akshaya patra ngo in delhi

Neeraj, age eleven, lives with his parents and siblings in Badarpur, New Delhi. In the recent past, his father struggled to find a steady job and his family would often have to go without food. Neeraj recently talked to us at Akshaya Patra about his goals and objectives over a mid-day meal at his school. He said: “I want to be an army officer so I can help other people.” Neeraj’s life has changed dramatically since the NGO’s Mid-Day Meal Programme was implemented. Akshaya Patra not only satisfies his hunger but also encourages him to dream of a better future.

Just like Neeraj, there are thousands of children in Delhi who depend on Akshaya Patra’s school lunch for their nutritional needs. The NGO has been operating in the national capital since 1 January 2019 and serves mid-day meals to 40,000 students across 166 schools at present through its four kitchens in Delhi—Mohan Co-Op, Jahangirpuri, Gole Market and Badli.

Delhi’s Wonder Kitchens

To match up to the local palate of the region and ensure that children receive adequate and wholesome nutrition every school day, the NGO serves an assortment of dishes on a rotational basis. The menu comprises ajawain poori, aloo chana, aloo chole, rice, mixed dal, urad chana dal, rajma, mixed vegetable, aloo soya, plain kadi, jeera rice, dal with vegetables, aloo gajar matar, cookies, pickle and more.

These meals not only safeguard children’s nutrition but also encourage children to attend school regularly, complete their education and pursue their aspirations. When children follow their dreams, they make positive contributions to the nation.

According to UNICEF, nutrition is a fundamental component of human development and effective, extensive programming may both lessen the impact of undernutrition and deprivation on a national level and promote national development.

Here is a story of hope from one of Akshaya Patra’s beneficiary schools in Delhi.

The 11-year-old is the eldest of five siblings. His father is a tailor and the only earning member of the family. Naveen’s mother is a housewife and looks after his ailing grandmother. With financial challenges crossing their path almost every day, he says that Akshaya Patra’s meals are a glimmer of hope. They motivate him and his siblings to go to school regularly, focus in class, lend a hand at home and go the extra mile for their goals.

“A soldier’s life is demanding as they do not live with their families. It tests their strength and pushes them past their limits. They become stronger while enjoying a sense of purpose throughout their life. They protect without complaining. No life is insignificant to them. During natural disasters, they assist us selflessly and even put their lives on the line if the need arises. Thus, I believe that being a defence personnel is the finest choice for those who want to live a content life and serve their country. We can sleep peacefully today because our armed forces defend us at the border. That’s why, being a part of the Indian Army is an opportunity, not just a career option,” adds Naveen gleaming with pride.

Today, he is striving relentlessly towards his goals while also helping his parents with chores before and after school hours. The class 7 student is grateful for the NGO’s hot, nourishing and delicious meals he receives at school. He also fondly remembers the Happiness Kits that were distributed during the pandemic, with study material in them.

The Mid-day Meal Programme of Akshaya Patra in Delhi is a testimony of The Foundation’s dedication towards the implementation of the Centre’s PM POSHAN Abhiyaan. Having been in operation for five years in the region, it is hardly surprising that seeing the NGO’s food delivery vehicles in the national capital brings smiles on the faces of many.

To multiply these smiles, donate to Akshaya Patra.

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