Monday, 4 August 2014

Child NGO feeds 1.39 million children across India

Growing from being a NGO in Karnataka, The Akshaya Patra Foundation today implements the mid-day meal programme in 10 other states of India. It started its journey way back in June 2000, by serving mid-day meal to 1,500 children of five Government schools in Bangalore. Soon, it surfaced that the need of the mid-day meal programme is huge among the Government schools. To cater to this need, this NGO in Karnataka gradually started expanding its operations in other parts of the state. After the Supreme Court order in 2003 of providing cooked meal to the Government school children, Akshaya Patra began implementing the programme in conjunction with the Central Government and various State Governments. This child NGO follows the Public-Partnership model of working. It receives Grants and Subsidies from the Government which is further supported by generous donors with their contributions.
Apart from implementing the mid-day meal programme at Government schools, Akshaya Patra also has other feeding and social initiatives. The programmes are as below:

Other feeding initiatives of this NGO in Karnataka and other states are:
  • Anganwadi feeding
  • Feeding expecting and lactating mothers
  • Feeding in special schools
  • Subsidised lunch for the economically backward
  • Feeding runaway children
  • Feeding in old-age homes
  • Feeding the homeless
  • Disaster relief
Social initiatives of Akshaya Patra:
  • Community health camps
  • Scholarship programmes
  • Health check-up camps
Though not solely for children but since the NGO's primary existence and purpose is to serve the children, it can be called as a child NGO. Witnessing the diligent process undertaken by this child NGO in implementing the mid-day meal programme, the positive impact it is had in the lives of millions of children and the potential it exhibits to be an reformative model to counter classroom hunger and illiteracy, Akshaya Patra was ranked as the number one among Top 100 NGOs of the world in the category of Child NGO by the Global Journal in 2013.

The beginning of this child NGO must have been small with feeding just 1,500 children but it has definitely come a long way. Today Akshaya Patra is not just a NGO in Karnataka; it is also member of the National Steering-cum-Monitoring Committee of the Central Mid-Day Meal Scheme. Akshaya Patra's centralised kitchen has been cited in the NP-NSPE guidelines as the model infrastructure for large scale implementation of mid-day meal programme.

This child NGO has also been instrumental in meeting the following objectives:

o Eliminating classroom hunger
o Increasing school enrolment
o Increasing school attendance
o Improving socialisation among castes
o Addressing malnutrition, and
o Women empowerment

Akshaya Patra, today, is successfully operating in 23 locations across Assam, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It serves mid-day meals to 1.39 million children covering more than 10.600 Government schools.
Join this child NGO's mission of feeding 5 million children by 2020!

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 @AkshayaPatraFoundation on Rediff 


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