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Celebrate for a Cause

Celebrate for a Cause

Celebrate World Food Day by Providing Food for Children

World food day

“On World Food Day, let us each recommit to doing our part to end hunger and poverty wherever it exists.” – Barack Obama, Former US President.

16th October of each year is observed as the World Food Day across the globe. It is observed in honour of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. In order to address the various aspects of the need to tackle global hunger, this day is celebrated with a specific theme each year and the theme for 2018 is: “Our Actions Are Our Future. A #Zero Hunger World By 2030 is Possible”. Government and non-government entities advocate the need and importance of food security along with taking necessary steps to ensure food is available for all.

 Akshaya Patra and World Food Day

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO providing nutritious lunch to Government school children in India observes World Food Day not just for a day, but, every day! The NGO provides freshly cooked, wholesome, and tasty meals to more than 1.76 million children in 14,314 Government schools across 39 locations of 12 states, on each school day. By providing mid-day meals Akshaya Patra aims to counter two main issues: hunger and illiteracy. Over the years of service, the Foundation has observed that mid-day meal is a potential incentive in bringing children to school and supporting continuity of their education. Hence, World Food Day activities is an every day commitment at Akshaya Patra.

The World Food Day celebration at Akshaya Patra is being supported by noteworthy personalities from the culinary and nutrition world namely: Mr Sanjeev Kapoor, Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur; Chef Ramasamy Selvaraj, Taj Vivanta, Bengaluru; and Ms. Divya Sathyaraj, Nutritionist. They are also the Goodwill Ambassadors of Akshaya Patra and wholeheartedly support the Foundation’s cause. Here is what they have to say –

“I am happy to associate with The Akshaya Patra Foundation as a Goodwill Ambassador. Akshaya Patra is all about giving nutritious food to children. My own journey of cooking food for my family and friends and presenting it to millions of viewers on television is in absolute sync with the Foundation’s idea – the joy of giving is much more than the joy of receiving.” – Mr Sanjeev Kapoor, Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur.

“It has been a proud moment to be associated with Akshaya Patra. It gives me an opportunity to support children in the pursuit of their dreams through the Foundation’s ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance’ initiative. My association with Akshaya Patra as a Goodwill Ambassador is a step forward towards the larger goal; there are millions of dreams that need a chance.” – Chef Ramasamy Selvaraj, Taj Vivanta, Bengaluru.

“As a nutritionist I strongly believe that a healthy diet will have a profound effect on a child’s well-being; a child’s body needs nutrition, not just food. Akshaya Patra has done incredible work to end classroom hunger. Leaders like President Barack Obama have appreciated the Foundation’s outstanding work in feeding children. I completely resonate with the vision and goals of Akshaya Patra and, I am truly honoured and privileged to be chosen as the organisation’s Goodwill Ambassador.” – Ms. Divya Sathyaraj, Nutritionist.

School Meals and Dreams

When children are well-fed and well-educated, it gives them the confidence to aim and achieve. It instills in them the hope for a better and brighter tomorrow. And, this gets reflected in the words of these children:

  • “I aspire to be a District Collector.” – Y. Lalita, Visakhapatnam.
  • “My aim is to be an Astronaut.” – Atharva Ajay Kale, Nagpur.
  • “I aspire to be an Army Officer.” – Lakshmi Bai, Karnataka.
  • “My goal is to be a Physical Education Teacher.” P Narasimha Raju, Visakhapatnam.
  • “My aim is to be a Police Officer.” – Archana, Lucknow.
  • “I aspire to be a Mechanical Engineer.” – Vikas Mudi, Karnataka.

These were just a few dreams from among 1.76 million dreams that gets fuelled by the nutritious meals of Akshaya Patra!

Support Akshaya Patra, Support World Food Day

When you support Akshaya Patra, it has both immediate and gradual impact. Your one moment of generosity towards Akshaya Patra will:

  • Ensure daily school meals of children;
  • Support education;
  • Improve health and nutrition levels of children;
  • Empower children to become resourceful and responsible citizens; and
  • Make India a Zero Hunger nation.

So, this World Food Day, donate for a child, take a pledge, or share the significance of food security in your network of friends. Your care for children will pave way for generations of healthy, educated, and resourceful citizens.

“If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger.” – Buzz Aldrin, American Engineer, Former Astronaut, and Command Pilot in the United States Air Force.

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Akshaya Patra celebrates #DaanUtsav

This Daan Utsav, Be The Genie

There is no doubt that joy of giving is much more than the joy of receiving. Daan Utsav gives all of us an opportunity to contribute to the needy in some way or the other. Akshaya Patra is celebrating Daan Utsav 2018 with the hope that numerous children will be benefitted with your acts of generosity.William James has rightly said, “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” And, this aptly resonates the spirit of Daan Utsav. Daan Utsav was launched in 2009 and is an annual event observed in India during the week of Gandhi Jayanti i.e. from 2nd October to 8th October. Previously, it was known as the Joy of Giving Week and celebrates the act of generosity and philanthropy. The significance of Daan Utsav is, it encourages and teaches people the value of giving back to the society. And, remarkably, it has been observed that people from all walks of life and from all sections of the society enthusiastically participate in this celebration with the idea that ‘we all have something to give’. It has been seen that people not only limit themselves to contributing money, but also contribute their time, skill, and resources with the ones who are less privileged.

Upkeeping this spirit of giving, The Akshaya Patra Foundation celebrates Daan Utsav and runs an annual campaign to mark the Joy of Giving Week with the sole purpose of generating maximum support for its beneficiaries – the children. Akshaya Patra is currently providing nutritious mid-day meals to more than 1.76 million children, on each school day across 38 locations of 12 states. The Foundation understands the crucial role this meal plays in the lives of children. The mid-day meals open the gates of school for millions of children thereby saving them from entering the world of labour. These meals are the source of nourishment and supporting pillars of education for these children. The goodness of mid-day meals gets reflected in the joy, confidence, and aspirations of children.

To spread this goodness, Akshaya Patra wants to provide nutritious meals to more and more children. This Daan Utsav, choose to give a healthy childhood to the children of India. Dedicate your ‘act of giving’ for millions of Akshaya Patra beneficiaries and Akshaya Patra kitchens. When you donate on Daan Utsav, you will make sure children receive their much-needed school meals regularly. In addition, you will also help Akshaya Patra to equip its kitchens and increase productivity so that more children can be served with nutritious meals.

So, go ahead, this Daan Utsav, Be the Genie and fulfill as many wishes as you want. You are just one click away from granting a wish!

Donate to fulfil a wish

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Raksha Bandhan – Binding Cherished Memories

Happy Raksha Bandhan

The history of Raksha Bandhan dates back thousands of years. It is one of the oldest traditions observed in India to celebrate the special bond between brothers and sisters. It is an annual festival observed on the last day of the Shraavana month (Hindu lunar calendar) which typically falls in August. On this day, the sister ties the sacred thread – Rakhi – on her brother’s wrist and prays for his well-being and prosperity by performing the ritual of tilak and aarti; whereas the brother promises to protect and take care of his sister under all circumstances, and also presents her with gifts.

Each school day, Akshaya Patra nourishes millions of children across India. Among so many children there are many siblings who study in the same school and equally benefits from the mid-day meal. This Raksha Bandhan, we bring you a small story of one such brother-sister duo who believes in ‘sharing is caring’.

Kaveri and Darshan

Akshaya Patra Beneficiaries

Kaveri and Darshan study in the same school and has the vision to serve the nation and the people. Darshan, a student of Standard VII aspires to join the Indian Army in the future; and his sister, Kaveri, a student of Standard V aspires to be a doctor. Their parents work as street vendors to support the family, but despite hardships, this brother-sister duo is determined to achieve their dreams.

When asked about the kind of relationship they share with each other, Darshan being the elder one replied promptly,

“We believe in sharing is caring. We share our food, toys, stationeries, and even sweets. Both of us love the pulao that is served as a part of our school lunch. I promise to take care of my sister at all times. I want to help my sister with her studies in whatever way I can, and want to see her achieve the dream of becoming a doctor.”

To this Kaveri quickly added,

“And, I want to see my brother as an Army Officer. And, I want to be the first one to salute him.”

Well, as is evident, they not only share things, but also share the same wish for each other!

Alike Kaveri and Darshan, there are many brothers and sisters who despite all odds always care for each other and support each other’s dreams. And, celebrating this special bond of love, care, and protection,

Akshaya Patra wishes everyone a very Happy Raksha Bandhan!

Be a part of this celebration and support the bond of siblings by providing them the access to food and education. This Raksha Bandhan donate to Akshaya Patra in honour of your sibling.

If you wish to share your special ‘Brother & Me’ or ‘Sister & Me’ story, please make use of the below comment section. We would love to hear it!

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Developing A Hunger-Free India

Developing-A-Hunger-Free-India

Categorically defining, youth is the crucial stage between childhood and adulthood, people falling within the age bracket of 15 and 24 years. The support received and the development undergone in this stage defines the future progress of a person, to a large extent. It is this category of people who has the ability to directly influence their individual lives and the progress of the society, making them an important section of the community. They are the torchbearers of the society, of our nation.

International Youth Day

The International Youth Day is an awareness day observed annually on 12 August since the year 2000. It has been designated by the United Nations with the purpose to address the cultural and legal issues of youth worldwide. Youths have been recognised to play a key role in peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts. Each year the day is observed with a dedicated theme with ‘Safe Spaces for Youth’ being the theme for 2018. The theme expresses the need for safe spaces for the youth to come together, engage in various activities related to governance and public matters, partake in decision-making, and a space to exercise freedom of expression. In short, providing a safe platform for the youths to grow and develop into mature and responsible citizens.

Independence Day of India

India got its independence from the long reigning of the Britishers on 15th August 1947. It has been 72 years since India is breathing in the air of freedom. During these years, India has made huge progresses and developments in all fronts. It has established itself to be one of the most promising nations in the world. And, soon it is going to embrace the title of being the youngest nation with 64% of its population falling in the working-age group.

Is India ready for this new title?

Statistically, India is at the moment struggling with:

Social issues

But, it is also aggressively addressing these disheartening and acute hurdles with promising and potential interventions such as:

Initiatives

Implication of these initiatives

Though it may take a while before we can declare India as a hunger-free nation; yet the above-mentioned interventions have directly impacted and have shown results in countering the current health and nutrition status among children. The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO, has been actively involved in implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in partnership with Central Government, various State Governments, and philanthropic donors. This Indian NGO has been in the service of nourishing children for the past 17 years. Currently, Akshaya Patra is providing nutritious meals to more than 17.5- lakh school children in 38 locations across 12 states of India. Over the years, tangible and sustainable change has been observed in the health and nutritional status of children. Click here to view the positive impact mid-day meals has had among children.

Akshaya Patra’s role in youth development

Nourished children will become healthy youths, educated children will become aware youths, and coached children will grow up to be responsible and empowered youths. Thus, Akshaya Patra while implementing the core mid-day meal programme is also engaged in other feeding and developmental activities to ensure children receive the right nutrition and the right training at the right age. This mid-day meal NGO is involved in providing nutritious food to Anganwadi centres along with coaching mid-day meal beneficiary children in various forms of arts, sports, science related spheres under its initiative ‘Giving Every Dream A Chance’.

Giving every dream a chance

Thus, by making available nutritious food, supporting education, and providing coaching for talent development, Akshaya Patra is creating a strong foundation for generations of healthy, conscientious, and responsible Indian youths.

Conclusion

In précis, the youth is directly responsible to sustain the independence of a nation. They are directly responsible for the future developments and progresses of a nation. Having said that, we must also realise and act to empower them in a way that they direct their energies and talents in the right direction and for the right purpose. But, for that, we need to begin nourishing, nurturing, and moulding them from their childhood. Akshaya Patra gives you a platform to get involved in supporting education of children by providing them with wholesome food. This Independence Day, join hands with Akshaya Patra to give the nation healthy, educated, and resourceful youths. #Pledgetofeed.

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Father’s Day celebrates the caring and protective spirit of fathers

Happy Fathers Day

Father is an epitome of protection and care. Studies reveal that men are biologically programmed to care and provide. No wonder then, that our fathers show their love best by doing something for us. The third Sunday of every June honours fathers worldwide. Non-profit organisations around the world use the occasion to pay tribute to fathers on this day.

How did Father’s Day originate?

There are several interesting stories that are associated with the celebration of this day. In most countries, Father’s Day is observed on the third Sunday of June, but in Europe and Latin America, fathers are honoured on St Joseph’s Day, which is a traditional Catholic holiday that falls on March 19. The Spanish and Portuguese brought the sentiment to Latin America.

A story goes that Sonora Dodd from Spokane, a city in the state of Washington in United States of America, was raised by her father – a single parent – along with five other siblings. When she heard a Mother’s Day sermon in 1910, she felt that fathers must be honoured too. So Dodd began a campaign for a day dedicated to celebrating fathers. The first such Father’s Day was finally celebrated in Spokane in 1910, followed by several towns and cities in America.

Another story is about one Grace Golden Clayton from Fairmont, West Virginia. There was a mine explosion in a nearby town that had killed more than 360 men. Grace argued that the children of these men needed a day or time to remember and pay tributes to their fathers and so, the day was celebrated in 1908.

Whatever the history, it’s a wonderful day that unites the world in honouring fathers. Apart from other bodies, non-profit organisations like Akshaya Patra channelise resources to honour fathers who encourage their children towards education. The organisation involves people on the occasion to help feed the children during its school lunch programme. Several donors come forward to sponsor a child or sponsor kitchen equipment every year as a gesture of honouring their fathers. Many of the Foundation’s employees are fathers, striving hard to give their children a good life and the organisation values their efforts.

What can you do on Father’s Day?

You can choose to be a child’s godfather on Father’s Day. All you need to do is sponsor a child and help Akshaya Patra feed millions of children by this single gesture. This may be through an online donation or a fundraising campaign.

Beneficiary schools organise events in their premises, encouraging children to write, draw or express feelings for their fathers in several other ways. You may find such a school near you in these states – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh. You may choose to visit some of these schools and talk to children and teachers during lunch time and witness for yourself How Akshaya Patra’s meals benefit children.

Father’s Day this year can be channelised towards furthering the education of children through nutritious meals. You may easily do so by sponsoring a child.

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All For A Greener Earth This World Environment Day!

World environment day

June 5th every year marks World Environment Day. This day brings to spotlight, the importance of our environment and the need to preserve the environment for the generations to come. This is a time to collectively address the needs of our Mother Earth and seek ways on how to save the environment. Undertaking this task is of supreme importance because, we the 7.4 billion-inhabiting this planet have only one thing in common and i.e. our home.

Every individual’s actions have profound implications on the environment, however minor or major. Mankind’s practices like hyper-consumerism, environmental pollution, tremendous industrialisation, and throwaway culture has caused environmental degradation that is only augmenting with time. To address this issue, we at Akshaya Patra, have adopted eco-friendly methods to implement our Mid-Day Meal Programme.

Biogas Plants: Under the Go Green initiative, Akshaya Patra has adopted new organic waste to biogas systems in its Ballari and Vasanthapura kitchens. These plants convert organic waste into energy thereby reducing cost and dependency on LPG. Besides this, it also produces volumes of enriched organic manure that help supplement chemical fertilizers. The biogas plants also help in eco-friendly handling of food wastages of approximately 20 metric tonne every month. Read more at Biogas Plant at kitchens of Akshaya Patra

Solar Plant: The solar plant installed in the Vasanthapura kitchen runs with the use of photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert sunlight to direct electricity. The electricity generated is not only sustainable but also environment friendly as solar plants produce no environmental pollution (zero emissions). The solar plant generates 1100 units of power thereby saving up to Rs. 8,000 per month on electricity. To know more about it, visit: Solar plant at VK Hill Kitchen

Biomass Briquette:  These are perfect substitutes to coal and charcoal and are used extensively in our kitchens. Through this, we attempt to conserve our much depleting non-renewable sources of energy like coal.

Effluent Treatment Plants: These plants help in scientific handling, disposal and recycling of runoffs and kitchens wastes. This helps in reducing smell and spillage thereby preventing environmental pollution.

Reed Bed Plants: Some kitchens use this measure to curb discharge of untreated water into the environment. Waste water from the kitchen is directed to the Reed Bed Plant which filters the water in a natural way and makes it suitable for irrigation and cleaning of external kitchen areas. While curbing the discharge of untreated water into the ecosystem, this also makes the water reusable.

Recently, Akshaya Patra inaugurated its largest hi-tech kitchen in Kandi, Telangana. This kitchen is equipped with a couple of eco-friendly technologies such as ReFlex Reverse Osmosys System, COMBLOCK Boiler for steam generation, and ANDICOS Waste to Energy Generation System. The ReFlex Reverse Osmosys System and ANDICOS Waste to Energy Generation System are the first of its kind technologies in India and are pro-environment measures. To read more about the Kandi kitchen and its technologies, visit – Hi-Tech Mega Kitchen.

Besides the aforementioned initiatives, Akshaya Patra has also optimised its meal delivery routes to reduce carbon emissions. In precis, we at Akshaya Patra have adopted these eco-friendly initiatives to help conserve our environment. We are determined that these undertakings will save the environment and additionally will help us take bigger strides in feeding more children!

For the benefit of our future generations, Akshaya Patra invites your participation in its efforts to conserve the environment. Please share your ideas and suggestions on how to save the environment in the below comments section.

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Mothers are the pillars of strength

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Have you noticed the brightness in her eyes when you laugh?
Have you felt the unrest in her when you are sick?
Have you sensed the pride in her when you succeed?
Have you seen her pray quietly when you step out of the door?
Have you watched trying her best to cheer you up on a rather gloomy day?
And, have you realised that she never asks anything in return
for all that she does for you each and every day?
That’s the grace of a Mother!

Mother’s love is the strongest, the most selfless of emotions. And, nothing in the world can be compared to it. Mother’s Day celebrated on May 13 this year (the second Sunday of May) celebrates the care, love, commitment, and strength of every mother. It is a day to salute the woman who has silently dedicated each day of her life to you.

Akshaya Patra has always had the pleasant opportunity to associate with mothers. Be it in the form of employees, mothers of beneficiaries, would-be mothers (through the feeding initiative of expecting and lactating mothers) or mothers of employees.

This Mother’s Day, we share a small story of a mother-son duo who advocates the significance of education.

Mother & Son

Naveen, an Akshaya Patra employee has been working in the organisation for the past one year as part of the Vehicle Maintenance Team. He ensures all vehicle-related issues are attended to and solved without any delay. While he was pursuing Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, a sudden financial crisis compelled him to discontinue his studies and seek for a job. It was then that he was referred to Akshaya Patra.

Acquainted with Akshaya Patra’s mission, Naveen was happy to join the Foundation. With a fulfilling job in hand, now Naveen not only takes care of his family but has also resumed his studies through correspondence.

When asked about the kind of relationship he shares with his mother, Naveen replied promptly,

My mother has always been very supportive of my education. She is a staunch believer that education is extremely important for a better life. And, so that I successfully complete my schooling, she always provided me with whatever I needed. She constantly encourages me to work towards my goals. My mother was deeply saddened that I had to discontinue my studies to help the family sail through the tough times. But, now that I have resumed my studies, she is happy.

Hearing this, Lalithamma, Naveen’s mother added with moistened eyes,

I never knew my little son has grown up to be so mature.

Adding her opinion on schooling and her thoughts about Naveen she said,

Schooling is very important for every child. School gives children the opportunity to mingle with other children. It is a place where they learn from each other and they become more social and more accepting. For this reason, I always strived to provide all that was needed for Naveen to complete his schooling. Agreed that times were not favourable, but I was totally disheartened when Naveen had to seek a job instead of completing his studies. But, probably it was God’s way of giving him a chance to work for a good cause. Today, I am a very proud and happy mother. My son is working with an organisation that provides food to school children. As a mother, I understand the importance of a good meal in a child’s life and the satisfaction of mother to see her child eat stomach full of food. It fills me with joy to see that while supporting the family, Naveen is also taking care of his studies.

Like Lalithamma and Naveen, all of us have our own special story. And, celebrating this special bond, Akshaya Patra wishes everyone a very Happy Mother’s Day!

Support the mother’s who wish their children to get proper education: Donate in honour of mother

Please use the below comment section to share your special ‘Mom & Me’ story. We would love to hear it!

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Akshaya Tritiya – The perfect time to gift a plentiful plate of food to children!

Akshaya-Tritiya

Akshaya Tritiya, signifying ’the day of gold‘, falls on between mid-April and mid-May on the third day of the lunar month’s bright half. It is the birthday of the goddess of food – Annapurna Devi. The festival holds great importance for the Hindu and Jain communities.

The question is “Akshaya Tritiya is only about buying gold?”

The word Akshaya stands for ‘unlimited’, while Tritiya means ‘third day’. There are a lot of legends that are associated with this occasion. One famous reference is found in The Mahabharata, when the Pandavas had to go into exile for 13 years in the forest. During this exile, quite a lot of Brahmanas followed them. But Yudishthir requested the Brahmanas to turn back, since he couldn’t provide them with food or protection in the forest. However, the Brahmanas refused to return and decided to fend for themselves. Grieved over his inability to provide them with food, Yudhisthir then cried out and meditated on Surya, singing hymns in his praise. Surya then appeared before Yudisthira and gave him Akshaya Patra – the vessel of unlimited food. The entire troupe then set out to Kamyaka forest, since they now had an unlimited supply of food.

Much like the Akshaya Patra in the Mahabharata, The Akshaya Patra Foundation too aims to be an unlimited source of food for the unfed children of India. Through our school lunch programme, run alongside the Government of India, we feed the children in Government and Government-aided schools across India.

Thus for us, Akshaya Tritiya is the most auspicious occasion to encourage more donors to donate for the cause of Food for Education and join hands in feeding the children of India. Donating on Akshaya Tritiya gives you an added blessing as your charity is going for a noble purpose that completely lives up to the spirit of this occasion. As a gesture of homage on the birthday of Annapurna Devi, you can choose to provide ‘anna’ to the children by feeding them with nutritious meals through Akshaya Patra’s school meal programme.

We wouldn’t be the ‘unlimited vessel’ for the purpose of feeding the children had it not been for generous donors around the world. You may choose to make use of the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya in order to reach out to the future of our nation – our children.

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Celebrations for a new beginning!

New Year Celebration in States of India

New beginnings, new promises, and joy and celebrations fill the air across India as the month of April sets in. This spring month rings in New Year for many Indian states. Yes, India celebrates New Year in various regions at various times – typifying the diversity of culture and traditions in the country.

Just like each region has its unique culture and tradition, it also has its specific day to celebrate New Year based on the solar and lunar calendar.

Between 13th and 15th of April, New Year is celebrated as Rongali Bihu in Assam, Bishuva Sankranti in Odisha and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu.

Here is a quick look at the vibrant celebrations across the states:

Rongali Bihu in Assam

Rongali Bihu
Image credit: www.india.com

Rongali Bihu marks the New Year and the beginning of the agriculture season in Assam. This spring festival is celebrated with much enthusiasm, faith, and joy. Amidst traditional rituals, music, dance, and regional delicacies, this festive season spreads the message of happiness, good regards, and comradeship in the society.

Amidst pulsating revelry, we must also remember our fellowmates, especially children, who would love to be a part of the celebrations but are devoid of basic needs like food. Here, the service of The Akshaya Patra Foundation that has been operating in Assam since 2010 becomes evident. Akshaya Patra, a mid-day meal NGO in Assam is striving towards transforming lives of children by providing freshly cooked, nutritious lunch to children on each school day.

Presently, it is impacting 47,249 children in 607 government schools in the state. This Rongali Bihu, you can make a lasting difference in the lives of these young children by supporting our cause and filling the year for these children with the goodness of healthy meals and richness of rightful education.

Maha Bishuva Sankranti in Odisha

Maha Bishuva Sankranti
Image credit: www.bhubaneswarbuzz.com

Maha Bishuva Sankranti or Pana Sankranti is the traditional New Year in Odisha. People offer prayers at temples, perform rituals, visit fairs, spectate various activities such as dances, acrobatics, ancient forms of performances such as fire walks, and relish delicious feasts. This auspicious occasion is considered to bring prosperity in the fresh year.

While paying respect to age-old customs, let’s also take note of our future progress that rests in the hands of the children. Let us make a conscious effort to provide for children who have the zeal to learn but lack in resources. Akshaya Patra, a mid-day meal NGO operating in Odisha since 2006 is striving towards improving lives of children by providing freshly cooked, wholesome meals to children on each school day.

Presently, it is impacting the lives of 1,80,140 children in 1,840 government schools in the state. This Maha Bishuva Sankranti, choose to positively alter the future of young children by supporting our cause and aiding children for a prosperous future.

You can support our cause at: Feed the hungry children

Puthandu in Tamil Nadu

Puthandu
Image credit: www.browngirlmagazine.com

Puthandu is the traditional New Year day celebrated in Tamil Nadu. The day is characteristic of rituals such as wake up to the sight of a traditional tray arranged with flowers, jewellery, money, betel leaves, areca nuts, three fruits – bananas, mangoes, and jackfruit, and a mirror, and making kolam – traditional design made on floor with coloured rice powder; and making The festival symbolises hope for new opportunities, growth, and prosperity.

Most us may follow the tradition to wake up to a sight that is considered to bring good fortune. But, there are many who wake up every day with the looming doubt of whether or not they will receive the day’s meal; and these unfortunate mornings are a part of young children’s lives too!

This Puthandu, give new hopes and signs of prosperity to young children by supporting Akshaya Patra’s cause of providing food for education. Akshaya Patra, a mid-day meal NGO provides freshly cooked, healthy meals to 731 school children in the state on each school day.

Other States Celebrates New Year as

  • Baisakhi in Punjab
  • Poila Boishakh in West Bengal
  • Vishu in Kerala

We may belong to different states, yet we are united with the common thread of being Indians. These traditional festivals bring families, friends, and the entire community together. Along with the pomp and show, these festivals spread the message of unity, brotherhood, and cultural solidarity. They teach us to spread hope, joy, and good regards, while also encouraging the practice of offering charity so that the entire society can progress and prosper together. So, in the spirit of unity and the festive season, support and convey your affection to those little Indians who equally deserve to celebrate but may not have the means to!

Akshaya Patra wishes each and everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year!

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

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We, the People of India | Creating a Progressive Future

Republic day

The power of the people manifested itself to win India freedom from an oppressive colonial power in 1947 and January 26, 1950, cemented its position in history as a republic. We, the people of India, are the ones who made this Republic; who continue to make this Republic.

Every revolution in the world started with We, the people. The will of the ordinary man fused with that of his/her fellow citizens to form a force. This force, against oppression, against the denial of basic rights, became a movement and permeated the collective conscience of the people. It instigated them to rise in revolt against the forces that kept them from their right to liberty, justice, equality and a decent life.

The preamble of the Constitution of India talks about ‘EQUALITY of status and of opportunity’. One of the important means to ensure this equality is by making education and its fruits available to the children of this great nation, who are brimming with potential. Making this a reality is full of challenges. A study conducted by UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) jointly with Global Education Monitoring Report in 2016, found that 47 million children dropped out of school by Std X. It also revealed that India has the third highest number of out-of-primary school children at 2.9 million, who have never attended school. One of the biggest roadblocks to education in the country is poverty, the study found.

Although the statistics of children attending schools in India is a little worrying, however, there is room for improvement. Our national development plans need to focus on the root cause that is poverty, which has forced many children quit education to support their family. Child labour is one such plague which is a direct outcome of poverty and due to this social and economic differences often families prefer earning instead of educating their children. A proper meal is all that these children look for every day and we as a society need to fight hunger and provide better opportunities to the young minds.

Role of NGOs and role of a social worker is crucial in today’s generation as they help us reach the ground level. We as a part of the society can build a system where children are fed properly and given equal opportunities irrespective if their background. The mid-day meals provided by Akshaya Patra works as an encouragement for all these children who might come from a challenging background but has high hopes and big dreams to achieve.

Akshaya Patra works in partnership with the Central and State governments of India to implement its Mid-Day Meal Programme, the largest of its kind in the world operated by an NGO.

With over 1.6 million beneficiaries in 12 Indian states, the Foundation’s ‘Unlimited Food for Education’ philosophy has fed the dreams of numerous children over the years. Its immediate mission is to feed 5 million children by 2020 every day, with a nutritious school lunch cooked in its ISO-certified, state-of-the-art kitchens.

Let this Republic Day celebration be towards the fulfilment of the dreams of India’s young hearts and minds. Pledge to feed the children and help the nation take a leap towards progress by contributing to a bright future lit with success and education.

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