International Mother’s Day, celebrated on 10th May, marks a day to pause and acknowledge the crucial role that mothers play in shaping our family, community and country. At Akshaya Patra mothers play a vital part in the organisation’s philosophy, and the Foundation works to support them in numerous ways.
Akshaya Patra provides employment to over 2,200 women across the organisation. In the two decentralised kitchens alone the Foundation employs almost 1,500 women from self-help groups in the region. By providing equal opportunity for growth and development, regardless of gender, Akshaya Patra has provided an avenue for these ladies to become financially independent, improve their social standing within their community and they also serve as a positive example to their children.
Through the daily mid-day meal programme Akshaya Patra also helps to ease the mother’s burden of providing daily nutritious food to her child. Very often the beneficiaries of the programme are the children of the ladies employed within the kitchens. This has provided an opportunity for the mothers to prepare the tasty, nutritious food for their very own children, and ensure the children stay enrolled in school to get educated.
Jeeku Behn, mother of young Bharwad Gopal Hamili Bhai from Gujarat says, “The mid-day meal programme has made our life easier since all my four children are beneficiaries of this scheme. Most of our dinners are just a Bajri roti and Mirchi (Indian bread made of millet consumed with chilies). My children go to school with a glass of milk in the morning since it’s not possible to give them nutritious food with vegetables and pulses. It is difficult for us to afford such a meal every day.”
The Foundation also knows how important it is for mothers to have access to nutritious food too, especially during pregnancy and after. To support them during this time, Akshaya Patra provides healthy food filled with vitamins to almost 6,000 mothers across nearly 300 Anganwadi centres in India every day.
L. Kumari, a beneficiary of the Anganwadi programme, expressed her happiness over being provided fresh and nutritious food every day right from her pregnancy. “The doctor too has confirmed that my son and I are very healthy. We got to eat varieties of vegetables rich with vitamins and proteins which we can’t afford,” she said.
The secret recipe to Akshaya Patra’s food is that it is cooked with the love and care of a mother to her child. In celebration of this and mothers everywhere, Akshaya Patra made a short film ‘A morsel of love‘ showcasing real mothers from the kitchens preparing food for the young beneficiaries.
If you would like to help us support more mothers and their children, click here.