The content items in the box are:
. It contains Nutritious Glucose Biscuit Packs, Ragi flour, Double fortified Salt, Bengal Grams, Peanuts, Jaggery .
. For immunity it has Sambar Powder and Turmeric Powder.
. This kit has also taken care of Hygiene by providing soaps, toothpaste, toothbrush, and sanitary napkins for girls.
. To continue the routine of Education in this challenging times this kit has got Notebooks, Pencils, Crayons, Activity Workbooks.

I feel so happy to see this idea of serving Glucose, Iron, Calcium, Iodine, Protein, Immunity products with Study materials all in one box of care and love. The objective is to take care of the well being of children in this tough times of covid crisis. This task is done in a phase –wise manner in various cities. Various news articles, social media posts, are regularly publishing the updates on the distribution of these boxes of Happiness Kits nationwide.

Anyone who wish to take this opportunity can donate online. Many Corporates, Startups, Organizations, Individuals have served this joy of happiness kits with the Akshaya Patra Team. We all can take this opportunity of serving Happiness Kits at just Rs.550 per kit. Please follow this link to serve joy and make a child happy:

Let us come together as much as we can, and surely it will indeed be a ray of hope in this crisis for children who are missing the classrooms and mid-day meals. Thanks to the Akshaya Patra NGO Team for their continuous loving efforts towards Nutrition, Education, and a better life !

Article submitted by : Ms. SURABITA ROY

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Unlock Begins – Support to reform lives

covid19 pandemic

During the last 15 months, every aspect of our normal lives has changed. From how we shop, how we celebrate birthdays/anniversaries, how we conduct rituals to almost everything we do, our lives have seen a significant transformation.

India is embracing the guidelines of the new normal. Most of us are wondering what to do next and how to stay safe after the COVID-19 pandemic unlock, should remain indoors at all times or is it ok to give ourselves the liberty of socialising?

There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. However, we need to evaluate the consequences and choose what is the best decision to keep ourselves, our loved ones and the people around us safe. Everyone is facing one challenge or another; some scout for oxygen capacitors while others hunt for food. Daily-wage workers, labourers and migrants who rely on their wages and salaries may need some time to find suitable jobs for themselves.

For people who find it difficult to arrange for food, there are many NGOs working to make it available to them. As a part of their COVID relief service, these organisations either provide food or grocery kits to people in need.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one such NGO in India that takes care of food requirements of marginalised communities and vulnerable sections of society. Since day one of the pandemic-inflicted nationwide lockdown, the organisation has been serving meals to people in need. Its COVID relief service started on 25th March 2020 and continues till date as there is a need to satiate hunger. As of 30th May 2021, a total of 136 million (13.6-crore) meals have been served in the form of cooked meals, grocery kits and happiness kits. People from various backgrounds have been benefitted from its service, including cleaners, migrants, housewives, children, pilgrims, factory workers, etc.

Click on the names below to read their stories.


covid19 pandemic






Keshav Hari Gosai

Keshav Hari Gosai







covid19 pandemic






Shyam Khushwah







Shaheen Mohammad

Shaheen Mohammad













Small businesses, artisan communities, and self-employed people have been the worst hit. With no job or money, they are unable to feed their stomach and their families. You can rescue them from being hit by hunger in this crisis. Donate online to support frontline workers, marginalised families, single parents, homeless mothers, aged people and others who are in dire need of food assistance. Support Akshaya Patra and help these people get back to their old lives as the unlocking phase begins.

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Donate to Nourish Children & Save tax

tax exemption

After going through a tough time with the COVID-19 crisis, all of us are looking forward to ending this season. It is the tax season and is not anyone’s favourite time of the year. However, as responsible citizens, we have to pay our taxes now. Whether you are a salaried employee or a self-employed, a part of your income is deducted as tax. There is a huge list of how you get tax exemption – Public Provident Fund, House Rent Allowance, education loan, donations, etc.

Paying income tax is our responsibility. But, there are ways in which you can save tax too and that effective way is by getting involved with an NGO. That’s right, non-governmental organizations address issues focus on alleviating problems at grass root levels; this could include elderly care, bio conservation, wildlife preservation, hunger, children’s education, etc.

There could be many reasons why you would donate to charities, but isn’t it a bonus if you can change lives and save tax in return? Once you embark upon the journey of giving with Akshaya Patra, you change lives of children who have certain dreams – dreams of becoming a Doctor, a Singer, an Agricultural Officer, A chef, etc.

Read stories of our beneficiary children here.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO that serves children with nutritious mid-day meals to children in Government and Government-aided schools. Daily, 1.8 million children are fed with school meals in 52 locations across 12 States & 2 Union Territories. But the pandemic led to the closure of schools for an indefinite time. This resulted in children becoming visibly weaker since they did not get access to their only source of a healthy meal. To continue its service to children, Akshaya Patra began the Happiness Kits programme which ensured that their health, immunity, hygiene and learning was not hampered during the crisis. This programme began on 25th August 2020 and so far, 5 lakh beneficiaries have received the Happiness Kit that provides them with peanuts, desi chana, jaggery, ragi flour, turmeric powder, soaps, sanitisers, sanitary pack (for girl beneficiaries), activity workbook and stationeries. Yet, 13 lakh mid-day meal beneficiaries await for their share of Happiness Kits.

Provide Happiness Kits & gain income tax exemption by donating here.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed the reopening of schools in a phase-wise manner. But the question remains – Are schools safe for children now? To support the safe reopening of schools, Akshaya Patra has started the School Reopen Sanitisation Project. By providing personal items like masks and water bottles; hygiene items like sanitisers and soaps; infrastructural materials like sanitiser dispenser; and posters that create awareness and re-iterate social distancing, are provided to each school. This means that children can be safe, secure and yet enjoy the classroom atmosphere.

Ensure a healthy learning environment for children by donating here.

Every donation is utilised towards the betterment of children’s health – either by serving mid-day meals or by distributing Happiness Kits or creating a safe school environment. Donate and save tax under section 80G of the Income Tax of India, 1961. All donations made above ₹500 are eligible for tax exemption. It’s a win-win situation where you support a noble cause and save in return. Wait no further, click now to show your support to the NGO.

tax exemption donation

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This National Youth Day, Feed the Needy

national youth day

Young entrepreneurs, CEO’s, world-champions, athletes and programmers are everywhere in the world today. ‘Age is just a number’ truly holds good in every sense when you see such young children achieving their dreams and beyond.

Swami Vivekananda said, “You are the creator of your own destiny.”

He was a great source of inspiration for the youth of India and his birthday, 12th January was celebrated as National Youth Day since 1985. The theme for 2021 is “YUVAAH – Utsah Naye Bharat Ka.” This means that the youth are the excitement of India. Every child is unique in their own ways, some have already achieved their dreams, some are working towards it and the rest are on the quest of their goals.
Many children need the push to help them set afoot on their path. An environment that supports their growth is extremely important. Quality education, discipline, passion and nutritious food helps them channel their thought process.

How is National Youth Day celebrated?
To bring out the energy in young people, musical concerts are conducted across various college. To bring out freshness in ideas and trigger young minds, schools and colleges organise various competitions that help in bringing out the best of every child. Schools and colleges, dedicate this day towards the wellness of children and accommodate yoga and meditation to invigorate peace, calm and stability.

Akshaya Patra supports the future of India
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India that has been feeding school children of India by providing them nutritious meals since the year 2000. It provides mid-day meals to 1.8 million children from 52 different locations belonging to 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India. You can donate to the NGO by:

Donating towards the Mid-Day Meal Scheme
Hot and locally palatable meals are provided to children to ensure that the nutritional values are met in different tastes. Your donation of ₹1100 ensures that one child gets school lunch for every day of school.
But, following the pandemic, schools have been shut for a while now, how can you still support children?

Donating towards Happiness Kits Programme
Food items, hygiene products and study materials are provided to each mid-day meal beneficiary to help them stay healthy and keep them engaged in learning-activities. Each kit is priced at ₹550 and so far, around 5 lakh kits have been distributed. 13 lakh students are yet waiting for their share of Happiness Kit.

Akshaya Patra’s COVID-19 Relief Service
Freshly cooked meals and grocery kits are provided to people in need in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Jharkhand, Tripura, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, NCR, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. Each grocery kit priced at ₹825 feeds a family for 21 days.

Donate to feed the needy people of India and extend your warmth in crucial times when the whole youth and labour force is displaced from their jobs. Be an inspiration to others by supporting a noble cause with Akshaya Patra. Inspire the youth to do good for the nation and bring out the best in them like how Swami Vivekananda brought did for the rest of the nation.

Let’s support young leaders of tomorrow on this National Youth Day!

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Nutrition On Your Plate – Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

sanjeev kapoor

Author: Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

Millennials and Gen Z are driving societal changes whether it is creating awareness about the environment, philanthropy, or just healthy eating. But hold it. Are these young adults familiar about hunger as the latest raging and real issue at hand? Many youngsters I personally interact with, are blissfully unaware of the ‘hunger epidemic’ and the ‘hidden hunger syndrome’. Without spouting too much of statistics, let me give you the bigger picture. From a Global Hunger Index (2019) standpoint, India has been slipping up in ranking year- on- year to reach a low of being ranked 102 from among 117 countries in 2019. This literally means that more Indians go to sleep hungry, adding to the alarming situation arising due to the pandemic.

Having been associated with Akshaya Patra for many years, I must admit, that I am no stranger to the concept of ‘hidden hunger’. I have first-hand knowledge about hunger amongst India’s large populace. With COVID-19 taking over all our lives and especially underprivileged people, the dual challenges of hunger and malnutrition have really opened up another Pandora’s box. With schools shut down, millions of children who depended on mid-day meals as the only source of a nutritious meal for the day, have been facing starvation. So, what does it mean for us as a country? Are we to continue ignoring our poor citizens of a healthy childhood and later adulthood?

My own experience with caring for others has been soul satisfying. My endeavours at connecting with the disadvantaged have taught me many life lessons.

Nutritious food is a security blanket for all children who make up this country’s future generation. Allow me to cut the chase and come to the point. In India, September is being observed as a National Month of Nutrition. (Rashtriya Poshan Maah)*. In view of this, Akshaya Patra Foundation has launched the ‘Happiness Bags Programme’*. This is an initiative for the Foundation’s mid-day meal beneficiary students, who will receive a Happiness Bag with dry groceries and education supplies to help meet their nutritional needs and cover the educational gap that these students are currently facing. The Happiness Bag humbly priced at ₹550 provides nutrition, immunity, health, hygiene as well as educational materials to disadvantaged families. The nutritional value of the food contents in this bag comprise of protein, iron, iodine, and glucose-rich foods and the bag also includes an activity book to engage the student.

Being observed on September 5th, International Day of Charity is around the corner, and the day is of special relevance this year. Having seen so much of disruption all around, perhaps every individual can take a small step, more so the young folks. So, all young Indians reading this blog, make a difference and contribute towards ‘Nutrition on Someone’s Plate’ by sponsoring one ‘Happiness Bag’ this month and make someone very happy 😊.


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