Akshaya Patra’s 21st anniversary
Despite India being a populous country, there are millions of children who go to bed hungry. Why? In simple terms, because they cannot afford to eat two or even three meals a day. This becomes a major reason why they start working at a very young age. They fend for their family to get some more money than go to school without getting monetary returns.
This threw light on the hard reality which marginalised communities lived in. To support children’s nutritional development, The Supreme Court of India mandated mid-day meals to school children in Government schools. The objectives of the mid-day meal programme:
· Eradicate classroom hunger
· Improve school attendance rate
· Reduce school dropout rate
· Improve socialisation in children
To support the Government of India in the Mid-Day Meal Programme, The Akshaya Patra Foundation became an implementing partner. Since its inception in 2000, the NGO has been serving school meals in Government and Government-aided schools across the country. The NGO that started feeding 1,500 children initially, is now catering to 1.8 children who hail from challenging socio-economic backgrounds, daily.
This Indian NGO has completed 21 years of serving meals. Akshaya Patra has worked on a public-private partnership basis, which includes The Government of India, State Governments, corporate partners and millions of individual donors.
Today, this organisation has reached a milestone of 21 years. Akshaya Patra has crossed many hurdles, has come this far by establishing itself and earning the recognition of being the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme. The main motive is not just to provide mid-day meals, but to provide hygienically prepared, nutritious meals to children. Quality and food safety are given priority in all the kitchens of Akshaya Patra. The NGO ensures that children not only have access to unlimited food for education in the form of mid-day meals but also the prescribed quantities of nutrition.
During the covid-19 crisis, many schools were shut and the children belonging to the vulnerable community were deprived of wholesome meals and education. During this crisis, the NGO resumed its services to children by initiating a happiness kit program. Each kit comprised of food items that provided essential nutrients for daily consumption leading to the health, growth, and development of children. This Indian NGO not only fed the underprivileged children but also initiated various programmes to feed the needy during the pandemic.
Programmes of Akshaya Patra since the onset of the pandemic
COVID-19 food relief programme
Grocery kits distribution
Family Happiness Kits initiative
Happiness Kit Programme
Homeless Mother’s Programme
Shakti Kit Programme
Vaccination drive with Raksha Kits
Uttarakhand Flood Relief
Let’s glance through AKSHAYA PATRA’s 21 YEAR JOURNEY
2000 — Served meals to 1,500 children in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
2003 — Hosted Late Shri A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Former President of India.
2006 — Akshaya Patra became a case study in Harvard Business School’s MBA curriculum.
2009 — Served a cumulative of 500 million meals.
2010 — Entered the India Book of Records for running the world’s largest school meal programme.
2011 — Received Gold Shield for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
2012 — Served 1 billionth cumulative meal.
2013 — Hosted His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama.
2014–1st NGO to be inducted with ICAI Hall of Fame, Mr Bill Clinton, Former President of USA visited the Jaipur Kitchen.
2015 — Nepal Earthquake Relief, Chennai Flood Relief
2016 — Served 2 billionth cumulative meals in presence of the Late Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Former President of India.
2017 — Received a National Award for Child Welfare, Gujarat Flood Relief, Gorakhpur Flood Relief
2018 — Coorg Flood Relief, Kerala Flood Relief
2019 — Served 2 billionth cumulative meals in presence of Shri Narendra Modi, Honourable Prime Minister of India; Odisha Cyclone Relief, Assam Flood Relief, North Karnataka Flood Relief. Won Gandhi Peace Prize, BBC World Service Global Food Champion Award, Outlook Poshan Jury Award, Mahatma Award for Social Good.
2020 — Served a cumulative of 10 crore meals as a part of COVID-19 Relief Service; received the COVID Crusaders Award 2020 by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC).
2021 — Honoured with Mahatma Award 2021, in the Mahatma Award for COVID — 19 Humanitarian Effort’ category.
In the last 20 years, Akshaya Patra has covered great ground and has provided quality food to the needy. With the help of Government partners, corporate partners, volunteers, and individual donors, the Foundation has seen a rapid phase of growth.
Now that schools have reopened, this NGO in India has restarted serving mid-day meals to its beneficiaries. Currently, mid-day meal beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are benefitted from nutritious school meals.
As a part of Akshaya Patra’s 21st anniversary, and be a part of serving mid-day meals to children. Join hands to nurture and nourish the marginalised children by providing them with quality food and education. Your contribution could make a huge difference in the lives of children.