The Akshaya Patra Foundation

The Akshaya Patra Foundation

"No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger"

According to Education for ALL Global Monitoring Report 2007, UNESCO about 13.5 million children in the age group of 6-13 years are out of school in India? Despite the trillion-dollar economic growth, a large chunk of Indias younger generation does not have access to schools because of hunger and poverty. Their inability to access even one nutritional meal per day is severely limiting their capacity to concentrate in the classroom and receive a proper education, which could otherwise lift them out of the cycle of poverty.

Striving to end hunger of underserved children in the 6 to 16 years age group and facilitate their education, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a not-for-profit, Bangalore-based secular trust evolved a free lunch program in schools in the year 2000. What started as a pilot project in five schools in Bangalore, feeding 1,500 children, has now grown into a mammoth endeavor reaching out to over 11,86,206 children in over 6,500 government, government aided schools and anganwadis (day care centers) in 18 locations, across seven states in India, day after day. Akshaya Patra is now the worlds largest NGO-run school meal program.

Currently the Foundation reaches to the underprivileged children in Bangalore, Hubli-Dharwad, Bellary, Mangalore and Mysore in Karnataka, Jaipur, Nathdwara and Baran in Rajasthan, Vrindavan and Mathura district in Uttar Pradesh, Puri and Nayagarh in Orissa, Gandhinagar,Ahemedabad & Baroda in Gujarat; Hyderabad and Visakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh; and Bhilai-Raipur region in Chattisgarh.

Akshaya Patra is unique
1. Public Private Partnership:
a. In partnership with the Central and respective state governments of India, the Akshaya Patra Foundation serves the largest number of hot, freshly-cooked school meals in the country six days of the week.
b. As an eloquent demonstration of public private partnership, Akshaya Patra program is run with part subsides from the government, besides financial support from corporates and individual philanthropists.

2. Innovations & Kitchen engineering: Akshaya Patra has set up an infrastructure of intelligently engineered, centralized automated kitchens for cooking.
a. Akshaya Patras kitchens are technology-intensive, and can cook about 100,000 meals in less than five hours with least human intervention and sustained quality.
b. The cooked food is distributed to schools through heat-insulated, dust-free special purpose vehicles.
c. Due to extensive mechanization of the kitchen, the program is able to offer children standardized, high quality, hygienic meals.

3. ISO Certification: Five of Akshaya Patras kitchens have been ISO 22000:2005 certified. These kitchens are at North Bangalore, South Bangalore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hubli-Dharwad and Vrindavan.

4. The Akshaya Patra meal: The Akshaya Patra meal consists of a three-item menu meal that suit local palatal preferences. Hence, in North India Akshaya Patra kitchens a roti- making machine has been innovated to roll out 40,000 chapathis in one hour, where as in the south the kitchens are engineered to cook rice- based menu. The wholesome meals are prepared as per the recommendations of qualified nutritionists.

5. Secular & non- discriminatory: Akshaya Patra is a secular, not-for-profit program implemented only in government schools where there is no discrimination on the basis of religion, gender, color, or socio-economic background.

6. Education Initiatives: Besides nutritious meals, the program offers education and medical interventions to ensure the holistic development of children.

7. Governance: The program is independently governed by a Board of Trustees, an Advisory Panel consisting of professionals from the corporate world & bureaucracy, dedicated employees and a team of volunteers.

8. Transparency: The program is audited by KPMG to ensure transparency and accountability to all its donors.

9. Impact: The program has had a positive impact on its beneficiaries as revealed by many independent studies conducted by third party organizations like,
a. AC Nielsen Org Marg Pvt Ltd, Mumbai
b. Harvard Business School
c. US Congressional Hunger Centre

10. Tax Exemptions: All contributions to The Akshaya Patra Foundation are eligible for 100% tax deduction under section 35AC/80GGA (bb) of the Income Tax Act 1961 in India.
With a vision to ensure that No child in India is deprived of education because of hunger, the Akshaya Patra Foundation is striving to end hunger and create a human resources pool that will propel India into the league of developed nations.

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