Food for Thought

food-for-thought

Akshaya Patra is one of the world’s largest NGO that deals with mid-day meals programmes. They provide wholesome food to over 1.4 million children from over 10,600 schools across 10 Indian states. Today their kitchens are present in 23 locations where they work along with the government to feed nutritious wholesome food to the underprivileged.

With their kitchens in Autonagar, Akshaya Patra has a presence in our city as well. Operational since October 2008, the organization has been providing nutritious mid-day meals to over 5500 children at Gajuwaka and Pedagantyada mandals daily. While they have tied up with government schools for this, they also provide meals to 40,000 beneficiaries of Anganwadi centers, subsidised food for attendants of patients at government hospitals and dinner for the homeless at GVMC shelters too.

With multiple programs, their goal is simple. Their meals should appease hunger; offer a balanced diet, while being enjoyable and reachable to as many as possible. So, with a different menu each day, they offer specials like biryani and coconut rice also. Moreover, their transport vehicles are specially designed to maintain heat at 60 degrees, so that people enjoy the food at the right temperatures. Akshaya Patra works on a government-public-private partnership basis. With one section of their team working on providing quality meals to the underprivileged, and the other works on fund raising too. This is done through corporate and private donations, which is then matched by the government.

A nutritious mid-day meal can be provided to a child for a year, on donating Rs.750, an affordable amount which has brought many Vizagites to come forth and support the cause. Thus while certain organizations have sponsored for the 8 vehicles that transport food in the city, others have taken up to providing funds for feeding a section of the children.

With the ratio between the amounts they raise and numbers they feed being directly proportional, the initiative can grow only with peoples’ support. And in a city known for its benevolence, we are sure that it will definitely go further.

In order to donate to Akshaya Patra, you can contact Ambarisha Dasa at 9542511108.