2016: Akshaya Patra Foundation Organizes Annual Photography Contest – Click A Smile!

Akshaya Patra Foundation

The Akshaya Patra Foundation (APF) brings back its acclaimed annual photography contest – Click A Smile! This contest welcomes entries from photography enthusiasts, amateur shutterbugs and professionals – worldwide. The theme is based on striking photographs that capture the joy and innocence of a child’s smile, in any setting, ranging from school, home, playground or the neighbourhood.

In 2015, “Click A Smile” saw a great response, with over 1,700 entries from 80 countries, is all set to be a bigger success in 2016, growing with zealous participation every year. The entries will be judged by a panel of well-known industry experts, who will select the winners. These winners will be given trophies, certificates and gift vouchers. The enthusiasts can mark their participations from November 20, 2016 to December 23, 2016, by uploading their best three photographs with suitable captions.

  • Contest Name: Click a Smile
  • Description: Contestants must submit up to three photographs clicked by them. The photographs can be either in color or black and white.
  • Theme: A smiling child or a group of happy children
  • Copyright: Copyright for images remains with the respective entrants
  • Usage rights: The Akshaya Patra Foundation has the right to use the images of all entries submitted for marketing & promotional purposes
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Competition dates: November 20, 2016 to December 23, 2016
  • Who can participate: Open to all photographers worldwide
  • Image Specifications: JPEG images less than 4 MB in size and should have a minimum resolution of 800 pixels.
  • Prizes: Trophy & Gift Voucher
  • Website link: http://www.akshayapatra.org/click-a-smile

Don’t miss this golden opportunity to showcase your talent to the world. You can contribute in spreading the light emanating from the innocent smiles of children. Register Now!



5 Key Factors Behind The Success Of Akshaya Patra Foundation

On one usual day, peeping out of a window in Mayapur, a village near Calcutta, his Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Founder of ISKON) saw a group of children combating with street dogs over leftovers of food. After this upsetting incident, Swami Prabhupada promised to himself that no one within a 10-mile radius of their ISKCON center should remain hungry. This led to the establishment of Akshaya Patra Foundation (APF) in 2000.
Since its establishment, Akshaya Patra has become a renowned organization which feeds approximately 1.3 million children in 26 locations across 11 states of India, in alliance with more than 10,000 government schools through its mid-day meal programme. Through this initiative, APF provides motivation and nourishment to students for pursuing education for a better future. To understand what motivates and backs Akshaya Patra to achieve such huge targets, take an insight:

1. Find a bigger solution for a big problem
Around 45 million children are deprived of education in India due to poverty. These children typically end up doing menial jobs to feed their family. Without education they will always remain in poverty. Those who manage to attend the school stay on the breadline. This obstructs their learning process. It is a very crucial issue and Akshaya Patra has found a brilliant way out. They have created big and resourceful kitchens to serve as many people as possible. Their average kitchen is serving 50,000-100,000 children, while their biggest one in hubli serves 250,000 children.

2. Efficiency is the key

Akshaya Patra has left no stone unturned to redefine the concept of a community kitchen. They have silos of rice and daal, tubes that move the food from one floor to the other, workers who stringently check the quality of the food and prepare reports. Everything is well-organized which enables them to serve larger groups of people. Rightly, efficiency is the key to their success: no other organization in the world produces hygienic and good quality food at such lower costs. A typical meal comprises of rice, sambar, dal, chapattis, and curd; complete nourishment that helps children to focus better for enhancing their performances.

3. Behave like a company
Akshaya Patra is a fusion of two groups: ISKCON, a faith-based entity in India, having expertise in large scale cooking for devotees in its temples, and senior executives at Infosys together with other technology-based companies in India. In the beginning, they focused on manufacturing, innovation, supply chain and logistics to evaluate as much as possible. They always believed in the power of technology, and for that they built partnerships with renowned universities and technology companies to achieve supreme results.

4. No quality vs. quantity debate
To become a big organization, it not only involves achieving big numbers, but also providing solutions with a larger perspective. Akshaya Patra doesn’t compromise on quality of its meals to achieve larger quantity. APF ensures that each process is completely sustainable. In place of gas stoves, eco-friendly Oorjastoves are used in their kitchens. They also follow stringent policies in terms of keeping the place clean for serving only the best food to children in schools.

5. Dream big to achieve big
Akshaya Patra is an organization set up to grow. Apart from being cost efficient and professional, the organization must work to fulfill a long-term vision. APF believes that “No child in India shall remain deprived of education because of hunger,” and they are doing their utmost to make it achievable. At present, they are running the largest food distribution program in the world with an aim to distribute food to five million children by 2020. Considering their success so far, it is a dream that seems possible to achieve.

Kannada Rajyotsava: What the Day is All About


or everyone living in Karnataka, the first day of November is a holiday. This day, known as Kannada Rajyotsava, symbolises the birth of Karnataka. In other words, it was the day Karnataka was formed back in 1956. So, how did this occasion come to be?

Here’s a quick look at this historic day and what it is all about.

On November 1, 1956, all the Kannada-speaking states of southern India were amalgamated to form a new state. This entity was originally called Mysore, but the name was too reminiscent of the princely state of yore, which was why the name was changed to ‘Karnataka’ on November 1, 1973.

Kannada Rajyotsava is celebrated with much gusto across the state. The red and yellow colours of the Karnataka flag fill the streets and the flag is hoisted at important locations, while the state anthem, Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate composed by the great poet Kuvempu, is sung. The boundaries of religion, age, caste, gender and income blur, as the state unites to celebrate its formation. The occasion is a tribute to the state of Karnataka and celebrates its glory – from the notable progress it has made, to its ongoing development.

On this day, the State Government confers the Rajyotsava Award upon eminent citizens, who have adorned Karnataka with the jewels of their noteworthy achievements; Akshaya Patra’s Chairman, Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa, received Rajyotsava Award in the year 2003.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is delighted to have started its journey in this very state in Bengaluru, in the year 2000, by serving meals to children in five schools in the city. Currently, we provide nutritious mid-day meals to children in five cities across Karnataka – Bengaluru, Hubballi, Mangaluru, Mysuru and Ballari, via its six centralised kitchens.  In Karnataka alone, we feed 5,09,252 children in 2,841 Government and Government-aided schools every day.

On this wonderful occasion of Kannada Rajyotsava, the Foundation thanks the state where it was born and expresses its heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Karnataka for all the support it has extended. It also thanks its numerous donors and corporates, who have generously contributed to its cause of unlimited food for education.

Akshaya Patra Join Hands With Government To Improve Quality Of Midday Meals

Karnataka has both public primary and public pre-primary schools which educate over 8 million children. However, the learning potentials of the children are below average which is quite alarming.

With an endeavor to deal with this hunger or micronutrient malnutrition, fortified rice will be served to 4.5 lakh students, under midday meal programme, across 2,600 government schools in Bengaluru Urban, Dharwad and Ballari districts.

Mr Tanveer Sait—Primary and Secondary Education Minister, signed an agreement with Akshaya Patra Foundation and Akshara Foundation, making an effort to improve the quality of midday meals and commencing math learning programmes in Government schools.

Under the three-year agreement with Akshara Foundation, the government will introduce Math Learning Programme for school children. To make this possible, the students will also be provided with a mathematics kit. At present, this programme has been executed in six districts of the state. The second phase will include regions like Bengaluru Rural, Chikkaballapura, Chamarajanagar, Chitradurga, Gadag and Dharwad; it will benefit over 1.29 lakh students across 4,149 schools.

“There are 34 educational districts in Karnataka and we are trying to cover the districts with the lowest educational levels to those with the highest education levels. We have already completed six districts and are starting with the next six,” said Tanveer Sait.

Teachers will undergo training sessions on how to use the Mathematics kit which will further enable them to teach the students properly.