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!

 

 

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Boy with the iron fist

akshayapatra

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Zilla Parishad High School in Kanukunta village, Jinnaram Mandal in Medak district, Hyderabad is a cheerful place to be. It’s here we meet Kiran, a 15-year-old boy who wants to make a difference in this world. Kiran is a 10th standard Akshaya Patra beneficiary who has a firm determination to join the police force with a moral virtue to serve and protect the public.

Kiran is born and brought up in Kanukunta village. His family is into agriculture and owns a small plot. His parents work as farmers to earn their livelihood. He has an older brother who is married and also practices farming. While Kiran projects an energetic boldness, he has a humble personality. “When I join the police force, I wish to serve the public wholeheartedly. I want to fulfil this for my family. I know I have to work hard to achieve this,” says a confident Kiran.

Kiran is happy to show his appreciation toward the Akshaya Patra meals, and tells us that he and his friends are fond of the food. “I like the fruits also,” said Kiran (Fruits are provided to various schools in Hyderabad by Akshaya Patra).

Kiran is fluent in Telegu. He is quick to tell us that he likes mathematics. He points out that learning his state’s language is important to him to communicate with people, especially if he has to join the police force.

Kiran looks forward to joining the police service as soon as he completes his education. “I will do my further studies and then write the IPS exam,” he says.
Kiran’s moral disposition boosts his willpower to reach his dreams of become a public servant of the country. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Akashaya Patra Foundation Mid Day Meal programs

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The Akshaya Patra Foundation is actively engaged in the ‘mid day meal’ initiative started for the noble cause of feeding millions of school going children in India. The motivating force which triggered the setting up of this program is the Spiritual leader His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who while in Calcutta saw a group of children fighting with street dogs over scraps of food. From this minor, yet heart breaking incident, came the determination that no one within a ten mile radius of Hare Krishna Group center should go hungry. The Akshaya Patra program had a simple vision:  “No child in India should be deprived of education because of hunger”. Because of India’s enormous population, this was a challenging vision difficult to be realized.

In June 2000, the Akshaya Patra mid-day meal program was started in Bangalore by feeding 1500 children in 5 schools. At that time there was no State run school meal program in Karnataka. Within a few short weeks hundreds of requests were received from teachers who expressed the dire need of such a scheme. Akshaya Patra recognized the need for midday meal programs in other parts of the country and expanded the program to other areas. In August 2003, it opened a kitchen in Vrindavan, in northern India.

In July 2004, it began a midday meal program in Hubli-Dharwad. By November 2004, Akshaya Patra had also commenced a pilot program in 25 schools feeding 5,200 children in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

As the urban operations grew, Akshaya Patra recognized that in order to reach the majority of India’s most undernourished children; it also needed to serve the rural districts. In August 2005, Akshaya Patra began services in the region of Baran, located in east Rajasthan, in response to the number of starvation deaths in the area. Neither the government nor Akshaya Patra was able to serve these communities adequately on its own, but as partners, their mutual goal was achievable.

Today, the Foundation extends its mid day meal facilities in the following states: Karnataka, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Andhra Pradesh. It is a fluent demonstration of public-private partnership as it is run with part subsidies from the Government, besides financial support from corporates, individuals and philanthropists. AC Nielsen, an independent research firm, performed an impact assessment in 2010, measuring key indicators such as enrolment, attendance and health. The study demonstrated an increase in enrolment, especially among the female students, and better health and improved performance among all students who received school lunches.