The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a NGO that was started in Bangalore in June 2000. It implements the mid-day meal programme in Government schools under the aegis of Central Government and various State Governments. Akshaya Patra serves mid-day meal to 1.3million school children every day.
Though the primary role of Akshaya Patra as an NGO is to provide mid-day meal to school children, yet it greatly emphasizes on education too. “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”- the vision statement of the Foundation further makes it evident too. The first step to this initiative was taken in Akshaya Patra Bangalore by feeding 1500 children in 5 Government schools of Bangalore. This humble beginning gradually led Akshaya Patra to spread its reach in other parts of Karnataka and eventually India too.
Currently, the total reach of Akshaya Patra in Karnataka is 542,181 children and 2,681 schools. The Foundation operates 7 centralized kitchens in Karnataka, one each in Bellary, Hubli, Mangalore, Mysore and 2 kitchen units in Bangalore. The reach of Akshaya Patra in Andhra Pradesh is 42,742 children in 255 schools. Akshaya Patra in Assam feeds 47,571 children in 510 schools. Akshaya Patra in Chhattisgarh is currently feeding 29,771 children thereby covering 159 schools. Akshaya Patra in Gujarat every day reaches out to 260,634 children covering 1,141 schools. Akshaya Patra in Odisha is presently reaching out to 796 schools thereby nourishing 81,050 children. The total reach of Akshaya Patra in Rajasthan is 157,238 children in 1,817 schools. 165,562 children and 1,663 schools is the current reach of Akshaya Patra in Uttar Pradesh. Akshaya Patra in Tamil Nadu feeds around 750 children in 1 school. On the whole the total reach of Akshaya Patra in India is 1.3 million children in more than 9000 Government schools.
Apart from regular mid-day meal programme, Akshaya Patra has also taken up other feeding initiatives like the below mentioned:
- Feeding expecting and lactating mothers
- Feeding in special schools
- Subsidized lunch for the economically backward
- Feeding runaway children
- Feeding in old-age homes
- Feeding the homeless