Monday, 8 September 2014

Food for education- motto of an Indian NGO


Many Indian NGOs have taken up the initiative of implementing the Central Mid- Day Meal Scheme. The extent of the programme and its full potential can only be achieved when there is participation from all sections of the society. Witnessing the ability of the NGOs in reaching the grass root level of the society, the Government of India too is in favour of the participation of non-governmental organisations as an implementing arm of the scheme. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one such Indian NGO that has been working jointly with the Government ever since the Supreme Court's declaration of providing cooked mid-day meal at Government schools.

 Akshaya Patra had been serving cooked mid-day meal since 2000 i.e. even before the Supreme Court's orders. Once the declaration was made official in 2003, it was a welcome progression for this Indian NGO to work in the Public-Private Partnership model. With the vision of 'No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger', Akshaya Patra's motto behind implementing this programme is to provide 'unlimited food for education'. For this Indian NGO it is not about just implementing the programme, it about executing in an impactful way. The intent behind food for education is to serve the underserved children of the country with fresh, nutritious and hygienic meals each day so that they receive the goodness of food along with rightful education. Food becomes the supporting pillar for all the education schemes to bring and retain children at school and also an incentive for the parents to send their children to school rather than sending them to earn a square meal.

It is a fact that when stomachs are hungry, it first looks for food and education becomes secondary. With unlimited food for education, this Indian NGO aims to make both food and education the reason to come to school. Reason being this, Akshaya Patra serves mid-day meals to suit the local taste of the children so that the children can relish each morsel they consume. Akshaya Patra operates as a NGO in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Guwahati, Bhilai, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Bangalore (two locations), Bellary, Hubli, Mangalore, Mysore, Cuttack, Puri, Nayagarh, Rourkela, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Nathdwara, Baran, Chennai and Vrindavan.

As a NGO in Hyderabad, Akshaya Patra also serves mid-day meal at Anganwadi centres along with serving free meal at Government schools. It serves 54,849 children across 454 Government schools. The beneficiaries of this NGO in Hyderabad are catered to with meals prepared in the centralised kitchen facility delivered in customised vehicles. Including the beneficiaries of the NGO in Hyderabad, the total reach of Akshaya Patra is 1.4 million children across India.

The aspirations and dreams are alike for all children. The only difference lies in their financial status. Let's bridge this gap and allow children from not so favourable economic status to make a mark of their own by receiving the right nutrition and education.

Provide food for education today and let the world know of your good deed!

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