As we approach the World Food Day (recognised by Food and Agriculture Organisation of UN) on October 16, the fight to end hunger must get stronger. This year’s theme ‘Climate is changing; Food and agriculture must too’ draws attention to one of the global issues related to hunger – food security. Akshaya Patra, a children’s NGO urges you to get involved in eradicating food security among school children.
Starting with 1,500 children in 2000, reaching 1.6 million children and growing, Akshaya Patra has actively campaigned in this fight against hunger. Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme, run in active collaboration with the government, is one such initiative that aims to reach children with nutritious meals. And the mission will not stop here. You may also choose to join the cause or make a donation in honour of someone you love.
Around 30% of children in India in the age group of 1 to 5 years of age are underweight. In order to address this situation, the role of NGOs such as Akshaya Patra becomes vital. The support from government is another essential aid in the endeavour to end hunger. The Indian Government has proactively participated in the cause helping to make the process smoother so more children could be reached.
Akshaya Patra’s vision “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger” stands strong as it aims at loftier goals towards providing mid-day meal benefits to school children. This vision, however, can only be attained by ensuring availability of wholesome food to children across many government-run schools in different parts of India. Present with its kitchens across 26 places in 11 cities, Akshaya Patra has often gone beyond the role of an NGO. The Mid-Day Meal Programme aims to benefit not only in terms of provision of food but also in terms of ensuring proper education.
On World Food Day, let us take you through the cooking process of Akshaya Patra meals. The Akshaya Patra Foundation runs its operations through two kitchen models: Centralised and Decentralised.
Centralised kitchens are semi-automated mega kitchen units that have the capacity to typically cook up to 100,000 meals a day and serve a set of schools located around the units. These units ensure optimum hygiene during the cooking process. The technology and process used in centralised kitchens have been a topic of research and study in the course curriculum of many renowned universities such as Harvard.
Decentralised kitchens are set up in locations where factors like unfavourable geographical terrain and improper road connectivity do not support the construction of large infrastructure. The units are run by women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) under the guidance and supervision of Akshaya Patra’s kitchen process and operations module.
With this large and hygienic system, Akshaya Patra also ensures that the nutritious meals suit the local palate. For example, the kitchens in North India prepare chapatis and in the South, rice. As this is the only source of nutrition for many of the organisation’s beneficiaries, it is cooked with ample ingredients to fulfill an individual’s one day nutrition requirement.
Akshaya Patra is continuously leveraging technology to cater to millions of children and it is important mentioning that it could not have been possible without the donors who care to volunteer and give their undivided contribution to the cause and to the vision of Zero hunger. If you also feel for the cause, do not hesitate to make a donation in honour of someone. So, this World Food Day, donate or pledge to donate and aid the endeavor to eradicate hunger.