A Glimpse of The Fascinating World of Akshaya Patra’s Mega Kitchens


This photo blog is a visual inspiration for all those who are intrigued and fascinated by our colossal kitchens. This blog will give you an intimate look into an Akshaya Patra kitchen, with photographs of how exactly we accomplish feeding 1.5 million children daily!

At each of our 22 kitchens, staff starts their daily ritual of cooking at 3am every morning. By 9 am, we have tasty and wholesome meals ready to spread cheer to millions of children across India.

At 11pm, while the rest of India still slumbers, kitchen staff starts arriving at our facilities in batches, to kick-start the day’s cooking. Pre-processing activities include, kitting of raw materials from the production upon verification, grinding of coconuts, mixing of spices, chopping and slicing of vegetables and cleaning of raw materials.

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By 1 am, the boiler operations start. Briquettes are loaded into the boilers for generating steam.


At 3 am, post the boiler operations and pre-processing activities, the core task of cooking starts.

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By 9 am piping hot food is packed in 304 grade steam sterilised vessels and our Blue buses are ready to whisk the gates of Akshaya Patra kitchens.

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Fuelling the Dreams of Children

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Enter a child’s mind, find their dream, and guide the mind to its destination – a trail created by Akshaya Patra’s initiative ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance.’ When a child begins to dream to achieve something in the future, it becomes an orbiting thought with zero restrictions. However, when they are made to take a step back due to their economic conditions, they lock their aspirations in the mind itself. What children need at this point is immense support from the society, a great boost to dream fearlessly and an assurance that dreams do come true.

With a belief that every dream deserves an opportunity, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has launched a project ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance’ to support the dreams of every child. This initiative will not only encourage the little minds to dream but will also act as a guiding star in getting a step closer to the dream. As a pilot project, three Akshaya Patra beneficiaries from Bengaluru went through a successful mentorship programme under the guidance of an expertise from their field of interest. Their stories highlight why it is important to give every child’s dream a fair chance.

Shivu, a 14-year-old Akshaya Patra beneficiary, is fascinated by stars—a topic that makes our mind absolutely curious. Well, this curiosity is a driving force for Shivu to achieve his dream of becoming an astronomer. Akshaya Patra’s initiative laid the runway for his dream by providing a mentorship programme under the guidance of Ms Preeti Krishnamurthy, Senior Research Fellow in Astrophysics. During his mentorship, Shivu got an opportunity to have a closer look at the sky and study the celestial objects.

Shekar built his dream of becoming a chef while helping his mother cook in the kitchen. To help him experience his dream, Akshaya Patra turned the 14-year-old boy’s dream into an opportunity by charting a month-long mentorship programme, where he developed his skills under the watchful eyes of Chef Ramasamy Selvaraju of the Vivanta By Taj.

Manjula, an aspiring actress, is a star in her own right. What the 14-year-old girl needed was an expertise to polish her acting skills into a powerful one. That happened when Akshaya Patra decided to elevate Manjula’s dream by enrolling her in a month-long acting mentorship programme at the Bangalore School of Speech and Drama under the guidance of its Founder-Director, Dr. Zulfia Shaikh.

After the successful launch of the initiative, The Foundation now plans to stretch the initiative to multiple cities across the country. It is our understanding that with right guidance, children will be able to realise their dream and also develop their skills. Join Akshaya Patra on the journey where hundreds of children from across the country will be benefitting from the initiative ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance.’ To help children dream fearlessly, the focus continues to be hunger relief among school goers through nutritious mid-day meals. By contributing Rs. 750, you can feed a child for an entire year! To help us achieve this, donate here.

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Addressing Malnutrition the Akshaya Patra Way!


Global health threats are slowly engulfing everyone everywhere. Bit by bit the world is getting alarmed by teething health problems that are increasing mortality rates especially in children all over the world. In India the situation is alarming as its children continue to be in a state of silent emergency in terms of health indicators.

It is reported that nearly 3,000 children die daily owing to malnutrition and one child dies every minute of severe acute malnutrition in India. Additionally India also continues to harbour one of the highest estimates of malnourished children in the world with a (Global Hunger Index) GHI score of (29.0).

Hence Akshaya Patra like many other NGOs of the world is trying its level best to address twin issues of hunger and malnutrition by providing wholesome mid-day meals every school day. Our mid-day meals are designed in such a fashion that children automatically get their daily intake of fresh vegetables, dairy products, cereals, beans, legumes and oils imperative for increasing nutritional levels.

However the manner of consumption also plays an effective role when it comes to providing the daily intake of nutrients and vitamins as children often do not consume the entire amount of food served to them at schools. This results in partial nutritional intake that further sustains malnutrition in children.

Hence containing sensitivity to make food more desirable and nutritious at the same time, Akshaya Patra has designed a tailored menu for the various palates it serves.

A typical North Indian menu includes:


A typical South Indian menu includes:


As one can see both the menus are robust combinations of fresh vegetables, cereals, carbohydrates, proteins, dairy products and essential fats, strictly designed under the guidance of nutritionists and food experts to address concerns of nutritional intake, food safety and food consumption in children. Akshaya Patra also makes a conscious effort to modify the menus on a timely manner so that children get more variety and a change of taste in terms of the food served. Children are also served fruits and sweets on special occasions that act as an incentive to their daily meals.

Akshaya Patra undertakes this challenging task of feeding its 1.5 million beneficiaries every school day because it believes that a balanced diet is the only natural shed children can use to strengthen their immunity system and keep their bodies free of any diseases.

In conclusion, ending malnutrition in India will not only reduce child mortality rates branching from several diseases and infections, it will also increase the overall effectiveness of the school lunch programme. Hence on this World Health Day, 2016 Akshaya Patra urges people to raise ample awareness about the pressing issue of malnutrition and its associated health risks in India. We are also of the opinion that community mobilisation and engagement of local youths and social workers can further pursue the cause so that together we can build a nation free of malnutrition for our children.

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SanDisk Employees Volunteer at Akshaya Patra’s V.K. Hill Kitchen


On 11 March, 2016, a team of 20 female employees from SanDisk volunteered at Akshaya Patra’s Vasanthapura kitchen. The volunteering was a part of SanDisk’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.

The volunteers arrived at the Foundation’s V.K. Hill kitchen at 10:30 A.M. After making them familiar with the guidelines, they were taken on a guided tour of the facility. Anilkumar T.B., AGM – Program Management, guided them through the entire process that’s carried out at this gravity-flow-based kitchen, right from the procurement process to loading of food containers in delivery vans.

After the kitchen tour, they spent an hour in the processing area, where they helped Akshaya Patra kitchen staff in cutting and cleaning vegetables meant to be used the next day. They were brimming with enthusiasm all along. Thila, a software engineer at SanDisk, was particularly impressed with cleanliness and hygienic conditions maintained at the facility.

Chaitra Thimmaiah, who was coordinating the event for SanDisk, said that the volunteers are very happy to be in Akshaya Patra’s kitchen. She mused that all of them were so enthusiastic about the whole thing that they wanted to spend more time in the kitchen and not leave so soon.

The next stop for these volunteers was Government Higher Primary School (GHPS), Kumaraswamy Layout. At the school, they interacted with students and served them sweets after lunch. The children were highly enthusiastic throughout the interaction and candid in telling what they plan to become. One of the volunteers, Upasana Gandhi said she was fascinated by this interaction with children, adding that she had never imagined that they would be so proactive.

Another volunteer, Lopamudra Sen said she was impressed with the scale of Akshaya Patra’s Mid-day Meal Programme. She said she herself having studied in a government school, understood why Akshaya Patra’s efforts were laudable and that even she felt like joining the cause in some capacity. Lopamudra had first come across the name Akshaya Patra when she received mails from the Foundation asking for donation. Now, she says, she realises why these mails are important.

On a parting note, Chaitra Thimmaiah described the experience as awesome. She also promised that the next time the number will be larger as they’ll make a conscious effort to spread the word.

Click to view exclusive images of SanDisk Employees Volunteer at Akshaya Patra’s V.K. Hill Kitchen

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The ‘will’ to do something good is never an issue; lack of time is. At least, that’s what most of us have to say. If only there were 25 hours in a day, we wish. Imagine what wonders an extra hour could do. Alas, that’s not the case. The good news though, is that 2016 is a leap year, meaning we have a whole extra day for us. That’s as good as 24 extra hours in the year. So why not put them to good use?

Well, here are a couple of things you could do, which will help us big time in our initiative.

1. Like our Facebook page
How about starting off with the simplest thing, say like our Facebook page. It will only take a second or two from your valuable time and help us reach a wider audience.

2. Share our Facebook post
In doing so, you’ll carry our message to all your friends and loved ones.

3. Write a comment
We’d also like to hear what you want to say about our initiative. We do take Facebook comments seriously.

4. Follow Akshaya Patra on Twitter
If you are on Twitter, you should follow @AkshayaPatra and help us reach a wider audience.

5. Tweet/retweet about Akshaya Patra
Your tweeting and retweeting will help us make our presence felt on Twitter.

6. Tag your friends and loved ones on social media
We need more people onboard, so why not start with friends and loved ones of our friends and well-wishers?

7. Subscribe as social media volunteer
You can become a social media volunteer for us, like and share our Facebook posts, retweet and like our tweets, share our Youtube videos, etc. Click here

8. Spread the word about Akshaya Patra
The simplest way to contribute to our initiative is to spread the word in whichever way possible. So you don’t just need to restrict to social media; even word of mouth will take us a long way.

9. Subscribe to our newsletter
You’ll get a better idea about our cause if you know what we are doing on a regular basis, and the best way to know that, is to subscribe to our newsletter. Click here

10. Read our blogs/Write a guest blog
Our blogs are informative and inspiring; more often inspiring, because they bring to you the stories of our stakeholders. You can also guest blog for us. Click here

11. Watch our videos
If you are not a fan of reading, we have a compilation of some inspiring videos for you. Click here

12. Write a testimonial
If you have something good to say about Akshaya Patra, you can write a testimonial for us. Click here

13. Read and share children’s stories
A whole day with not much to do? You can spend some time reading beneficiary success stories. They are quite inspiring, mind you.

14. Browse Hope Stories
Visit our Hope Stories website where we have documented the stories of our beneficiaries, school teachers, parents, and others involved.

15. Donate to our cause
If you believe in our cause, you can simply opt to donate to it. Your donation will help us power over 1.5 million smiles. To donate, click here

16. Start a fundraiser
You can fundraise with us, or create a fundraising campaign to help us make a difference in the lives of children. Click here

17. Sponsor our events
You can sponsor one of the several events we organise to spread awareness about our initiative. Mail us at

18. Design a banner or poster
If you are a graphic designer, you can put your creativity to good use and design a banner or poster for us. Mail us at

19. Place our banners on your website
If you have a website or blog, you can simply place Akshaya Patra banner on it and help us spread the word.

20. Partner with us
If we are to fight issues like hunger and malnutrition in India, we need to work together. We’d like you to partner with us to fight for the cause.

21. Visit one of our kitchens
If you have an Akshaya Patra kitchen nearby, you can visit the same and see how food is cooked for thousands of children. Mail us at

22. Volunteer with Akshaya Patra
If you are willing to lend a helping hand, we’ll be more than glad. You can just visit our volunteering opportunities page and browse the list.

23. Click a picture of our delivery van
If an Akshaya Patra delivery van is a familiar sight for you, you can just snap its picture and share it on social media.

24. Make a suggestion
If you have suggestions, we’d like to hear from you. We know we have a long way to go, so your suggestions are valuable for us. Mail us at

So you have 24 options to choose from, none of which will take more than a day. In fact, most of them will only take a few seconds. The cumulative effect of your actions though, will definitely benefit millions of children.

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Nurturing dreams with meals!


Fact: Children love food. They all know their favourite grub and if asked they could probably draw it too. Food is sheer love for children. Apart from keeping children energized, focused and healthy food fills them with immense pleasure and that is exactly what we do too! With our morsels of love we feed 1.5 million children every single day. Akshaya Patra’s blue vans reach platefuls of tasty nutritious mid-day meals to these innocent souls for whom that one fresh tasty meal is ample gusto to attend school without a miss!

Talking of fresh tasty meals, hear what our two little musketeers have to say about their dreams and Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meals…

Suchismita is nine years old and the eldest of the three siblings. It is her soft disposition that compelled us to talk to her when we visited her school in Puri. She is in the fourth standard and her teachers are extremely appreciative of her obedience in class. She nurtures a dream of becoming a police officer, she says, “I want to become a Police Officer when I grow up and throw all thieves in prison.” It is this sweet and innocent delivery of her dreams that makes us adore her. She also reveals that she understands about current affairs and is extremely focused to work her way up pushing all odds behind. When we asked her about Akshaya Patra’s food, she displayed a beaming smile and said, “Oh yes! I love soybean and matar paneer (peas and cottage cheese).

Another one such Akshaya Patra beneficiary is Darshan, who is a true patriot in making. He dreams of joining the Indian Army and fighting for the nation. With conviction he asserts, “I feel that when you join the army, there is a sense of pride. To fight and protect the nation is the right of every citizen in India.” Darshan’s will to join the Indian Army has stemmed from his liking for History that has acquainted him with myriad war heroes who have dedicated their lives for their motherland. It is extremely inspiring to see young minds like Darshan who at such a young age have their mind already set on what they want to become once they have grown up.

Fetching inspiration from stories of India’s struggle for Independence and the World Wars, Darshan felt that he was somehow indebted to his country. “So many people have fought and laid down their lives for this country. Why can’t I do the same?” he added. Revealing his future plans, he further added, “I have to prove my worth if I want to represent my nation. I will have to first complete my higher education and then apply for the Civil Services Examination.” Darshan has been an Akshaya Patra beneficiary since 2008 and credits the Foundation for providing mid-day meals to his school. He chirpily adds, “I like the rice and sambar (lentil based vegetable stew) served by Akshaya Patra but my favourite is bisibelebath that is served only on Saturdays.” Appreciating Akshaya Patra, Darshan further said, “Akshaya Patra’s food is not only improving the quality of life for thousands of children but it is also promising children a secured future. Akshaya Patra’s food is everything to us!

Beneficiaries like Suchismita and Darshan are only two illustrations out of the millions of how Akshaya Patra has been changing lives by providing meals of joy and hope. With every passing day we only become more passionate and committed to our mission, “To feed 5 million children by 2020” because we sincerely believe and dream of an India that will be hunger free for our children.

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Excerpts from our top blog entries!


At the end of our #BlogToFeedAChild contest with BlogAdda we are thrilled to have received such a huge and enthusiastic response from the blogging community. We have read each of your fabulous entries and been moved, inspired and wowed over and over again. Thank you for each post you submitted and your commitment to help us eliminate classroom hunger in India.

Here are excerpts from our top picks of the competition. Click on the links below the excerpts to read the complete post.

The problem I have mentioned above (under nutrition) is of gigantic proportion which needs continuous focus from the government at the centre and state level and will need a long term plan. It needs meticulous planning which I am sure we will do. It will also involve executing the plan right at the grass-root level including compulsory education to new parents about what foods to give at what age and the frequency etc. What I will touch upon, in this post, is a problem within a problem – feeding school going children thereby feeding our future. Children need to study, they need to be educated for India to enter into an even better future. The child can be from a poor household or from a wealthy family, they all need education. Basic access to meal should hardly be a barrier between their present and a fulfilling future!

Feed a child. Feed our future.. – Binu Thomas

The day without lunch turns your world upside down. Imagine that happening to kids aged below 10 years every day in school! Attending schools is a hard task in itself for most but having to do it on an empty stomach can be killing. And yet we expect our country to be 100% literate. There are 2 aspects to this. As you know most of the time the reason given by the parents who don’t send their children to school is “how will we feed them if they don’t work along with us.” The second one being that even if they send a hungry child to school who cannot concentrate in class & thinks of only food then what good would it do to the parents, the child or the system?

Food For Thought! – Ryan Fernandes

It’s high time we change the “It happens in India” attitude to “It won’t happen again in India.” Just like our great freedom fighters took matters in their hand, won freedom and shaped our country, we, each one of us can also do simple to big roles possible to erase the blots on our country… Let us all be the candle that don’t mind to burn itself to blow away darkness and bring a ray of light and hope. Imagine that feeling when a hungry/helpless child smiled and the reason behind that happiness is YOU.

Blog to Feed a Child – My Fifth Post – Manjusha Prave

This school with its practice of providing free education and free food has consequently provided our family with 1 banker, 1 teacher, 1 NASA engineer and 4 highly successful doctors. I will not say that my uncles and aunt studied so that they could eat. No. They knew that education was their only ticket out. But I am sure that the commitment they have to education and the respect they have for their parents, country and its traditions has to do a lot with the school that fed not only their hungry minds but also their hungry stomachs.

Today I blog to feed to a child – Sampoorna Satheesha

Every night 20 crore Indians sleep empty stomach, making it to 212 million undernourished people with higher percentage of children in it. Despite substantial improvement in health since independence and a growth rate of 8 percent in recent years, under-nutrition remains a silent emergency in India, with almost 50 percent of Indian children underweight and more than 70 percent of the women and children with serious nutritional deficiencies as anaemia.

Blog to Feed a Child – Novembers Child

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