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NMIMS student discovers the joys of teaching at Akshaya Patra


Recently volunteers from business schools visited Akshaya Patra to train some of our staff in using Microsoft Excel. The employees who opted for the training programme were from different age groups, and departments in the kitchen operations. Bikash Tripathy, a student of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Bangalore, was the instructor at our Vasanthapura kitchen. He was amazed by the zeal and enthusiasm shown by the employees at Akshaya Patra.

“I never expected them to show that amount of dedication towards something which they were asked to participate in voluntarily,” he said. As an example he mentioned Siddesh, age 21 and Mahadeva, age 35, who excelled at the training. Siddesh and Mahadeva have completed their PUC and do data entry jobs at Akshaya Patra.

“What made the initiative so enjoyable to me was the approachability of the employees. They did not consider me an instructor, but accepted me as a friend. I believe their spirit is what makes Akshaya Patra an organisation that students of my institute will choose to volunteer at year after year,” Bikash added.

– By Nitish Sahay

(Intern from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies)

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Buy a #TicketToCheer: Support your team and a child


Raise the cricket fever to the next level by taking part in #TicketToCheer supported by ESPNcricinfo, foodpanda and freecharge! This initiative undertaken in aid of Akshaya Patra gives cricket fans an opportunity to buy a ‘ticket to cheer’ for their favourite team in the World Cup, and use their passion for cricket to support a child’s mid-day meals for an entire year.*

All it takes is four simple steps:

  • Select your favourite team and match
  • Choose the number of tickets, and contribute to the cause (Each ticket is valued at Rs. 750, enough to feed one Akshaya Patra beneficiary for an entire year)
  • Receive your Ticket to Cheer for your selected team and match
  • Share your personalised Ticket to Cheer on social media

#TicketToCheer is a fabulous chance for fans to come together to support their favourite teams and celebrate the spirit of sportsmanship on social media, and change the life of a child at the same time. In addition to this participants can also avail of a 100 per cent tax exemption on all donations above Rs. 500!

So log onto #TicketToCheer right now to support your team, and help feed a child for an entire year!

*The initiative provides an opportunity for fans to express their support for their favourite teams, and underserved children through social media. However it does not provide access related to the ongoing cricket world cup.

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Fighting hunger with #MusicForMeals


Saavn, India’s No.1 digital music service, has partnered with Akshaya Patra to launch #MusicForMeals with the goal of feeding 5,000 children the mid-day meal on every school day for an entire year!

This initiative is the first of its kind, powered by music listening on Saavn. For every hour of music streamed via their website on apps, Saavn will donate towards one Akshaya Patra mid-day meal for one child.

Speaking on the vision behind #MusicForMeals Rishi Malhotra, Co-Founder and CEO of Saavn says, “Our goal as a company has always been to be as impactful as the music we stream to millions of users every day. Just as we have become India’s music streaming service, we want the Saavn team and our users to make a lasting difference in the world, especially in India, where children are the next generation of students, leaders, entrepreneurs, and the future of the country. We’re launching #MusicForMeals so that our users’ love for music can translate into sending children to schools for wholesome meals, on a daily basis. We are inviting other companies to join #MusicForMeals as it is an opportunity for all companies to collaborate and make a lasting impact. As we add millions of users and streams this year, we’ll grow our support for #MusicForMeals alongside it. We believe music can truly change the world in every way.”

Saavn will make a monthly donation to Akshaya Patra which will be implemented across the Foundation’s beneficiary schools in India. They just made their first contribution of Rs. 3.12 lakh to Akshaya Patra this February.

Shridhar Venkat, CEO of The Akshaya Patra Foundation conveyed the organisation’s happiness over the venture saying, “We appreciate the philanthropic values of Saavn and thank them for #MusicForMeals. This initiative by Saavn will help in serving meals to many underserved children on school days, helping them with an opportunity to attend school, focus and learn.”

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An inspiring exhibition – A Wall of Hope and Joy 2015


We recently hosted ‘A Wall of Hope and Joy – 2015’ our annual photography exhibition from 24th to 26th January in Bangalore! The exhibition which was hosted at Mantri Square Mall was a huge success, with crowds of shoppers streaming in to take a peek at the beautiful photographs up for display, as well as local TV channels and newspapers. The event was inaugurated by Praveen Methil, Head of Mantri Square, and Shridhama Krishna Dasa from ISKCON.

The exhibition showcased different kinds of images. It featured:

  • Images exemplifying Akshaya Patra’s work in providing the mid-say meal programme and its operations processes
  • A thematically designed display of images showcasing the experiences and emotions of childhood. The themes were ‘A belly full of fun’, ‘Moments under a hopeful sky’, ‘Chasing dreams’, ‘As you like it’ and ‘Feeding 1.4 million children. Every day.’
  • The top 50 images from Click a Smile 2014, Akshaya Patra’s annual photography competition. This contest was a resounding success with almost 1,500 photographs from nearly 50 countries worldwide being entered.
  • Akshaya Patra images from famous photographer Vicky Roy

The exhibition which was on from 11am to 8pm on all three days was a stunning visual representation of Akshaya Patra’s aim to eliminate classroom hunger, and its mission to feed 5 million children by 2020.

The exhibition served to educate the visitors on the need to provide food for education, and also remind them of the glorious times of childhood. It helped convey the message that childhood is a time of hope and joy, something millions of children in India are denied.

Through these inspiring, evocative images Akshaya Patra hopes to have touched the noble heart of the public, and sparked the flames of change for the future.

Visit the Wall of Hope and Joy 2015 photo gallery here.

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Fly beside your favourite celebrity


Imagine what a grand opportunity it would be to spend an hour or two picking your favourite celebrity’s brain?

That’s the chance you get with Fly with VIP, an initiative that seats a lucky person beside a celebrity to chat and ask questions for the duration of a flight. The proceeds from this initiative will be donated to a charity of the celebrity’s choice. Akshaya Patra has been chosen as the beneficiary by Bollywood celebrities Amitabh Bachchan, R Balki, Akshara Haasan and Dhanush R!

Participants can vie for this opportunity in two ways: by bidding in an auction where the highest bid wins the seat, or by taking part in a lucky draw contest where each raffle ticket costs Rs. 100. The initiative also allows participants to place non-binding bids without any information regarding the celebrity’s flight date or sector. When the celebrity makes a travel plan, participants who booked in advance will take part in a one-hour long auction for the seat.

The auction for seats beside Amitabh Bachchan, R Balki, Akshara Haasan and Dhanush R for their flight on 2nd February from Mumbai to New Delhi closes on 30th January!

Click here to start bidding for the opportunity to spend time with your favourite star, and support a noble cause too.

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Register now for Click a Smile 2014


Click a Smile, our annual international photography competition, is back! Better and bolder than before, we’re just raring to kick start our month long competition. So whether you are a professional or an amateur photographer, but you have passion and soul in your images, then you need to take part in our contest!

So here’s what you need to know about Click a Smile 2014:

  • You need to take a photograph of a smiling child (or children), from anywhere in the world, and send it in to us
  • The photographs will be judged by an exclusive panel of judges and the top three will be selected
  • The winners will receive a trophy, certificate and surprise gift from Akshaya Patra!
  • Competition dates: 20th November to 22nd December, 2014!

Click a Smile celebrates the innocence and joy of youth that can be seen in the smile of a child. This is our effort to celebrate children, and the need to make their formative years as secure and joyous as possible. After all, childhood is the best time of a person’s life.

Last year Click a Smile brought in over 700 entries from across 7 countries! This year we know we can beat that and raise the bar even higher. So log onto the Click a Smile 2014 website for more details, and register now!

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Blog for a cause!


We don’t have to be global leaders and corporate moguls for our words to make a difference in the world. What if you, by simple virtue of penning down your thoughts, could help tackle the problem of classroom hunger in India?

The Akshaya Patra Foundation and Blogadda have teamed up for a worldwide blogging competition running for four weeks till 14th December, 2014. Bloggers will have to write on the topic ‘How do we eliminate classroom hunger? Imagine what India would be like if no child goes hungry and an entire generation is educated! Blog and make a difference with Akshaya Patra and Blogadda.’

Participants of the competition have to register themselves on the website, and submit their blogs before the closing date. For every blog submitted, Blogadda will feed one beneficiary of The Akshaya Patra Foundation for an entire year.

From the entries Akshaya Patra will choose the top five blogs which will be featured as part of an exclusive series on the Foundation’s official blog, and promoted via social media channels. Each contestant can submit up to five entries for the competition.

This competition provides bloggers with a platform to express their views on how to tackle the issue of childhood hunger in India and its social impact, and also provides a means for them to directly contribute to the improvement of a child’s life.

So give your words the power of change. Register now.

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volunteering opportunities tailor made to you


Getting involved in a charitable organisation is a very personal decision, one that is approached differently for each person. The kind of charity chosen; the amount of time, effort or money spent; or the degree of personal interaction with the charity all vary depending on the nature of the donor. That’s why we at The Akshaya Patra Foundation have made it a point of vital importance to have a range of engagement options to choose from. After all, working for a cause should be as enriching for you as it is for us.

So if you would like to get involved with Akshaya Patra, here are some fun options to choose from, and there’s something for everyone:

Organise an activity – If you are the go-getting, detail-oriented, list-making type, raise awareness for the cause by organising an event at a Government school where Akshaya Patra serves the mid-day meal, or at another suitable venue. Else you can also take part in an event that is being organised by the Foundation. Have fun planning and executing the programme with the help of the Akshaya Patra team! (Know more)

Support us online – For those of you who are more homebody’s, help spread the word by promoting Akshaya Patra on your social networking sites, blogging about us, registering yourself as an online fundraising volunteer, forwarding our mailers to your family and friends, using our screen savers and posters for your computer, and introducing Akshaya Patra to your online communities and fans. (Know more)

Partner with us – Do you have a business you would like to associate with Akshaya Patra? Then make us a part of your CSR plan! Start a long-term campaign, or a yearly contribution; make a single donation or raise awareness for us, there’s lots you can do if you choose to partner with us. (Know more)

Fundraise for us – Be the local hero by fund-raising with us, either at home, at school or in the community. Do it yourself, or get a team together to create your own fund raising campaign and run the show right from getting it started to paying in the funds. Remember more funds means more food, for more children, and you can help us get there! (Know more)

Banner Advertising – Download and print our banners and put them up in your locality to let people know about Akshaya Patra. Simple yet effective, this easy solution will help us reach out to a lot more people through you, than we could alone. (Know more)

We understand that we all have different lives and needs. If you don’t have the time or energy to devote to our cause, a single/repetitive donation will still make a big difference. If you would like to fill your day or change your lifestyle, volunteer to spend time at the schools with the children or coordinate for a programme. You can do as much or as little as you wish and we will appreciate you whole-heartedly all the same. Join with us, so that together we can #EndClassroomHunger.

If you have any other ideas/queries, write to us at

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CSR: A commitment to a cause


When it comes to supporting worthy causes, corporates especially play a central role in helping NGOs and other philanthropic organisations achieve their goals. Corporate Social Responsibility is not just about donations made by a company towards a charity. Rather it signifies the commitment of the organisation to work towards the betterment of society, while adopting business strategies and policies that are in favour of these goals.

Corporate Social Responsibility has been a big boon in our mission to #EndClassroonHunger. With the help of various large organisations Akshaya Patra has succeeded in improving the lives of thousands of hungry children across India. The following CSR campaigns with Akshaya Patra have been highly effective through their innovative concepts, yielding results either through donations of money or food products.

Sugar Free ‘Donate Your Calories to Help Nourish Children’ Campaign: Zydus Wellness Ltd. has partnered with Akshaya Patra through ‘Sugar Free’, their sugar substitute brand. The campaign highlights the dichotomy between people who carry excess weight versus the thousands of people who are severely malnourished in India. According to the campaign, for every usage of Sugar Free, the consumer saves a number of ‘unwanted calories’ which are then converted to ‘useful calories’ through a monetary contribution to The Akshaya Patra Foundation. Zydus Wellness made a token donation of 5 million calories toward Akshaya Patra for this campaign, which will be monetised later.

Protinex ‘Nutrition at Re. 1’ Campaign: Protinex, the leading protein supplement brand in India, donated Re. 1 to Akshaya Patra for every tin of Protinex Original sold. The organisation adopted 3,500 children across 28 schools, and donated Rs. 27 lakhs to The Akshaya Patra Foundation during the course of this campaign. ‘Gift A Tara’ Campaign:, an interactive online platform for children teamed up with Akshaya Patra to help children ‘Gift a Tara’. The platform allows children to read, watch videos and more, to earn stars. These stars can be donated by the children towards an underprivileged child, converted to real money, and spent on the cause of food for education.

Kellogg’s Breakfast Campaign: Kellogg’s India launched a campaign with Akshaya Patra to spread awareness on the importance of eating breakfast. People were asked to make a pledge for the importance of eating this meal, and for every pledge a breakfast would be gifted to a child. The breakfast kits were distributed in some of the schools where Akshaya Patra serves the mid-day meals. In their kit, Kellogg’s included a 127gm pack of Kellogg’s Chocos or Kellogg’s Corn Flake, one sealed 200ml Tetrapak of milk, a bowl and spoon, and a small printed pamphlet to educate the children about the importance of breakfast. In total Kellogg’s India distributed 100,000 breakfast kits in Bangalore.

Vasudev Adiga’s ‘+ 1’ Campaign: On Children’s Day, 14 November, 2013, Vasudev Adiga’s a chain of restaurants across Karnataka started their ‘+1’ campaign where the cost of every item on the Adiga’s menu was increased by Re. 1, and the proceeds were donated to Akshaya Patra. Vasudev Adiga’s made a donation of Rs. 36.5 lakhs to The Akshaya Patra Foundation by the conclusion of the campaign.

Jackfruit365 Campaign: In this campaign, for every pack sold the Jackfruit365 team would make a donation of a sponsorship fee amounting to five mid-day meals, ask their restaurant and corporate-cafeteria partners to donate towards one mid-day meal for every meal they serve with Jackfruit365, and ask their well-wishers to donate generously towards The Akshaya Patra Foundation, and help provide food for education to children in need.

Aside from these, Akshaya Patra has been fortunate to partner with numerous other influential organisations like Infosys, Steel Authority of India (SAIL), Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), Jamsetji Tata Trust, Cisco, GE Healthcare, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), The Hans Foundation, Union Bank, SBI Mutual Fund, Corporation Bank, and many others as part of their CSR programmes.

Undertakings like these have been instrumental in our fight to #EndClassroomHunger in India. Through these and many other CSR activities, Akshaya Patra has been able to share in the drive and determination of inspiring organisations to improve the welfare of less fortunate children in society.

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A birthday return gift


Happy birthday, dear reader!

So where’s the party going to be? We simply love birthdays! There’s such an air of excitement – of the gifts you will receive, the heartfelt wishes that make your day, the big or small bash you’d share with your loved ones – each moment of the day is special. This year, we’d like to make a small suggestion to make your day a little extra special.

Give a return gift to a child who is #HungryForSchool.

There are millions of children in India who do not go to school, as they work to earn their daily meal. At Akshaya Patra, we give them a ticket out of this vicious cycle. We provide them with a hearty lunch at school. Does it work? There has been a spike of 28 per cent in enrolments this year, and it is directly attributed to the food we serve.

So how much does it take to feed a child who is #HungryForSchool? Rs. 750 is enough to feed one child for a whole academic year. We ask you to make a small contribution on your big day, and make a huge difference to a child’s future. This year, have a blast, or have a quiet party, but share a slice of your joy with a child who is #HungryForSchool. Give him/her a return gift of Rs. 750.

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