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Celebrate for a Cause

Celebrate for a Cause

Celebrate Children’s Day with Akshaya Patra

childrens day with tapf

Each year, 14th November is celebrated as Children’s Day in India as a tribute to Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister. He who was very fond of children and advocated for their education and development. Several organisations and educational institutes conduct awareness campaigns and programmes on health, rights and education of children. This Children’s Day, celebrate with Akshaya Patra.

Let’s rewind few years and reach those days when we attended the school assembly to celebrate Children’s Day. Inspiring speeches by principals and teachers with the emphasis that childhood is the best phase of life… motivating plays and activities stirring our confidence ‘I will work hard and do everything to reach my goal’ and evoking the desire ‘I want an amazing future’… Now, fast forward the years to reach the present when you are reading this blog. Take a moment to ask a simple question to yourself, ‘Have I achieved what I aspired for as a child?’

There are so many of us who wanted to do something totally different from what we are actually doing today. It’s not our failure; rather as they ‘life happens’ and we put aside our dreams to address something that was the need of the hour. But, deep within the desire remains! Well, here is an opportunity to fulfil your dream!

childrens day

So many dreams and more… do you identify with any of them either completely or may be slightly? Well, these are also the dreams of 18,02,517 children who are the beneficiaries of The Akshaya Patra Foundation. And, you never know, some of them could be from your own neighbourhood too! The fact is, the progress towards these dreams is possible only when children get a chance to attend school!

School meal is a significant intervention in supporting education of children belonging to challenging socio-economic backgrounds. It is the provision of this meal that opens up the gates of school for millions of children. Akshaya Patra has been relentlessly striving for the past 19 years to provide this much-needed school meals to children. Presently, the Foundation serves freshly cooked, nutritious school meals daily to 18,02,517 children studying in 16,856 Government schools and Government-aided schools across 51 locations of 12 States and 2 Union Territories. Your support for food for education on Children’s Day will ensure that millions of children eat healthy, study well, and step closer to their ambitions.

This Children’s Day, stretch your arms to reach a child who has the determination and willpower to fight all odds to reach school and progress towards their ambitions; all they need is a little support for their school meals. Your choice to donate for children will ensure they receive their daily share of nutritious meals, regular schooling, and also make them a part of Akshaya Patra’s child-centric initiatives such as scholarship programmes, talent development programme, and school and student transformation programme.

This Children’s Day, live your dream by empowering children to reach their dreams. Support food for education.

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Support to Feed the Children

anniversary celebration

“No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.”

With this thoughtful and pragmatic vision, The Akshaya Patra Foundation began its journey as an Indian NGO way back in 2000. It took its first step by providing freshly cooked nutritious meals to 1,500 children in five Government schools in Bengaluru. The Foundation recognised the interdependency of food and education much early and hence began to spread its reach to other locations of Karnataka and eventually to other states too. Akshaya Patra’s commitment towards providing unlimited food for education has been lauded nationally and internationally earning the recognition of being the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme.

An Indian NGO, Akshaya Patra has been successfully implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme for the past 19 years. During these years, it has supported education of millions of children in need by providing them with nutritious school meals regularly and has also initiated several children-specific programmes. This year, the Foundation celebrates its 19th year of service to children.

The Foundation implements the Mid-Day Meal Programme in partnership with the Government of India, various State Governments, corporate partners, and several philanthropic donors. Akshaya Patra’s 19th anniversary celebration is also a testimony to the success of a remarkable public-private partnership. Currently, Akshaya Patra is nourishing and nurturing children in 51 locations across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India. Each school day, the Foundation provides freshly cooked, healthy, and locally palatable meals to 18,02,517 children studying in 16,856 Government and Government-aided schools.

anniversary

During the 19 years, Akshaya Patra regularly conducted impact studies in association with third-party research agencies to assess the significance of mid-day meals and its effectiveness in implementing and meeting the objectives of the Mid-Day Meal Programme. The studies revealed palpable impact of the meals on health of children, school enrolment, regular attendance, and academic performance. Witnessing this positive impact, this Indian NGO stepped up to promote overall development of children by launching child-centric initiatives such as Anganwadi Programme, Breakfast Programme, Plate Distribution Programme, Scholarship Programme, Kashirampara Project, and Talent Development Programme.

Akshaya Patra is progressing responsibly with the aim to benefit 5 million children by 2025. On this 19th anniversary celebration, the Foundation welcomes your support to nourish and nurture children of India. Rest assured, your support today will get manifested as a healthy and promising India in the near future!

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Dedicate This Kannada Rajyotsava for the Children of the State!

kannada rajyotsava

 Akshaya Patra wishes everyone a very happy Kannada Rajyotsava!

Every year, 1st November is celebrated as Kannada Rajyotsava, the day that the state of Karnataka was formed. On this day, in 1956 all the Kannada speaking areas of South India were merged into a new state. The state was initially called Mysore, but this was considered too reminiscent of the old princely regiment, and the name was changed to Karnataka on 1st November 1973.

Karnataka Rajyotsava is celebrated across the entire state with much enthusiasm. The state is dotted with red and yellow as the Karnataka flag is hoisted at all important locations, and the state anthem is sung. The beauty of this day is that it is enjoyed with much excitement across all age groups, religion and gender, making it a truly wholesome and inclusive celebration.

Kannada Rajyotsava is really a day to pay tribute to the state of Karnataka, celebrate its progress and work for its continued development. Local citizens honour the good Samaritans of the society as the State Government bestows the Rajyotsava Awards on people who have contributed significantly for the development of the state.

Akshaya Patra in Karnataka
Karnataka is the birthplace of The Akshaya Patra Foundation. Way back in 2000, the Foundation began its mission of providing ‘unlimited food for education’ to 1,500 children in five Government schools of Bengaluru. Today, Akshaya Patra supports education of 18,02,517 children in 16,856 Government and Government-aided schools across 51 locations of 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India by providing nutritious meals on each school day.

In Karnataka, Akshaya Patra provides nutritious meals to 4,02,695 children studying in 2,887 Government schools and Government-aided schools. The Foundation has seven kitchens located across the state: H.K. Hill (Bengaluru), V.K. Hill (Bengaluru), Jigani (Bengaluru), Ballari, Hubballi, Mangaluru, and Mysuru. H.K. Hill and V.K. Hill kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 certified; and the Ballari and Hubballi kitchens are ISO 22000:2005, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 certified. The kitchens in Mangaluru, Mysuru, and Jigani are in the process of certification. In addition to implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Akshaya Patra is implementing the Government of Karnataka’s Ksheera Bhagya Scheme too.

All the kitchens follow a cyclic menu thereby enhancing the nutritional component and taste of the served meals. The overall meal menu comprises of plain rice, ghee rice, khichdi, bisibelebath, khara pongal, vegetable biryani, toor dal sambar, mixed pulse sambar, dal fry, gram dal sambar, chana dal sambar, mixed sambar, moong chilk sambar, beetroot kabuli chana sabji, mixed vegetable sabji, hayagriva, daliya sweet pongal, sweet pumpkin payasam, moong dal payasam, jaggery sweet payasam, fried groundnut, and curd.

Watch Akshaya Patra Children Stories:

Way Forward
Akshaya Patra wholeheartedly acknowledges the incredible support it has been receiving from the State Government, donors, and well-wishers during its journey of 18 years. While the Foundation has been providing ‘unlimited food for education’ to the current beneficiaries, there are thousands of more children waiting for wholesome meals. And, so that it can continue to serve the children, it appeals to all for continued support. Your one moment of contributing online donation will ensure that children receive their much-needed daily school meals.

Dedicate this Kannada Rajyotsava for the children of the state.
Prepare them for the future by supporting their food and education today.

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Celebrate World Food Day with Akshaya Patra

world food day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Experience the Joy of Giving. Celebrate #DaanUtsav2019 with Akshaya Patra

joy of giving

The Joy of Giving Week, now known as Daan Utsav gives all of us an opportunity to contribute to the needy in some way or the other. Alike past years, Akshaya Patra is celebrating Daan Utsav this year too. Your choice of celebrating Joy of Giving Week with Akshaya Patra will beautifully change lives of children empowering them with health and education.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. – William James.

This thought aptly resonates with the spirit of Daan Utsav, an annual event observed in India during the week of Gandhi Jayanti i.e. from 2nd October to 8th October. Previously known as the Joy of Giving Week, it is a week-long celebration of generosity and philanthropy signifying the importance of giving back to the society. Remarkably, each year, people from all walks of life come together and selflessly contribute during this week with the notion that ‘we all have something to give’. People not only limit themselves to contributing money, but also contribute much in kind by volunteering their time, and sharing their skills and resources with the ones who are less privileged. Daan Utsav gives one and all the opportunity to bring a desirable change in the society and uphold the perspective of ‘live together, grow together, and progress together’.

Why Akshaya Patra celebrates Daan Utsav?
Children are the storehouse of joy, vitality, optimism, and hope; and it is our responsibility to ensure every child has a cheerful childhood. To keep this aspect of children intact, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been relentlessly working for the past 18 years to provide the much-needed school meals for children across India. The mid-day meal opens the gates of school for children, welcoming them to a world of learning, exploring, and growing. The mid-day meal is a source of nourishment and acts as a supporting pillar of education for these children. And it gets reflected in their health, confidence, and aspirations. Presently, the Foundation provides nutritious mid-day meals to more than 1.8 million children, on each school day across 51 locations of 13 States and 1 Union Territory. Akshaya Patra celebrates Daan Utsav with full fervour with the sole purpose of generating maximum support for these children.

Spread joy. Be a part of Akshaya Patra’s #DaanUtsav2019
Dedicate your Joy of Giving Week for children of India. Your choice of celebrating Daan Utsav with Akshaya Patra will nurture children, preserve childhood, and create a bright future.
Spread joy among children through:
• Mid-Day Meal Programme that eliminates classroom hunger, boosts learning, and supports uninterrupted schooling of children.
• Anganwadi Programme that lays a healthy foundation for life right from the beginning.
Kashirampara Project that promotes inclusivity by supporting schooling, food, and talent development of Tripura’s tribal children.
• Stainless Steel Meal Plate Programme that promotes clean and hygienic consumption of food.
• Meal Distribution Vessels that ensures all Akshaya Patra beneficiaries receive hot and fresh food every day.

You are just one click away from spreading joy. Let’s make #DaanUtsav2019 bigger and better. Donate online now.

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Celebrate Independence day by supporting Akshaya Patra, an Ngo in India

independence day

This 15th August 2019, we will commemorate our 73rd Independence Day. Along with the celebrations, indeed it’s a wonderful time to reflect on the valuable gifts, we as Indians, have received as a community and nation as a whole. We are truly fortunate to have been born in free India thanks to the immeasurable sacrifices our freedom fighters made for us and our country.

However, even after 72 years of gaining Independence, we are yet to cover a long distance in terms of education and health of children. History resonates the fact that education owes the power to bring revolutions and transformations in any society. It sets the pace for development. Along with honing the decision-making skill, education harnesses leadership capabilities of people, making it vital to be imparted from the very beginning of an individual’s life – Childhood!

In keeping with this outlook, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-profit organisation in India has been working incessantly over the past eighteen years to transform lives of children by providing them with food for education. And presently on each school day, we feed 17,65,597 school children across 45 locations of 12 states of India.

So, this Independence Day celebrate the spirit of freedom by empowering children with healthy meals on every single school day. Your support can potentially end classroom hunger from the grassroot level. Who knows, the next young “navy official” or “army cadet” is waiting for your help in their classrooms!
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Celebrate World Health Day 2019 with Akshaya Patra Children

World Health Day 2019

The predominance of nutrition crisis—covering both undernutrition and over nutrition—is a crucial pointer of a nation’s health. As India strives to achieve its social development goals, hunger is one such complex realities, which looks up for greater responsiveness.

7th April, the occasion of World Health Day presents an apt moment to review our interventions as Government, individuals, and NGOs to address India’s hunger woes.

Healthy food has a significant role to play in the holistic development and growth of children. Right nutrition at the early stages of childhood protects a child from various diseases and infections that can impede age-appropriate growth. Indeed, a healthy childhood paves the way for a healthy life. And, this is where The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s role becomes noteworthy. Alike World Health Day, which aims to provide universal health care for all, Akshaya Patra intends to give every child a healthy start to life by providing wholesome and nutrition-rich mid-day meals.

MID-DAY MEAL GUIDELINES AND OUR ADHRENECE TO IT
On 28 November 2001, The Supreme Court of India guided the State Governments to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme by feeding every child in every Government and Government-aided primary school with cooked mid-day meals. The minimum nutritional content of the school meals was fixed to 300 calories and 8-12 gms of protein on every school day. The specified nutritional content has since been enhanced to 450 calories and 12 gms protein for children in primary schools and 700 calories and 20 gms protein for children in upper-primary schools.

The mid-day meal guidelines also illustrate that the meals served must provide the essential micronutrients such as – iron, zinc, folic acid, vitamin A, etc., to the beneficiary children so as to ensure proper growth for them. Akshaya Patra diligently abides by every guideline while preparing the mid-day meals.

The NGO in India, Akshaya Patra also serves nutritious food to 3 to 6 years old children, pregnant women and lactating mothers in Anganwadi centres – a step to provide a healthy foundation during the critical stages of growth. Currently, we serve healthy meals to 1,61,410 children (aged 3-6 years) at 4,786 Anganwadi centres and 6,000 pregnant women and lactating mothers across 323 centres.

BEYOND IMPROVING NUTRITION                                                                                                                                          Akshaya Patra’s understanding of improving nutrition for children is not just limited to increasing access to healthy food. It also covers hygiene and cleanliness while preparing nutrition-rich meals every day. The visible improvement in health and performance of our beneficiary children in school activities are a testimony of the quality food served to them regularly.

Akshaya Patra makes it possible with the help of its 41 state-of-the-art kitchens. The food safety measures in the operations process have been recognised and appreciated across national and international platforms.

Thus, by implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme and Anganwadi Feeding Programme, Akshaya Patra is laying a healthy and strong foundation for growing children thereby contributing to the theme of World Health Day: “Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere.”

This World Health Day, we’re calling on everybody’s support to help us address the classroom hunger for young children in India. Be a Health Champion by gifting them the everlasting goodness of nutrition.

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70th Republic Day – Let’s progress together!

Republic day

Republic Day is a moment of pride as the entire nation comes together to celebrate the power of complete democracy. It also signifies the essence of equality without any discrimination. Akshaya Patra, a mid-day meal NGO also promotes equality by ensuring each child receives nutritious meals and rightful education.

The Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 and to commemorate this historic event, each year 26th January is celebrated as Republic Day in India. This made India an independent republic with a democratic government system i.e. the citizens of the country have the right and power to elect their representative rather than being ruled by a monarch. Indeed significant, but this also comes with the responsibility of empowering citizens to be good decision makers.

The Preamble of the Constitution of India clearly upholds ‘EQUALITY of status and of opportunity’ for each and every citizen of the country. And, this is true for access to food and education too. Access to food and education are fundamental rights of every citizen and is extremely essential for proper growth and development of children. The Government along with many NGOs are already working towards ensuring access to these basic needs and The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one among them. An NGO in India, Akshaya Patra supports education of children by providing them with nutritious school lunch on each school day. This meal has been instrumental in bringing children to school and helping them continue their education. Wholesome meals, regular lessons, and exposure to sports and co-curricular activities promote holistic development among children, who in the near future will be the decision makers of the country.

India is a land of thriving talents and skills – an element that is vital in continuous progress of the country; all we need to do is, provide a platform for these talents and skills to develop. And, schooling is the first step! Agreed, it is a humongous task to bring each child under the ambit of health and education, but it is possible to reach the last child if we all work unitedly towards it. This Republic Day, pledge to feed a child and partake in the progress of the country. By contributing online donation, you can instantly transform young lives in the most desirable way. By pledging to support children, you will also uphold the element of equal opportunity to nutrition and education for children.

Only empowered children can contribute in the progress of the country. So, on this proud moment of celebrating 70th Republic Day, let’s pledge to progress together by providing adequate support to children of the nation. Your one step towards creating a change will manifest in the most desirable way in the near future.
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Makar Sankranti Celebration with the Joy of Giving

Makar-Sankranti-with-the-joy-of-giving

Makar Sankranti marks the advent of a new phase symbolising abundance, joy, and prosperity. A harvest festival, it is celebrated across India with mush pomp and show. This Makar Sankranti, multiply your joy by including young beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra in your celebration.

Makar Sankranti, one of the most-awaited harvest festivals in India signifies new beginnings, good health, success and prosperity. It spreads the message of harmony and universal brotherhood. Each state has its indigenous way of celebrating this festival and aside from being called as Makar Sankranti or Sankrat in most states, this festival is known as Lohri in Punjab; Magh Bihu in Assam, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Uttarayana in Gujarat, Suggi in Karnataka, and Poush Sankranti in West Bengal. People celebrate this festival with much fun and frolic by offering prayers, taking holy dips, charity, preparing traditional sweets and savouries, kite flying, bonfire, revelling in folk dance and music, visiting Makar Sankranti fairs.

Makar Sankranti is another festival that reflects the amazing aspect of unity in diversity. Living up to the spirit of brotherhood and cultural solidarity, share the joy of this festive season with Akshaya Patra’s young beneficiaries too. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is currently providing nutritious meals to 17,62,133 children studying in 14,702 Government schools and Government-aided schools across 40 locations of 12 states. This meal has supported millions of children to attend school regularly, complete their education, and achieve their goals. The school lunch programme has been a remarkable pillar of support in furthering the cause of education for all.

Quoting Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, “A joy shared is a joy doubled”; and as you celebrate this festival with much fun and frolic, share the joys with young children by giving them the goodness of health and education that will pave their way to prosperity. This Makar Sankranti, add goodwill by supporting the much-needed school meals of children. Donate for a child generously and see them transform into healthy, educated, and resourceful citizens of the country. Your benevolent contribution will help the Foundation to extend the benefits of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme to many more children. Let us together empower the future of the nation, the children.

Akshaya Patra wishes each and every one a very happy and bountiful Makar Sankranti!

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Celebrate Christmas with Akshaya Patra

Christmas celebration

Christmas is here and all of us are busy decorating our houses, buying gifts, and prepping up for the celebration. Amidst all the joys we share with our loved ones, if we can add joy in the lives of needy children too, it will give a whole new meaning to our celebrations. This Christmas, celebrate with Akshaya Patra by gifting school meals to little children.

The joy of Christmas is in the air and we all can feel it. Many of us must have already decorated our houses, bought gifts, and prepped up for the celebration. A celebration that revolves around compassion, gratitude, and goodwill, many people choose Christmas as a good time to share their joys with the ones who are in need of support and care. The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an Indian non-profit organisation providing school meals to children studying in Government schools and Government-aided schools encourages everyone to include charitable acts as one of the ways to celebrate Christmas.

Akshaya Patra is one of the oldest mid-day meal NGO providing freshly cooked nutritious meals to children on school day. Currently, the Foundation is providing meals to 17,62,133 children in 14,702 schools across 40 locations in 12 states. This non-profit organisation recently completed 18 years of service and as a next step to impacting lives of children, it has started four new ‘Beyond the Meals’ initiative with the objective of providing holistic development to all the beneficiaries. The initiatives are: ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance’, Anganwadi Feeding Programme, Scholarship Programme, and Model Schools.

Akshaya Patra looks forward to impacting many more lakhs of children in the near future. By contributing charity to Akshaya Patra as part of your Christmas celebration, you will infuse health, hope, and joy among many young children. These children have the zeal, determination, and confidence to achieve their goals in life, all they need is a little support from you. The school meals bring them to school and significantly supports them in continuing their education. Choosing to feed the children with nutritious school meals will ring in pure goodwill in your lives. Your contribution to Akshaya Patra will aid the Foundation to expand its operations to more locations thereby benefitting more children with the goodness of wholesome meals.

Gifts are many, but nutrition and education are two of the everlasting gifts having the potential to transform lives of children empowering them to be skillful, resourceful, and achievers in their own fields. Make this Christmas memorable by gifting ‘unlimited food for education’ to children.

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