Gujarat is one of the key locations where The Akshaya Patra Foundation implements the mid-day meal scheme. Serving as a NGO in Gujarat, the Foundation feeds 400,158 children across 1,653 Government schools covering Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat. Seeing the positive impact of the mid-day meal scheme and the need to make it available to more children, the Foundation recently inaugurated its Ahmedabad kitchen. This kitchen will replace the NGO’s Gandhinagar kitchen and is one of the largest kitchens of its kind in the country. With this kitchen, the NGO in Gujarat will provide free school meal to the children of both Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar districts. It was a strategic move to open the new kitchen without hindering the mid-day meal distribution for the existing beneficiaries of Gandhinagar.
This NGO in Gujarat has centralised kitchen facility in all the three serving locations of Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat. The kitchen-wise reach of the NGO in Gujarat are as follows: Ahmedabad kitchen serves 121,508 children across 666 Government schools; Vadodara kitchen feeds 113,593 in 616 Government schools and Surat kitchen provides mid-day meal to 165,057 across 371 Government schools. The mid-day meal scheme has shown various positive impacts on the lives of millions of children in Gujarat and across all serving states and locations. Witnessing the significance, Akshaya Patra aims to expand its operations in many more locations in the near future.
However, it is sure that the NGO will require extensive support from the Government and society too. Like any other NGO, donations received by Akshaya Patra are also immensely significant and helpful. Strategic planning and management of the mid-day meal scheme implementation has enabled Akshaya Patra to invest 82% of the total cost as programme cost, 14% as programme management cost and 4% towards fund-raising and communication. This Indian NGO functions in the Public-Private Partnership model where about 51% cost is incurred as a support from Central Government and various State Governments in the form of grants and subsidies. But, the remaining 49% is to be borne by the NGO and this is where NGO donations play a vital role. Since inception in June 2000, Akshaya Patra has been grateful to many helping hands that came forward to support the Foundation’s cause. It is this support that led path for the Foundation to expand its services from being a NGO in Karnataka to the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and as a NGO in Gujarat.
The Foundation aims to feed 5 million children by 2020. As of 2014, the total reach of the NGO is 1.4 million children across India. It indeed is in need of resources to sustain implementation of the mid-day meal scheme in existing locations while expanding to newer locations. NGO donations either from individuals, organisations or in the form of Corporate Social Responsibility initiative will all aid in steering the efforts of the Foundation towards achieving its mission.
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