Akshaya Patra is an initiative of ISKCON Bangalore to provide mid-day meals in the rural schools for the underprivileged children and thus support their education. The vision statement of Akshaya Patra states: No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.
In June 2000, the Akshaya Patra Foundation started feeding 1500 children in Bangalore and today it is reaching out to more than 1.3 million children every day. Akshaya Patra is currently operating in 19 locations across 9 states of India and is conferred as the World’s Largest NGO-run Mid-Day Meal Program. The mission is to reach 5 million children by 2020.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation works in partnership with the Central and various State Governments of India to provide mid-day meals to children studying in Government and Government-aided schools. The Foundation runs its operations through two kitchen models: Centralized Kitchens, which are suitable for urban and semi-urban locations, are mostly mechanized and employ innovative technology to cook meals for thousands of children within a few hours. Decentralized Kitchens are set-up in areas that are not easily accessible and employ women of that particular area for the cooking process.
Centralized Akshaya Patra Kitchens are located in:
- Karnataka:Hare Krishna Hill (Bengaluru), Vasanthapura (Bengaluru), Ballari, Hubballi, Mangaluru and Mysuru
- Andhra Pradesh:Hyderabad and Vishakapatnam
- Gujarat:Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat
- Odisha:Jagannath Puri, Nayagarh, Bhubaneshwar, Rourkela
- Rajasthan:Jaipur, Baran and Nathadwara
- Tamil Nadu:Chennai
- Uttar Pradesh:Vrindavana
The mid-day meal program has seen positive impact across India. In 2006, A C Nielsen (Mumbai) did a study to measure the impact of this mid-day meal program and observed that this program not only improved the nutritional status of the children but also has resulted in increased enrolment and attendance in the schools. The rate of drop-outs considerably reduced. It also improved the performance of the students in class; their attention span has improved and they have shown good academic progress. In the year 2007, Harvard Business School conducted a study on the operations of Akshaya Patra and included it in their MBA curriculum as a case study on precision and time management. Download the Harvard Business School Case Study on Akshaya Patra Operations. ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) has honoured Akshaya Patra with the gold shield award for excellence in financial reporting.
Related Link: AkshayaPatra