Akshaya Patra: Stepping Closer Towards Our Mission.

Akshaya Patra

The anticipation one feels prior to the arrival of a delicious meal, is unmatched. The joy that follows the sight of a steaming hot meal is even more intense! Isn’t it wonderful that over 1.6 million school children in India get to experience this very joy every day in the form of a nutritious school lunch from Akshaya Patra? As we scale up our efforts to expand across the country, the number of beneficiaries we feed every day is about to rise dramatically too! Thanks to the groundwork laid in 2016, the year 2017 will see us taking a significant leap towards our mission of feeding 5 million children by 2020.

In 2016, we opened our innings in Maharashtra with our first kitchen in the state, in Nagpur.  We also added two more locations to our presence in Andhra Pradesh – Kakinada and Mangalagiri. Towards the end of the year, in December, we laid the Foundation for our first high-tech mega kitchen at Khandi in Telangana. The construction cost of the kitchen will be covered by the Infosys Foundation, which has donated Rs 18.03 crore towards it. This kitchen will feed over 1,00,000 children in the region from the next academic year.

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We also initiated the process of setting up 11 new kitchens in Uttar Pradesh in the last month of 2016. The groundbreaking ceremony for the same was performed by Honourable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Shri Akhilesh Yadav, on December 26, 2016 at Lok Bhavan, New Secretariat, Lucknow. Children in the districts of Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, Etawah, Kannauj, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Rampur and Ballia will benefit from our Mid-Day Meal Programme after the establishment of these kitchens. It will expand our reach to 13 lakh beneficiary children in UP from the current 2,11,680.

We are striving hard to expand our reach across the country, where 179.6 million people live below poverty line. We urgently need your support to ensure that children do not suffer dire consequences due to hunger and lack of education. Walk with us on the road to eliminating classroom hunger now. Join the cause by lending your support!

Nagamma dreams of becoming a social worker.

Akshaya Patra

Working for a social cause, acknowledging issues in society that need urgent attention and can be resolved are the noblest of all vocations. Here is an Akshaya Patra beneficiary who anticipates becoming a social worker from the profound suffering, deep woes and agonies she has endured in life.

We noticed the empathy in her eyes when she said with extreme determination that she wanted to become a social worker, giving herself for the welfare of children who cannot study because of hunger. Hesitantly, she told that she is not certain whether she can follow through with her goal, as she does not know whether she will be able to continue her education when she completes 14. We met Nagamma at the schoolyards of Government Higher Primary School, Tarabanahalli. She is a 12- year-old studying in Std V. She hails from an underprivileged economical background. She lives with her parents and two siblings. Her father Mahesha and mother Ratnamma work as labourers at a construction site for a meagre income.

Nagamma’s family is one among the 179.6 million people in India who are living below poverty line. They do not have a land of their own and stay in a mud house on government land. The house is thatched and has a tin sheet as door. We were humbled by seeing the deplorable condition of the house. The inside of the house was abysmal. The house had bare minimum utensils, and clothes strewn on a hanging rope. We could imagine the plight during rainy season; they told us that the water enters the house, and leaking roof adds to their woes.

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The responsible sister

Nagamma has two siblings, a sister, Savithri and a brother, Chandrashekar; who studies in standard V and II respectively, in the same school (Government Higher Primary School, Tarabanahalli). Though Savithri is younger than Nagamma, she also studies in Std V with Nagamma. Nagamma had to discontinue schooling to take care of her little brother and had missed a year of school. The three children are beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra.

Nagamma told us that it was she who had helped raise her 7-year-old brother from a very young age as both her parents work hard for making ends meet. Bringing up three children is a herculean task for them. She said, “I used to bring my younger brother to class, as there was no one to take care of him at home. At first, my teachers disallowed it but later on when I could not attend classes, my teachers gave permission to bring him to class.” She added, “I am more than a mother to my little brother.”

‘Reading is a hobby, but has no time’

When we asked her, what her favourite hobby is, she told us, ‘reading’ but, she added that she does not get time for reading at home. She has to do innumerable household chores like taking care of her siblings, bringing water from the tap, washing clothes and utensils, preparing dinner among other things. Such a heavy responsibility on such small shoulders was a humbling experience for us.

An intelligent student

Her teachers are fond of her as she is very intelligent and hardworking. As soon as she reaches home, she does her homework and prepares the dinner before her parents come home from work. Though she likes studying all subjects her favourite subject is Maths since she likes to solve problems. She said, “When I am able to solve the problems correctly, I feel happy.” Her favourite teacher is Latha Miss, Nagamma says that she teaches very well and is ready to explain the mathematical sums a number of times, if required, without losing patience. Nagamma likes to play different games like Kho-kho, throw ball and the like. She has participated in running race competition held at Cluster Level. She wishes that the school has a bigger playground so that she can practice more.

Give To Receive: Feed Children And Avail 100% Tax Exemption!

Akshaya Patra

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread,” said the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Classroom hunger affects the health and future prospects of school-going children. This is an issue that needs all our collective efforts to be effectively tackled and eliminated. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to feed a hungry child and receive mental and material benefits from the act? We bet it would! Donating to Akshaya Patra not only nourishes the children of the country, it also brings you a sense of great happiness at having done a noble deed and avails you 100% tax exemption!

How can you avail this tax exemption? As an NGO, Akshaya Patra is registered under section 35AC of the Income Tax Act 1961. Hence, every donation above Rs 500 made to the Foundation is eligible for a 100% tax exemption under Section 80GGA. So, if you make a donation of a minimum of Rs 500, you can avail this benefit. The receipts acknowledging the donation will be sent to you within 10 days of making the donation – the tax certificate is generated within six days and reaches you within 10 days. The good Samaritans outside of India, who wish to donate to the Foundation need not worry either. Non-resident Indians (NRIs), holding an Indian passport too are eligible for 100% tax exemptions under the aforementioned sections of the Income Tax Act.

Isn’t it wonderful, this opportunity to bring about a positive impact on the lives of India’s children and feed their dreams? The benefits are reaped not only by the children of this country but by you as well. So, go ahead and contribute to the cause of ‘Unlimited Food for Education’ here!

You can read in greater detail about free donations here.

Organizations partner with Akshaya Patra Foundation to eradicate hunger

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Akshaya Patra Foundation is a Bengaluru based NGO catering the needs of underprivileged children across India via their mid-day meal services. The NGO is also gathering lot of attention and appreciation on international platform too, with its thriving efforts towards eradicating hunger and illiteracy. They know that lack of education and lack of hunger are the barricades in growth of a nation. That is why Akshaya Patra Foundation is working towards improving the same. Akshaya Patra Foundation has partnered with number of organizations and individuals to work for the benefits of children in India.

Akshaya Patra Foundation receives one percent of Kavita Vision’s online sale in the form of donation from its ventures Radhavallabh.com and Krishnastores.com. Kavita Vision is engaged in exporting original and handcrafted products for deities and deity altars to individuals and temples across the world. On sale of their every notebook, MyCopie is donating a part of its revenue to Akshaya Patra Foundation so that children never give up their education because of hunger. MyCopie is a stationary brand for students.

CashKaro.com teamed up with APF and offers their customers to donate their ‘cashback’ to Akshaya Patra Donation. CashKaro.com provides cash back on more than 500 brands. Good Food For Good is a social enterprise which donates a meal on its each sale. This Toronto based enterprise was founded with the vision to make a difference in the world. Jackfruit365 is helping Akshaya Patra in many ways. They asked their customers to donate in Akshaya Patra Donation, they donate a sponsorship fee for 5 mid-day meals on sale of every pack and they also requested their corporate cafeterias and restaurants to donate for one mid-day meal. Jackfruit365 is an initiative taken by James Joseph for making jackfruit available to public throughout the year.

Using PriceBurp coupons while shopping, will give the organization an opportunity to donate a mid-day meal to underprivileged school children across India. PriceBurp.com is a coupon based Indian website. Saavn will donate for one mid-day meal to Akshaya Patra Foundation for every hour’s music streaming via their website on app. Saavn is renowned amongst Indians for its digital music service. They have partnered with Akshaya Patra Foundation with a goal to feed 5,000 school children for a year. Swiggy donated Rs 15 to APF on every order they took on Independence Day under their initiative, ‘Freedom from Hunger’. Swiggy is a food ordering and delivery organization came forward to partner with Akshaya Patra Foundation to raise funds for 200 school children, to be fed for a year.

Campaigns organized by Tweet2Health, Unlockar and Vasudev Adiga also offered benefits to their customers in various forms so that they could contribute a bit and support Akshaya Patra Foundation and be a part of this noble cause. Interested people can contact them at infodesk@akshayapatra.org.