India has experienced significant economic development over the past two decades, yet many are still struggling to provide food for their families. For too many children in India, hunger is a barrier to education, keeping millions locked in a cycle of poverty.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is the World’s largest NGO-run Mid-Day meal program serving wholesome school lunch to over 1.76 mn children in 15024 schools across 12 states in India.
Akshaya Patra strives to eliminate classroom hunger and aims at countering malnutrition and supporting the right to education of socio-economically disadvantaged children. By feeding them one wholesome meal a day, we give them the nourishment and motivation they need to pursue an education for a better future. It is our endeavour to reach out to every child at the grass-root level of society.
FOOD FOR EDUCATION
Would you be able to study and learn if hunger was your classroom companion?
Classroom hunger affects children’s ability to learn and grow. To solve this challenge, Akshaya Patra began the Food for Education initiative. All it costs is INR 1104 to feed a child for a year.
I am doing this campaign to raise awareness and funds for the Akshaya Patra Foundation. Funds raised would be used to provide wholesome school lunch to children in rural areas across Maharashtra (Mumbai, Thane, Vidarbha, etc.) under the Mid-day meal program.
The objectives of the Mid-Day Meal:
- Improving the nutritional status of children in classes I-V in Government, Local Body and Government aided schools, and EGS and AIE centres.
- Encouraging children, belonging to disadvantaged sections, to attend school more regularly and help them concentrate on classroom activities
- Providing nutritional support to children of the primary stage in drought-affected areas during summer vacation
- While focusing on improving the nutritional level and attendance, Akshaya Patra also aims to address two Sustainable Development Goals: Zero Hunger and Quality Education.
A recent UNICEF report states that more than 80 million children drop out before completing 8 years of age and over 8 million children are out of school.
Akshaya Patra is focused on eliminating classroom hunger and attracting more children (enrolment) to schools and ensure to keep them in school (reduce dropout rate) by feeding a filling, nutritious mid-day meal every school day. The Mid-Day meal serves as an incentive for children to get proper education, improve socialization among children, and empower women through employment opportunities.
HELP ME RAISE INR 22000 AND SUPPORT 20 CHILDREN FOR A YEAR
Pic: The nutritious meal served in school brings a big smile and positive change in the life of the students.
ABOUT ME & THIS CAMPAIGN:
My name is Nandini Raisurana and I am a Grade 11 student at the Bombay International School.
Imagine traveling to school, studying for long hours together, playing in the sun, all on an empty stomach. Frightening isn’t it? Just skipping one meal a day would be difficult for most of us. We wouldn’t be able to function too well throughout the rest of the day. Fortunately, we have the luxury of having three meals a day, keeping us healthy and strong, both mentally and physically.
However, many children all over our country do not have this luxury. The happiness they experience by just receiving one meal in a day is unmeasurable. Now imagine if I can bring that happiness to another child! Through this campaign, I have the opportunity to convert the dreams of many children into a happy reality.
Please support my campaign and let us together contribute to the happiness of these children. Most children drop out of school because they don't get enough to eat resulting in fatigue and illness. It's also a reason for them to not go to school. The “Akshaya Patra's mid-day meal program”, not only motivates students to go to school but also ensures that they remain healthy and continue with their education.
It might seem like ‘just one meal’ to us, but it is truly much more than that to them. In addition, there is the joy we get when we help and support this program.
So, what are we waiting for! Please do support this campaign and bring a smile to another child with your small act of kindness. Help spread this message on your social media platforms so that more have the opportunity to share in the care of these children and donate to this noble cause.
WORLD'S LARGEST MID-DAY MEAL PROGRAM
AKSHAYA PATRA KITCHEN - QUALITY & HYGIENE
From preparation to delivery of mid-day meals, the Akshaya Patra kitchens operate on a daily basis keeping in mind two most important elements: hygiene and quality.
A centralized kitchen helps us manage operations from a single point of control; this includes receiving, storage, preparation, delivery, maintenance, among other processes that form the cycle of mid-day meal operations. Currently, Akshaya Patra Foundation operates 41 centralized kitchens in 12 states of India and these kitchens prepare mid-day meals for 17,29,325 school children.
The Akshaya Patra centralized kitchens are equipped with cauldrons, trolleys, rice chutes, dal/sambar tanks, cutting boards, knives and other similar equipment that are sanitized before usage. The semi-automated kitchens have the capacity to undertake large scale feeding, typically up to 104,000 mid-day meals a day and they also adhere to Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) to ensure safe handling, preparation and delivery of the food.
Using these highly mechanized units, Akshaya Patra is able to achieve the highest levels of hygiene by reducing human contact with the food. After cooking, the food is packed into stainless steel containers and transported via conveyor belts to be loaded into custom made food distribution vehicles, to be taken to the beneficiary schools.
Since 2000, Akshaya Patra has been concerting all its efforts towards providing fresh and nutritious meals to children on every single school day. We are continuously leveraging technology to multiply our reach. The state-of-the-art kitchens have become a subject of study and have attracted curious visitors from around the world.
LOCATION - MAP
Under this program, government schools around these kitchens would be benefitted. This will impact children studying at schools in Maharashtra (Mumbai, Thane, Vidarbha, etc.).
POWER OF A HOT MEAL
Funding for this campaign is eligible for tax breaks as Akshaya Patra Foundation as an NGO is a registered trust & you can avail of benefits under section 80G of the IT act. Foreign funding is accepted too.
FEEDBACK THAT YOU GET
To ensure that there is complete transparency I shall get a report from NGO (this takes between 2 to 4 months usually after the funds are raised & transferred to them) telling me who benefitted from the funding. The details will then be posted from Akshaya Patra on the UPDATES section of my campaign. As soon as I post an update, the platform will send an SMS and EMAIL alert to all the funders - i.e. to you. Click on the link on the email and you can read about who benefitted. That's transparent right.
The below image is an example of the FEEDBACK FORMAT that we will be shared with all my funders.
SCHOOLS WHERE WE PLAN TO DISTRIBUTE THE MID-DAY MEAL
The Mid-day meal will be distributed to 20729 children in 133 schools across Maharashtra (Mumbai, Thane, Vidarbha, etc.). We can provide mid-day meals for more students if we raise more funds. This will help bring more smiles and cheers to students and help us achieve the Foundation’s Vision that ‘’No child in India shall be deprived of Education, because of Hunger’’.
For this campaign, the beneficiary students will be the ones from schools in Maharashtra (Mumbai, Thane, Vidarbha, etc.)
Will we get to know the details of who benefitted?
Yes. After the money has been collected it will be transferred by Fueladream to Akshaya Patra. It will take from 2 to 4 months after that to get details of fund use. Once I get this information from them I shall upload this on the UPDATES section of this campaign. You will then get an alert & can read details about the beneficiaries. ( WHICH SCHOOL AND HOW MANY STUDENTS)
When do I get the receipts?
It takes up to 2 weeks after the campaign is closed for the monies to be transferred to NGO. The receipts will start getting processed about 4 to 6 weeks AFTER the campaign is closed and will be sent to you directly.
How does crowdfunding work?
Crowdfunding in India is a relatively new concept & is growing very quickly.
It’s a concept that allows a large number of funders (like you) to fund an Idea or a cause or event by giving small amounts of money online. Fueladream.com is a crowdfunding platform in India that allows for such pooling of funds. You can fund innovations & ideas on FuelADream and be the first to get these products or make them come true. You can also do a good turn by funding charities and causes through crowdfunding. When you fund a charity it’s more like a donation & you get small innovative rewards like a shout-out on an FB page or a thank you email from the beneficiaries
I thought the mid-day meal scheme is run by the Govt. Why does Akshaya Patra need funding and what do they do?
The NGO Akshaya Patra now manages the mid-day meal scheme in many districts across 13 states in India and currently feeds 1.8 million students a day. They have partnered with the Central and State Governments and now manage and execute this scheme. They get a subsidy from the Govt. and this allows them to deliver high quality and tasty food at a very low cost. The cost of a meal per student for a year is just INR 1100, excluding the subsidies. To deliver 1.8 million meals, they as an NGO need to raise INR 200 CR to sustain the program. And this figure is bound to increase if the number of children to be fed, increases.
Akshaya Patra is unique as they have completely changed the way the mid-day meal scheme is executed with a focus on the following:
1. State of the Art Kitchen - The Akshaya Patra Foundation operates based on a well-crafted module that puts hygiene and quality on top of its priorities. Their highly mechanized kitchens, achieve the highest levels of hygiene by reducing human contact with food. They meticulously, strictly follow the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP Norms) prescribed for the Food industry and strictly comply with the HACCP norms (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points).
2. Thrive to deliver Quality food every time a meal is served - This is achieved by ensuring highly qualified professionals monitor the quality at every stage, right from food ingredients, cooking process/environment and finally cooked food.
3. Nutrition - Akshaya Patra has Food Labs that develop recipes for various menus to ensure the best possible nutrition to the child and also, more importantly, delighting the children with excellent taste irrespective of the region.
4. Sourcing the raw materials - Akshaya Patra leverages its status as a large volume buyer and negotiates much better prices for better quality products and also gets raw materials at a subsidized cost from the Govt.
5. Proven model welcomed by Schools & State Governments - Governments encourage them to open more and more kitchens in their states. This is because they have seen the impact and the benefit of serving these mid-day meals via better health of the students, lesser drop outs from school and increased level of enrolment. Akshaya Patra is looking at expanding their footprint across the country and aim to increase their number of kitchens from 51 currently to 60 by March 2020.