The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a charitable trust in India implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across the country. The Foundation is one of the key implementers of the programme reaching out to more than 1.4 million children every day across over more than 10,000 government schools. The NGO is present in 24 locations across 10 states of India. Akshaya Patra aims at feeding 5 million children by 2020 thereby moving towards its vision of ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.’ This vision is also an implication of the importance of food and education in the development of children. It also indicates that every child has the right to food and education. If a child is unable to receive it due to social, economic or any such factor then it becomes our responsibility to make it available to them.
This charitable trust in India has been in the service of children since 2000. Though it began serving mid-day meal at just five government schools thereby benefitting 1,500 children in the city of Bengaluru, Karnataka, today it is feeding millions of children every day. Having witnessed the impact of the mid-day meal over the last 15 years, The Akshaya Patra Foundation always strives to make the programme better and better. In order to feed millions of children each day, the NGO operates two formats of kitchen – centralised kitchens and decentralised kitchens. The centralised kitchens are operational in urban and semi-urban regions, whereas decentralised kitchens are operational in remote locations where terrain and road connectivity poses a challenge. Each centralised kitchen has the capacity to cook up to one million meals per day. Regardless of the format, each Akshaya Patra kitchen mandatorily follows standard food safety and handling processes to ensure that each day the meal that is being served to children are 100% safe, hygienic and nutritious.
Each of the millions of beneficiaries has their unique dreams and aspirations. But the common thread that runs among all these children is the trait of hope and determination to make their future better. The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is a very potential initiative of the Government of India to counter classroom hunger and eventually eradicate it. This Scheme acts an incentive for children and parents to choose school over labour. The education and nutrition these children receive are significant factors in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty, hunger and illiteracy. By implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme, The Akshaya Patra strives to provide unlimited food for education thereby enabling children to grow up to be independent citizens.
You too can play a pivotal role in bringing about a positive change in a child’s life. Get involved will give you a platform to participate in the vision of this charitable foundation in India. Stepping forward to develop and secure a child’s present and future is not a charity, rather it’s our responsibility. Let’s take pride in fulfilling our responsibility.