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Akshaya Patra serving food to flood-affected people in Coorg

Coorg Flood Relief Effort

The lush green hill district and one of the main tourist attractions of Karnataka, Kodagu, popularly referred to as Coorg, is in a devastating state this monsoon. The merciless rains and unprecedented landslides have wreaked havoc in the entire district claiming lives and livelihoods, destroying homes and civic amenities, swallowing villages, rendering thousands of residents homeless, and altering the landscape with newly formed meandering courses of rivers and streams.

As rescue and relief services are pouring in to help the affected people, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has also stepped in actively in the relief work by providing cooked meals to affected people in Coorg.

More images from the scene: Flood Relief Effort in Coorg

Location of relief work: Kushalnagar, Madikeri

Relief workers: A team of Akshaya Patra employees are actively involved in providing food to the people.

Period of relief work: Akshaya Patra began serving cooked meals from Monday afternoon i.e. 20 August 2018

Meals served: From two make shift kitchens in Kushalnagar and Madikeri, Akshaya Patra is serving the meals on a daily basis to the affected people inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Distributing the food

Type of meals served: Dishes like upma, puliyogere, pulao, and rice and sambar are being served in the affected district.

Delivery of meals: The Akshaya Patra’s team with the help of distribution vehicles are delivering meals to the affected people of Coorg.

Status of the relief work: On-going

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General

Akshaya Patra serving food to flood-affected people in Kerala

Akshaya Patra Flood Relief

At the moment, Kerala is reeling under its worst flood since 1924. The torrential rains and landslides that hit the state of Kerala has ravaged the entire state since 8 August 2018, submerging many cities and villages thereby crippling normal life and services. Reportedly, around 10 districts have been severely affected and the entire state has been put under high alert. While the state is receiving help from the entire nation to deal with this unprecedented crisis, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has also stepped in actively in the relief work by providing cooked meals in flood-affected areas.

Know more: www.akshayapatra.org/news/akshaya-patra-distributes-food-for-people-at-kuttanad

More images from the scene: www.akshayapatra.org/photo-gallery/akshaya-patras-flood-relief-service-in-kerala

Relief work by Akshaya Patra

Location of relief work: Edathua, Alapuzha District

Number of relief workers: A team of 25 Akshaya Patra employees are actively involved in the relief work.

Period of relief work: Akshaya Patra began serving cooked meals to from Monday night i.e. 13 August 2018

Number of meals served:

From a make shift kitchen in one of the college’s auditorium in Edathua, Akshaya Patra is serving approximately 7,000 – 10,000 meals on a daily basis to the affected people inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Serving the meals

On 18 August 2018, Akshaya Patra dispatched three trucks from Bengaluru loaded with food packets and water bottles to Kerala. The NGO dispatched:

• More than 77,000 chapatis,
• 730 packs of fruit bread,
• 10, 872 water bottles (500 ml each), and
• 5,400 water bottles (1 litre each).

Food loaded truck

Water bottles

By far, Akshaya Patra has already served more than 1 lakh meals in the Alapuzha region.

Akshaya Patra is prepping up to send more food to Kerala in the coming days. Check this space for recent updates.

Type of meals served: Most of the dishes are prepared in coconut oil to suit the local palate. Dishes like boiled rice and sambar, vegetable pulao, tomato rice, upma, chapati and curry are served in the affected district.

Delivery of meals: Akshaya Patra team with the help of four distribution vehicles are delivering meals to the affected people of Alapuzha.

Food delivery van

In areas where vehicles can steer through, cooked food is being delivered to people in Akshaya Patra delivery vans.

Reaching through water

The areas where the rising water level has restricted vehicle movement, food is being transported in boats.

Akshaya Patra relief center

Some people also come to the temporary kitchen arrangement to get their meals.

Status of the relief work: On-going

The feeding cost of the relief efforts amounts to Rs. 3-lakh per day. We request your generous support in helping us reach out to more survivors.

Support us: Donate to Kerala Flood Relief


Akshaya Patra’s Proactiveness During Natural Disasters

Whenever a place is hit by natural disasters like flood or earthquake – within the country or across the borders, Akshaya Patra is always present to provide relief to the affected-people by providing food. Here is a quick overview of Akshaya Patra’s past relief activities:

Gorakhpur Flood Relief

Activity Period: 25th August 2017 to 8th September 2017
Total Rice Based Meals Served: 84,200
Total Theplas Served: 1,92,000

Click here to know more.

Gujarat Flood Relief

Activity Period: 25th July, 2017 to 30th July, 2017
Total Theplas Served: 4,00,000
Areas Covered: Banaskantha District (North Gujarat), Kalol and Ahmedabad regions.

Click here to know more.

Chennai Flood Relief

Activity Period: 8th December 2015 to 25th December 2015
Total Rice Based Meals Served: 2,12,000

Click here to know more.

Nepal Earthquake Relief

Akshaya Patra airlifted 1,00,000 meals to earthquake hit Nepal in April 2015. It also established a centralized kitchen in June 2015 to support the affected people of the region. The Earthquake Relief Centralised Kitchen Project was a joint initiative undertaken by Akshaya Patra, Jamsetji Tata Trust, and Sipradian Sahayata Sanstha. The kitchen served 1.4 million meals to the affected people for 88 days. Click here to know more.

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General

Jigani Kitchen: An Exceptional Model of Centralised Kitchen Concept

Jigani Kitchen

A recipient of an honour ‘The World’s Largest NGO-run School Lunch Programme’, The Akshaya Patra Foundation – an NGO in Bangalore aims at serving wholesome meals to the school children and eradicate classroom hunger in India.

The kitchens form the heart and soul of the Foundation. Getting meals ready for over 1.7 million children each day calls for a highly mechanised and scalable infrastructure. So, the Foundation has come up with the ‘Centralised Kitchen Concept‘ to enhance the cooking operations and serve more.

Depending on the need, geographical terrain and road connectivity of the location, Akshaya Patra concludes on the model of the kitchen. Out of 38 kitchens across India, 36 kitchens comply with the centralised model, and 2 locations follow a decentralised model.

Jigani Kitchen at a Glance

Akshaya Patra Jigani Kitchen

Taking a tour of the Jigani kitchen, one can easily sense that every corner of the kitchen is thoughtfully ideated and speaks on how it makes the beating heart of Akshaya Patra.

To increase efficiency and productivity, the Foundation has adopted various technologies in the kitchen operations. Here’s a sneak peek at some of them:

Roti-making machine - The roti-making machine at Jigani has a capacity to roll out 10,000 rotis (Indian flatbread) in an hour. This improves sanitation and efficiency as the entire process is mechanised and there is nominal human interruption.

roti making machine

Stainless steel vessels - Akshaya Patra uses stainless steel vessels in the Jigani kitchen with an idea to distribute heat evenly, avoid food from sticking, and keeping food indestructible.

Vessels

Conveyor belt  and honeycomb delivery vehicles — To make the loading process of prepared meals easier and faster, this centralised kitchen concept has adopted the concept of conveyor belts. The vessels with packed meals are sent across on a conveyor belt which gets loaded on the specially customised (honeycomb design) vehicles. Honeycomb design is adapted in the delivery vehicles to avoid spillage of food.

Conveyor belt
Passing the food vessels through conveyor belt
Delivery van
Loading the food vessels to delivery vehicle

Reverse Osmosis System — The kitchen uses purified water specifically filtered in a 3-step purifier of the plant. It is a water purification technology to make drinking water more potable. Flexible operation and resistance to scaling enhances the reliability of RO system in the cooking operations.

RO-plant

Such state-of art kitchens of Akshaya Patra, an NGO in Bangalore, is adding up to its noble cause of feeding school children and helping them to live happy and healthy.

Take a tour to our kitchens today and support our cause!

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General

Akshaya Patra’s Role in National Nutrition Mission

National Nutrition Mission

The Government of India has been continuously attempting to improve the nutritional status of the Indian children. So far, the government has initiated and implemented several schemes such as Anganwadi feeding, Mid-Day Meal Scheme, and Integrated Child Development Services. Over the years, these programmes have shown tangible results in the health and nutritional status of children across the country. To further the impact of these programmes in a more focussed manner, the Government of India recently launched the National Nutrition Mission, also referred to as ‘Poshan Abhiyaan’.

What is National Nutrition Mission?

According to a government press release dated December 2017, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved setting up of National Nutrition Mission (NNM) with a three-year budget of Rs. 9046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18. Soon after this announcement, in March 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Mission at an event in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.

The National Nutrition Mission is a comprehensive approach towards integrating various nutrition-oriented schemes to improve the nutrition level in the country targeting children and pregnant women. The NMM will act as an apex body with the responsibility to monitor, supervise, fix targets and guide the nutrition related interventions across the Ministries. The NMM aims to create a synergy and link schemes with each other having common goals and deal with nutrition-related issues in a more focussed manner. Below is a quick overview of the NMM:

About National Nutrition Mission

What is Akshaya Patra’s role in National Nutrition Mission?

The NMM is indeed a robust approach and the success of it will require a concerted effort from government, corporates, NGOs, and the civil society. Hence, The Akshaya Patra Foundation with 18 years of experience in executing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme will certainly has a crucial role to play in the implementation of the NMM. Currently, there are 34 centralised Akshaya Patra kitchens and the Foundation also has operational decentralised kitchens in two locations. All the kitchens of Akshaya Patra adhere to standard operational processes and have strict hygiene and cleanliness processes. The Foundation ensures that every meal that is served is freshly cooked, nutritious, clean, hygienic, and tasty.

Shridhar Venkat, CEO of The Foundation says, “It is important to ensure that the high standards of cleanliness and quality of meals that Akshaya Patra adheres to, is maintained even after the food is delivered, right until it is consumed by children. In order to facilitate this, we plan to raise awareness among the school authorities and children.” He further added, “In order to enhance the nutritional value of meals, we plan to include high fibre, protein-rich millets and micro-nutrient dense fortified rice in our meals. We have started the millet integration project in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Similarly, over 6-lakh children are benefiting from our ‘Rice Fortification’ programme.”

Recently, Akshaya Patra also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nutrition International India to Improve Nutritional Status of Women and Children in India. Click here to read more.

Presently, Akshaya Patra is providing nutritious meals to more than 1.7 million children studying in 14,173 schools across 36 locations of 12 states. The Foundation aims to feed 5 million children by 2020. The objective of Akshaya Patra is in line with the NMM and it is leaving no stone unturned to nourish the children of India.

How can you be a part of National Nutrition Mission?

The government and the implementing NGOs have all geared up to implement the National Nutrition Mission. And, it’s time that each of us got involved with this Mission too. School meals nourish, nurture, and instil confidence in children. And, this shapes the future of children and maps the progress of the country. So, step forward and sponsor a child’s school meal.


Source:
• www.icds-wcd.nic.in/nnm/NNM-Web-Contents/UPPER-MENU/AboutNNM/PIB_release_NationalNutritionMission.pdf
• pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=177166
• www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/the-torchbearers-of-mission-nutrition-the-akshaya-patra-foundation-118062100679_1.html
• www.icds-wcd.nic.in/nnm/NNM-Web-Contents/UPPER-MENU/AboutNNM/PIB_release_NationalNutritionMission.pdf

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General

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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General

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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General

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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General

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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General

Akshaya Patra – Powering through to realise its Mission 2020

states

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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Food and EducationGeneral

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

1400×931-blog

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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