Food and Education

Human Rights Day: Dreaming of an equal world


The post-World War II world was one that had learnt many painful and valuable lessons from the mistakes of the past.

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations, in a bid to promote equality and assert the rights of individuals across the globe, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). To mark this occasion, Human Rights Day is observed around the world.

There are 30 Articles describing the rights that constitute the UDHR – civil,  economic, political, cultural, social – that humanity is entitled to. As its Preamble states, ‘this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education  to promote respect for these rights and freedoms  and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.’

Among the 30 Articles, all of exceeding importance, Article 25 recognises the right to a standard of living that ensures the health and well-being, which includes food, housing, clothing, medical care, among other necessities. This is followed by Article 26, which recognises the right to education. Akshaya Patra, with its philosophy of ‘unlimited food for education’, has been striving to ensure that the children of India aren’t deprived of these rights. Classroom hunger is a menace that keeps children from availing these basic rights and thus, affects their future prospects and hampers the realisation of their aspirations.

With one wholesome, nutritious meal a day, over 1.6 million children across 12 states in India have an incentive to attend school, concentrate in class and dare to dream big. Many among these beneficiaries wish to be IAS officers,  doctors, architects, soldiers, engineers – all due to the promise of one meal that is shared with schoolmates belonging to diverse religious, social and cultural backgrounds. Thus, the Foundation’s mid-day meal initiative also fosters social inclusion.

To join Akshaya Patra in the fight against classroom hunger and secure children with the right to food and education, donate here.


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Celebrate for a CauseFood and Education

What and Why of Kannada Rajyotsava

Kannada Rajyotsava

Karnataka turns 61! And for The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Karnataka is the birthplace of Food for Education initiative.

How many of us in Karnataka have marked out November 1st on our holiday calendar, planning getaways and lazy breakfasts, secure in the knowledge that it’s a public holiday? We know what it is – It’s Kannada Rajyotsava! – And we know when it is, but do we know what it signifies?

Here’s a quick look at what Kannada Rajyotsava is all about.

November 1st is Kannada Rajyotsava, the day that the state of Karnataka was formed. On this day, in 1956 all the Kannada speaking areas of South India were merged into a new state. The state was initially called Mysore, but this was considered too reminiscent of the old princely regiment, and the name was changed to Karnataka on 1st November, 1973.

Kannada Rajyotsava is celebrated very enthusiastically all over the state. The state is dotted with Red and Yellow as the Karnataka flag is hoisted at important locations, and the state anthem is sung. The beauty of this day is that it is enjoyed with as much excitement across age groups, religion, gender and income, making it a truly wholesome and inclusive celebration.

Local citizens also get to honour the good samaritans of society as the State Government bestows the Rajyotsava awards on people who have contributed in a noteworthy way to the development of the state.

Kannada Rajyotsava is really a day to pay tribute to the state of Karnataka, celebrate its progress and work to its continued development. This can be done in many ways according to your individual capabilities.

For The Akshaya Patra Foundation it was by providing a means to solve classroom hunger in the state. Today, across six kitchens in the state (at H.K. Hill Bengaluru; Vasanthapura, Bengaluru; Ballari; Hubballi; Mangaluru and Mysuru) we reach out to 4,86,172 children in 2,968 Government and Government-aided schools every day. While we supply food for education to these children from our highly specialised, centralised kitchens, we know there are thousands more in need of our help.

But we wouldn’t have made it this far in Karnataka without the support of our donors and corporates, but most importantly the Government of Karnataka. For us Kannada Rajyotsava is not just a public holiday, it’s a time to honour this state, the birthplace of our Foundation.

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