It’s time to celebrate 15-year anniversary of The Akshaya Patra Foundation. It is time to celebrate sincere and dedicated service towards millions of underserved children. It is time to celebrate the 15-year impact of ‘unlimited food for education’. The Foundation began its journey of serving mid-day meal way back in June 2000. The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s birth springs from a story of compassion, which sowed the seeds for a higher purpose. It is the moving story of one encounter that left a lasting impact on His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada – One day, while looking out of a window at Mayapur, a village near Kolkata, Srila Prabhupada saw a group of children fighting with street dogs over scraps of food. This heart-breaking incident led to the resolve that: No one within a ten mile radius of our centre should go hungry. Taking this inspiration forward the Foundation has been striving towards the vision of ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’.
The 15-year anniversary of the Foundation is a time to cherish the accomplishments and focus on the learning of past so many years. It is also a time when the NGO wants to acknowledge and cherish the support it has received from Government of India, various State Governments and corporate and individual philanthropists. During the service of more than a decade, Akshaya Patra has witnessed the potential of the school lunch programme in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty-hunger-illiteracy. It has also witnessed that this programme has been constructive in supporting underserved children who have the determination to achieve big in life, just that they need little support and care from the well-provided for ones.
Here is a summary of study conducted by The Akshaya Patra Foundation across its serving states in association with Sigma Research and Consulting Pvt. Ltd. in 2014 to understand and establish the need, impact and continuance of implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme. The outcome of this study showed that classroom hunger was addressed significantly. It also showed that the free school lunch positively impacted attendance and enrolment across government schools. The recommended nutritional requirements of the programme were being fulfilled and the food was healthy and hygienic too. It was provided evidence that this programme addressed socialisation aspect among children where both parents and children confirmed consuming the served meal together, irrespective of caste, religion and economic status. As this trend was observed across all Akshaya Patra serving locations, it also signified that serving universal meal is indeed important.
As the Foundation gears up to celebrate 15-year anniversary, it also fathoms that continuous improvisation is a must to reach its mission of feeding five million children by 2020. Akshaya Patra provides a platform for all to know and get involved in this mission and thereby supporting to fulfil the ambitions of its beneficiaries. This anniversary lets pledge to provide mid-day meal and nourish the body and minds of young citizens. You can support the organization by getting involved with us. Know how you can support by visiting get-involve.