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5 Benefits of Youth Empowerment

Youth Empowerment

It is typical of me to ask children what they want to become when they grow up. So, when I threw open this question to a bunch of children, this is what they had to say:

Beneficiaries Dreams

You see, you just have to give children the opportunity to express, and they will overwhelm you with their responses. Probe a little more by asking ‘Why?’ and they will surprise you by telling the precise reason behind their aspiration. And, I bet it is the same with every child.

What next?

It is not enough to just know about their aspirations. As adults, we need to give an environment, an opportunity where children can live their childhood, explore their interests, learn and experiment, and hone their skills to achieve their goals. In one word, we have to ‘empower’ them. By definition, empower means to make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

Empowering children

Here, I would like to use the term ‘youth empowerment’. It is a process by which children and young people are supported and encouraged to take charge of their lives by making informed decisions for the benefit of the self and the society. Youth empowerment involves:

Youth Empowerment

The benefits of youth empowerment are:

1. It allows children and young people to explore, discover and develop their skills and strengths
2. It makes youth responsible and self-reliant
3. It makes youth more aware of themselves and the world
4. It gives a sense of direction helping youth from getting lost or falling into the dark trap of crime.
5. It instils a sense of confidence and makes youth resourceful and reliable

Role of NGOs

Several NGOs have taken up youth empowerment as their core cause. These NGOs provide training, guidance, and job opportunities to youth depending upon their respective interests. But, there are other NGOs that indirectly influence youth empowerment, and The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one among them. Before I tell you more about it, it is important to understand that empowerment is a nutshell of developing health, positivity, self-control, communication skills, intellectual skills, decision-making skills, a moral outlook, life coping skills, and pro-social connectedness.

Being a mid-day meal NGO and serving school lunch to children, Akshaya Patra is empowering children by:

• Providing them with nutritious meals to support healthy growth
• Encouraging them to attend school and receive education
• Offering them a platform to hone their hidden talents as part of the Foundation’s ‘Giving Every Dream     A Chance’ initiative.
• And, most importantly by giving them the hope that their dreams are achievable

Here is quick clip showing Akshaya Patra’s role in empowering children:

He is just one among the 1.7 million beneficiaries whom Akshaya Patra is empowering each day.

What’s the conclusion?

It is important that children get the advantages of youth empowerment. It will not only develop them but also benefit the society as a whole. It becomes our responsibility to empower children so that they can achieve what they have dreamt of.

We would love to hear from you. So, feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions on youth empowerment in the below comment section. And, of course, do tell us how you would like to empower children.

And yes, the bunch of children at the beginning of this blog, they are all Akshaya Patra beneficiaries!

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Akshaya Patra’s All-new Mega Kitchen at Kandi, Telangana

Kandi kitchen

Strategy, planning, and Public-Private Partnerships have resulted in the steady growth and expansion of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

Inaugurated on: 30th March 2018 witnessed the inauguration of the Foundation’s largest one-of-a-kind high-tech mega kitchen in Kandi, Telangana

Feeding capacity:  Over 1 lakh children in the region on each school day

Guests at the event: The kitchen’s inauguration was graced by Honourable Shri Kadiyam Srihari, Deputy Chief Minister & Education Minister, Telangana; Ms. Sudha Murty, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation; Chanchalapathi Dasa , Vice Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation; Satya Gaura Chandra Dasa, President, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh; and other eminent state dignitaries.

To get the glimpse of the inauguration, visit: Kandi photo gallery

The kitchen has been established in partnership with Infosys Foundation. With a grant of INR 18.50 crores, Infosys Foundation has covered the entire construction cost of this kitchen.

All the dignitaries appreciated the efforts of Akshaya Patra and Infosys Foundation for establishing state-of-the-art mega kitchen. They expressed their support and encouragement for this new beginning.

To read the complete coverage of the inauguration, visit: Kandi Kitchen inauguration

The Kandi kitchen is spread across 64,438 square feet area with many salient features making it a state-of-the-art kitchen facility:

Silikal Industrial Flooring

Silikal flooring
Silikal flooring used in the cooking area

The Silikal flooring is a completely non-porous, seamless, sealed surface which means no fissures or holes will be formed thereby reducing the colonization by microbes and bacteria and contributing to better hygiene. This flooring is resistant to alkalis, acids, greases, oils, salts and other aggressive media, and can withstand both hot and cold conditions. Its anti-skid quality prevents accidental slips and falls, plus it has a long durability with limited maintenance and lower lifecycle cost.

ReFlex Reverse Osmosys System

ReFlex RO systems
RO system setup at kitchen premises

This is a water purifying system to make it more potable. It features Desalitech’s patented Closed Circuit Reverse Osmosis (CCRO) process that can recover up to 98% of the water treated. Flexible operation and resistance to scaling and fouling greatly improve the reliability of ReFlex RO systems. Operators can easily and automatically cope with variations in feed water and operational requirements.

COMBLOCK Boiler for Steam Generation

COMBLOCK Boiler
Advanced COMBLOCK boiler setup

Generally there are two major options for a solid fuel fired steam boilers: Integrated Furnace Boiler and Hybrid Boiler. COMBLOCK Boiler is the latest in Boiler Technology which combines the best of the two designs and represents the best technological solution. It is highly compact, efficient, skid mounted and modular. It can reduce carbon footprint by up to 40%, and the pre-insulated and factory assembled feature reduces site work by up to 80%. It is quick to start and copes better with load fluctuations thereby increasing efficiency by up to 85%.

ANDICOS Waste to Energy Generation System

Bio-methanation process

The Andicos design integrates state-of-the-art technologies like INDION IPC MBR and INDION Advanced Bio-methanation process to treat a combination of solid waste generated in sewage treatment process and organic kitchen waste generated in the kitchen. The combined waste is first homogenized in a pre-treatment process followed by the bio-methanation in INDION Advance Bio-methanation Reactor. The resultant biogas is further polished in a post-treatment process to produce energy using biogas engine. The heat generated from the biogas is used to dry the excess sludge to produce organic fertilizer for use in agriculture and landscaping.

The ReFlex Reverse Osmosys System and ANDICOS Waste to Energy Generation System¹ are the first of its kind technologies in India. The mentioned features of the kitchen will contribute to enhanced hygiene, increased production efficiency, and reduced cost along with being more environment- friendly.

Watch out this space to know more about the other salient features of this mega mid-day meal kitchen. We would love to hear from you. Share your ideas in the comments section and also spread the word in your network about the Foundation’s cause.

Reference:

equitybulls.com/admin/news2006/news_det.asp?id=225197

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Akshaya Patra: Steering Towards Better Tomorrow

Better Tomorrow

The Akshaya Patra Foundation strives to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in India. The NGO addresses the need of wholesome meals for children by implementing mid-day meal programme in government schools and government aided schools.

The aim of the Foundation is to make sure that no child stays deprived of education due to hunger. Through the mid-day meal programme, we ensure to feed the millions of young minds and encourage them to fulfill their dreams. Every child is born special, one might want to be a doctor and the other one might want to be a dancer, but every dream of the glittering eyes is worth it. But just like a sapling needs care and nurturing, we too need to nourish our children for paving a better road for them.

Akshaya Patra understands that with every passing day, the world is continuously innovating itself. Foundation continuously leveraging technology to cater to millions of children. Its state-of-the-art kitchens have become a subject of study and they attract curious visitors from around the world. Akshaya Patra has 34 kitchens spread across 12 states in India, a result of the successful partnership with the Government of India, various State Governments and generous supporters.

Our Achievements:

  • National Award for Child welfare 2016
  • Entered Guinness World Records
  • Supported Flood-relief Efforts by Handing out
  • ICAI Gold Shield Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 2016-17
  • Started Great India Talent Foundation, a quality day-boarding
  • Launched a mobile laboratory to monitor food quality across kitchens in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
  • Serving milk every day to 3.34 lakh children in Bengaluru and Hubballi
  • Akshaya Nidhi extended the meal programme to employees of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and construction workers as well

Akshaya Patra Achievements

Our New Initiative:

  • Expanding our operations by adding 14 new kitchens
  • Extending our reach to over 1.8 million children through 5 kitchens launched last year
  • Mentoring over 100 children each in Vrindavan, Odisha, Dharwad and Hyderabad under our initiative ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance’
  • Providing academic scholarship to over 500 children for higher education
  • Providing free-of-cost quality education to children in Vrindavan and Tripura through Great India Talent Foundation
  • Supporting 5,000 widows in Vrindavan through Widow Mother Feeding Programme

Giving Every Dream a Chance

We at Akshaya Patra believe that every child deserves to be treated equally and should be given equal opportunity to grow and accomplish their dreams. You can be a blessing for a child and share your happiness with them by donating for a child/children for 1 year. This time feel the joy of sharing happiness with a child. Support Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal programme.

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All for the Youth!

National youth day

Our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi averred, “If we have to promote the development of our country, then our mission has to be skill development and skilled India. Millions of Indian youth should go for acquisition of skills and there should be a network across the country for this and not the archaic systems.” Keeping this thought in mind, after campaigns like ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ Narendra Modi has launched a new programme called ‘Skill India’. This is a multi-skill programme exclusively launched and designed for the youth of our country to usher multiple job opportunities and prevent brain drain form our country.

On the occasion of National Youth Day we will delve deep into the importance and relevance of skill development. India since its inception has been struggling with issues of unemployment and poverty that go hand in hand in our nation. Today according to the Labour Ministry report on Youth Employment-unemployment scenario, it is found that the unemployment rate is 13.3% for the age group 15-29. The report further observed that “people are actually overqualified for the job they are doing and therefore society is losing their valuable skills and forfeiting stronger productivity growth that would have been achieved”.

Therefore it can be clearly stated that Modi’s ‘Skill India’ programme is indeed the need of the hour. Where 1 out of every 3 individual in the age group of 5-29, who have completed at least their graduation are found to be unemployed, vocation training and skill development is the only medium by which the youth can be empowered and unemployment and poverty can be kept at a bay. ‘Skill India’ aims at providing skill development to 40.02 crore youth of India by 2022, covering every Indian village for which various training programmes and schemes have already been proposed.

What’s new in ‘Skill India’?

In order to guarantee skill and trained manpower Skill India programme unlike the earlier skill development policies where stress was given only to traditional jobs, promises equal emphasis to all kinds of jobs. Earlier, the responsibility was divided among various ministries, but this time all ministries are clubbed together for a greater success of the programme. Not only that, even corporate educational institutions, Government and non-Government set ups are expected to contribute considerably leading to greater youth development in the shortest time possible. Under this programme even jobless and dropouts will be given value addition by providing certificates that will be recognised by private and public agencies including overseas organisations after successful completion of a particular skill development programme.

Advantages of ‘Skill India’:

  • Increased employment
  • Raise confidence among the youth
  • Improve productivity and knowledge
  • Enable youth to get blue-collar jobs
  • Development of skills at school level
  • Balanced growth in all sectors
  • Equal importance to all jobs
  • Compulsory soft skill training for every job aspirant
  • To touch base with rural and remote India

On a comprehensive note ‘Skill India’ is by far one of the best initiatives the Government has taken. Providing vocational and soft skills training to youths of India that has the highest demographic dividend is indeed a noble and judicious undertaking. If this programme succeeds then India will definitely have 40.02 crore trained workforce by 2022.

Focusing on programmes for a skilled India, Akshaya Patra works in partnership with the Government of India to enhance the skills of the workforce involved in the mid-day meal programme.

The organisation also conducts massive training for number of cook-cum-helpers of Mid-Day Meals Programme, across India; in association with Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

Akshaya Patra believes that skilful people means a ‘skilled India’ and it is committed to participate in all initiatives that cater to developing ‘Skilled India’.

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Akshaya Patra – Powering through to realise its Mission 2020

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We’re midway through 2017 and the year has been an exciting one for The Akshaya Patra Foundation so far! New beginnings, new kitchens and many more beneficiaries – the Foundation is well on its way to fulfill its mission of feeding 5 million children by 2020.

In the northeastern part of the country, Akshaya Patra expanded its reach to the state of Tripura. Our kitchen, at Kashiram Para in the Kanchanpur Sub-division of the state, is a centralised kitchen feeding a total of children. This our second kitchen in the northeastern states, the other one being in Guwahati, Assam, which feeds 47,249 children in 607 schools.

Bhavnagar kitchen

Our kitchen at Bhavnagar

We also added to our reach in Gujarat, with our kitchen at Bhavnagar – the fifth largest city in the state. This kitchen – a centralised kitchen – serves meals to 28,000 children in 57 schools in the state. The kitchen was inaugurated by Shri Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat and was set up with assistance from our donors – Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC),
Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) and Gujarat Gas Ltd (GGL).

We are also in the process of significantly expanding our reach in Uttar Pradesh (UP) with the launch of 11 new kitchens. These kitchens will be set up in the cities of Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, Etawah, Kannauj, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Rampur and Ballia. Currently, we have kitchens at Lucknow and Vrindavan in UP. The establishment of the 11 upcoming kitchens will take our reach in the state to 13 lakh beneficiaries from the 2,11,680 children we are currently feeding there.

The Foundation will also expand its reach in Rajasthan, with our sixth kitchen there at Bhilwara. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed for the same with Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (RECL), in the presence of Mr Harsh Baweja, Chief Project Manager of RECL Jaipur; Shri Govind Dasa, President of Akshaya Patra Rajasthan; and Shri Raghupati Dasa, Programme Coordinator – Akshaya Patra Jaipur.

Watch this video featuring Akshaya Patra’s mega kitchen to know how the Foundation prepares wholesome meals for school children every day

Akshaya Patra’ kitchens – the force behind its school lunch programme – adhere to the strictest qualities of hygiene while cooking tasty, nutritious meals. The Foundation’s expansion across India will feed the cause of ‘food of education’ through its state-of-the-art kitchens to benefit the nation’s future – its children. You can join the cause by making a donation to help ensure that no child is deprived of education due to hunger.

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Plant-based diets contribute to good health and a greener world

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Millions of children across India are nourished with Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meals every day. These meals are purely vegetarian, including a plethora of vegetables, pulses, legumes and nuts, calibrated to provide adequate amount of nutrition to children. The Foundation’s commitment to vegetarianism stands firm, as the world discovers the many benefits of plant-based diets. These include the obvious health benefits (since the foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and antioxidants, among other nutrients), along with a positive impact on the environment.

So, what are these benefits that come with consuming food items from the plant kingdom? The base of good health is laid in childhood, with a robust diet and adhering to plant-based eating habits can be richly rewarding. Firstly, a vegetarian diet has been proven to reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. It also aids weight loss and metabolic control. Another significant advantage of including food items sourced from plants is its positive effect on cardiovascular health and prevention, reduction and even reversion of heart disease. Vegetables with high fibre content, along with minerals and vitamins, help prevent the clogging of arteries and reduce stress.

Plant-based diets also score high on the impact they have on the environment. A study published in the science journal Nature by scientists from the University of Minnesota in the United States of America stated that plant-based diets could reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions across the world and lessen the impacts of climate change driven by food production. The Akshaya Patra Foundation recognises this and has always gone the extra mile to be greener – it has undertaken the task of installing biogas plants and solar panels at its kitchens across India, making use of renewable energy to prepare its meals. Additionally, vegetarian diets are more sustainable compared to its alternatives because plant-based agriculture isn’t as resource-intensive as other forms of agriculture.

The world is embracing vegetarianism with renewed vigour and as more benefits of plant-based diets are revealed, it is becoming a movement that gathers momentum with every successive year. Akshaya Patra’s beneficiaries love the tasty, healthy vegetarian fare served by the Foundation, which fuels their dreams each school day. To make sure that they receive these nutritious mid-day meals every day, contribute to the cause of Food for Education here.

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Consuming With Care This Earth Day!

720-X-240 Earth Day!

Each year the world unites to celebrate Earth Day on 22 April to demonstrate their support and concern for global environmental issues. This modern environmental movement is observed to put an end to the escalating issues of environmental degradation and to increase awareness among people to make a bid for change!

We the 7.4 billion inhabiting this planet, must understand that this is our only home, and it is our collective responsibility to preserve it so that we can pass on a green planet to our next generation. Hence we at Akshaya Patra have adopted certain eco-friendly initiatives, in our attempt to redress our earth from this cesspool of environmental degradation.

480-X-280 biogas imageAkshaya Patra as a part of its Go Green initiative has adopted a new organic waste to biogas system at its Ballari kitchen. This Biogas technology is among the most proven processes, which converts organic waste into energy. This Bio Gas plant processes 1,000 Kg of kitchen waste per day that includes vegetable rejects, cooked food waste, replacing LPG. On an average this technology helps us save around three LPG cylinders per day. Besides converting vegetable wastes and cooked food wastes and rejects into LPG it also generates large volumes of enriched organic manure through anaerobic fermentation, which can supplement or even replace chemical fertilizers.

A similar Biogas plant has also been installed in our Vasanthapura kitchen in Bengaluru. This plant produces 1,400 kilograms of Biogas monthly that is equal to 700 kilograms of LPG. Hence approximately Rs 38,500 is saved every month towards LPG purchase. Besides reducing cost towards purchasing LPG, it also helps in eco-friendly handling of food wastages approximately 20 metric tonne every month.

These Biogas plants significantly lower the greenhouse effects on the earth’s atmosphere. The plants also lower methane emissions by entrapping the harmful gas and using it as fuel. Biogas is also an efficient way of energy conversion as it saves non-renewable source of energy. It also helps in effective disposal of kitchen wastes and effluents thereby improving hygiene and most importantly the environment.

Another environment friendly initiative adopted by Akshaya Patra is the Solar plant in our Vasanthapura Kitchen in Bengaluru. This plant has the capacity to produce 1100 units of power a month that is used to run all kitchen appliances. This solar plant runs through the use of photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert sunlight to direct electricity saving Rs 8,000 per month. The electricity generated through these PV cells helps in running the entire kitchen facility till four am in the morning.

Besides the Biogas Plant and the Solar Plant, Akshaya Patra has also opted for other green practices. One such initiative is the implementation of effluent treatment plants in our kitchens that help in efficient handling of run-offs and wastes. We have also optimised our meal delivery routes to reduce carbon emissions. Akshaya Patra has also implemented the use of Biomass briquettes as fuel for our boilers substituting coal and charcoal, thereby conserving non-renewable source of energy that is fast depleting from our planet.

Akshaya Patra is also aiming to adopt these green technologies not only in our Karnataka kitchens but across all our kitchens in Pan India. Committed to working towards a greener future, we are constantly looking out for ways of implementing eco-friendly technologies in our kitchens that will ensure reduction of negative human impact on the environment as well as replace the use of LPG in our kitchens.

Akshaya Patra as a non-governmental organisation is happy to do its bit towards conserving our planet and its resources. We at Akshaya Patra sincerely believe that most of the environmental concerns would disappear if humans refrain from using coal, petroleum and natural gas for power generation, and shift their focus on renewable sources of energy like wind, solar and hydroelectricity that are naturally replenished!

 

 

 

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International Women’s Day: Women Who Inspire

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“The history of all times, and of today especially, teaches that … women will be forgotten if they forget to think about themselves.” – Louise Otto

Annually, March 8 is observed as International Women’s Day to celebrate women’s economic, political, and social achievements throughout history. While the same is observed across the world, many women are of the opinion that there need not be a designated day to celebrate their courage and strength.

Women’s Day is meant to spread awareness about the progress women have made over the years. It’s always good to spread the word about someone’s achievements as they then inspire thousands of others; point in case the inspiring story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who braved terror to fight for female education.

There is no dearth of such inspirational stories. Take, for instance, the story of American tennis player, Billie Jean King, who fought for equal pay in the sport, or Rosa Parks, whose refusal to vacate her seat became a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

Then there were women like Hellen Keller, who campaigned for deaf and blind people after losing her hearing ability and sight at the age of 19, and Margaret Thatcher, who defied all odds to become the first female Prime minister of Great Britain.

Names like Maria Sharapova, Saina Nehwal, and Mary Kom, who have taken the sporting world by storm, need no introduction. Then there are the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook; Chanda Kocchar, CEO of ICICI Bank, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, etc., who have made it big in the corporate world. Each of these women—and many more like them—have inspired thousands of others to achieve what they want to.

Back home, we have a whole list of inspiring women; Rani Laxmibai, Savitribai Phule, and Annie Besant being some of them. Also, there are women who dedicated their entire life for a cause. One apt example of the same is Mother Theresa, a selfless nun who served people with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, etc., throughout her life.

You don’t need to look beyond your surroundings to find women who are putting in great deal of efforts to ensure that things are smooth; your mother or wife, or maybe your colleague. In fact, we at Akshaya Patra are surrounded by these superheroes who work tirelessly to bring about smiles on children’s face.

You yourself must have looked up to some of these women for inspiration. If you have, we would like to know who was your inspiration and why. You can share it with us here or on Facebook. Like we said earlier, it’s important that the remarkable achievements of these women reach out to the whole world as their stories have the potential to inspire.

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Towards Social Justice, One Meal at a Time

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In his message for the World Day of Social Justice, Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: With exclusion and inequality on the rise, we must step up efforts to ensure that all people, without discrimination, are able to access opportunities to improve their lives and those of others.

As a concept, social justice stresses on equality in terms of wealth distribution, opportunities, and privileges in a society. While that may seem elementary, it’s something that our society needs to be reminded of, every now and then, and that’s why 20th of February every year is observed as the World Day of Social Justice.

On paper, it definitely comes across as something noble—the concept that is, and it’s highly unlikely that you will come across someone who doesn’t speak in its favor. However, when it comes to application, even the ardent supporters of the concept tend to falter; courtesy, inherent bias.

The divide between haves and have-nots is perhaps nowhere as stark as it is in schools in our country. Imagine, during the lunch break, some children are eating from their lunch boxes, while some have to settle with water, as they can’t afford food. It may come as a surprise, but that was exactly the case in several parts of the country until recently.

Then came the Mid-day Meal Scheme (MDMS), to implement which the Government of India got into a partnership with certain NGOs; The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF) being one of them. It brought about a positive change in our society and took us a step closer towards a world where there would be no need to observe a day to remind us of the importance of social justice.

Having said that, it’s important to note that Akshaya Patra had set on this path long before the Mid-day Meal Scheme was initiated. It came into being in the year 2000 and 15 years down, has reached far and wide. The pan-India spread of Akshaya Patra, with 24 kitchens across ten states, serving over 1.5 million children in over 11,000 schools every day, means there is no scope to falter.

It’s doesn’t make sense to have a wide reach, if you are not able to adapt to the requirements of different regions. Therefore, regardless of whether it is Baran in Rajasthan or Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Akshaya Patra thrives to stay true to the local preferences, which is why the diet is wheat-based in North India and rice-based in the south.

It’s always important to walk the talk; all the more when it comes to social justice, and Akshaya Patra, with improving socialisation among castes as one of its objectives, does that and more. In fact, Akshaya Patra prides itself in being a secular organisation. In a country where caste has long been reinforced in the social fibre, it’s important to put in efforts to break the caste divide. What better way to do that, but to use meals to bring children together—staying true to the phrase, bonding over food.

We often hear about how Akshaya Patra thrives to address issues like hunger and malnutrition in the country by eliminating classroom hunger. While the focus is indeed on eliminating classroom hunger and at the same time, improving enrolment and attendance, it doesn’t mean its impact is restricted to the field of education and nutrition. There are other areas where the organisation is having an impact; promoting socialisation among castes is one of them; facilitating women empowerment by providing employment opportunities is another.

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Be our catalysts of change!

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Every year on 26 January India ardently gears up to celebrate its Republic Day with invigorated zeal and honour to mark the evolution of a ‘Republic India’ from British hegemony. The flavour of the day is showcased by royal parades, spectacular aerobatics by Indian fighter jets showcasing cultural wealth, martial supremacy and sky soaring patriotic fervour. It is a day of celebration for every Indian as Indian citizens unitedly celebrate this day by putting cultural and communal differences in their backseat.

But in the midst of festivity and gala we often become oblivious of the fact that though we have attained sovereignty there are certain teething challenges in India that have been a concern for the nation since its inception. One such challenge is food insecurity leading to poverty and malnutrition. The day food insecurity will cease to prevail in India; citizens will witness a new dawn of a truly republic and welfare India.

Hence recognising the importance of eradicating hunger and malnutrition, we at the Akshaya Patra family since 2000 have made continual strides to feed as many children we can through our Mid-Day Meal Programme. We humbly started with feeding 1500 children and today we are feeding 1.58 million children every day across India.

Akshaya Patra truly believes that on this Republic Day we all should become catalysts of change to build resilience against hunger so that our children do not face food insecurity. We strongly urge every individual to associate with our humanitarian cause and donate towards feeding more vulnerable and undernourished children so that with your support and contribution we can march towards our mission “to feed 5 million children by 2020”

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