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ISR INDIVIDUAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

SNEHASIS GUHA
ADMISSION NO. HPGD/AP14/1022
SOCIAL CAUSE: FIGHTING HUNGER AND
MALNUTRITION
NGO: AKSHAYA PATRA

PRIN. L. N. WELINGKAR INSTITUTE OF


MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT & RESEARCH.
YEAR OF SUBMISSION: 2015
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INDEX
Topic

Page No.

1) Introduction

2) What is Social Responsibility?

3) Understanding ISR
i) Is ISR only about philanthropy?

4) ISR vis--vis CSR

5) Akshaya Patra- Philosophy

6) Mission and Vision Statement

11

7) History Of Akshaya Patra

12

8) Governance and Management

13

9) Finance

15

10) Mid-day meal and other initiatives

20

11) From Kitchen to Schools (Mode of Operation)

25

12) Standard and Hygienic Kitchens (ISO Certified)

29

13) Achievements and Milestones

31

14) How everyone can contribute?

33

15) Stories of Hope

36

16) Other NGOs fighting the same cause

38

17) Conclusion

39

18) References

40

Introduction
Our country had witnessed many social reformers and their contributions into the well being of
society has caused effective and positive changes in the cultural being of our country. The
causes may differ from upliftment of back ward cast or poor, liberating women from the shackles
of antediluvian and ritualistic rules, fighting for children educational rights, fighting against
female feticide, fighting against hunger and providing nutritious and hygienic food to fight
malnutrition and many more.
In this era also social reformers and followers of humanity exist. They make the society a better
place either individually or in a group in the form of NGO (Non-Governmental Organization).
These organizations are not-for-profit business. Usually set up by ordinary citizens, NGOs may
be funded by governments, foundations, businesses, or private persons. NGOs are highly
diverse groups of organizations engaged in a wide range of activities, and take different forms in
different parts of the world. Some may have charitable status, while others may be registered for
tax exemption based on recognition of social purposes.
In India itself there are around 2million NGOs active. One such Organization is Akshaya Patra,
which is involved in feeding millions of government school children in many districts and states
of India. The path is a noble one, that no child should be deprived of education because of
hunger. It also addresses one more issue existing in India from centuries, malnutrition. The midday meal initiative provides perfect and ample amount of calories to maintain healthy and fit
physique and mind to study and play.
Poverty is always remained a misery in India. Large scale of the society hails from poor
background in India. And, education remains an only option for their upliftment which cannot be
met if the children of the poor families are withdrawing from schools to earn and to feed
themselves and their families.
Akshaya Patras initiative is beyond religion or caste politics. Their spiritual approach is nurturing
children in many states irrespective of their religion, cast creed or color. Their journey from few
neighboring schools to reach mass is in itself an achievement. Proper use of donation,
organized processes, involvement of visionaries and experts has made Akshaya Patra one of
the largest and respected organization, not just in India but in other continents too.

What Is Social Responsibility?


We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill.
Being socially responsible means that people and organizations must behave ethically
and with sensitivity towards social, cultural, economic and environmental issues.
Striving for social responsibility helps individuals, organizations and governments have
a positive impact on development, business and society with a positive contribution to
bottom-line results.

Individual Social Responsibility (ISR) to achieve Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)


ISR may appear to be a new concept in relation to CSR, but it is a concept as old as The
Golden Rule Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. ISR expands on this by
promoting a proactive stance towards positively influencing and affecting the people and
environments outside your immediate circle. ISR is at the roots of CSR, because a corporate
comprises of individuals and hence determines the social responsibility culture it creates. This is
the intermingled relationship between CSR and ISR. Individuals are becoming more socially
responsible and, in response to this Corporations and Companies need to become more
socially responsible to meet consumer demand.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) states: In the wake of increasing
globalization, we have become increasingly conscious not only of what we buy, but also how the
goods and services we buy have been produced. Environmentally harmful production, child
labor, dangerous working environments and other inhumane conditions are examples of issues
being brought into the open. All companies and organizations aiming at long-term profitability
and credibility are starting to realize that they must act in accordance with norms of right and
wrong.
Socially responsible individuals are demanding companies and organizations to become more
socially responsible.

How Does an Individual Become Socially Responsible?


The Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation (WCIF), Bulgaria, describes ISR in its position
statement on Social Responsibility as, The individual social responsibility includes the
engagement of each person towards the community where he lives, which can be expressed as
an interest towards whats happening in the community, as well as in the active participation in
the solving of some of the local problems. Under community we understand the village, the
small town or the residential complex in the big city, where lives every one of us. Each
community lives its own life that undergoes a process of development all the time. And everyone
of us could take part in that development in different ways, for example by taking part in
cleaning of the street on which he lives, by taking part in organization of an event, connected
with the history of the town or the village or by rendering social services to children without
parents or elderly people. The individual social responsibility also could be expressed in making
donations for significant for the society causes social, cultural or ecological. There are many
ways of donating, as for example donating of goods or donating money through a bank account
or online
Social Responsibility can be negative, in that it is a responsibility to refrain from acting
(resistance stance) or it can be positive, meaning there is a responsibility to act (proactive
stance). Being socially responsible not only requires participating in socially responsible
activities like recycling, volunteering and mentoring, but to actually make it a lifestyle. Only
through a commitment to embrace and embed social responsibility into your personal value and
belief system can you truly become socially responsible in all you do.

According to The Harris Poll #57, June 18, 2007, when it comes to individual social
responsibility, there are three types of people:
1.

Two-thirds of U.S. adults have Good Intentions they believe that social responsibility
is a good idea, and they do what they can in terms of volunteering, but they do not sacrifice
huge amounts of time or money.

2.

At the top end of the spectrum, 8 percent of U.S. adults Practice What They Preach
and for this group, individual, as well as corporate, social responsibility is extremely important.

3.

One-quarter of U.S. adults, however, follow a philosophy of To Thine Own Self Be True
and, for this group, social responsibility has little consequence in their lives.
On the other hand the trends show that the biggest growth for big charitable organizations in the
world is coming through individuals and not through Corporations and Governments.
To take a proactive stance, ISR can start off as a simple act of philanthropic behavior. My
husband and I actually budget for giving, just like we do for living or car expenses. Add to this
the campaigner, volunteer and activist in you that picks-up and supports issues affecting
society. You may just start off volunteering once a month somewhere that suits your skills,
abilities or interests. The other day, I asked a friend if he could teach my son guitar. We
determined a tuition cost but instead of me paying him, he asked me if I could pay the charity of
his choice. If you have the choice of two products and one product supports a good cause or
was produced in a more ethical way, then purchase that product. You may only be one person
but if everyone did their part, we could change the world!
All Social responsibility, both individual and corporate, is voluntary; it is about going above and
beyond what is called for by the law (legal responsibility). It involves an idea that it is better to be
proactive toward a problem rather than reactive to a problem. Social responsibility means
eliminating corrupt, irresponsible or unethical behavior that might bring harm to the community,
its people, or the environment before the behavior happens.

Understanding ISR-Individual Social Responsibility


CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) has been the buzz for a while. Several attempts have
been made to define, practice and document CSR. But increasingly and from diverse and
independent pockets in the world people are talking about a different and more basic social
responsibility. ISR-Individual Social Responsibility has all the takings of being a high impact
change maker. This article tries to build understanding on the subject by studying these various
points of view.

What is ISR?
Individual Social Responsibility (ISR) is about an individual becoming responsible in his/her
actions that have affected on communities outside his/her immediate circle. The immediate
circle being family and friends. There can be an argument about also including family and
friends, but it would be rather pertinent to include them as part of Individual Personal
Responsibility.

Is ISR only about philanthropy?


ISR is not only about:
1. committing acts of charity
2. Working for the communities where you have material interest.
These only form part of ISR, which is a broader concept that can be manifested through action
as below:
1. Philanthropic behavior of an individual
2. The campaigner, volunteer and activist instinct in the individual that picks-up and supports
issues affecting the society.
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3. The above two coupled with an individual being ethical (integrity, honesty) in his/her outward
dealings.

ISR vis--vis CSR


1. ISR is at the roots of CSR, because a corporate comprises of individuals and hence
determines the social responsibility culture it follows.
2. As CSR is being increasingly viewed as a tool to push wares a greater need for ISR is
expected. The example of www.kiva.org in giving people the power to empower is a big
indicator of the shift.
3. If ISR becomes way of life CSR may be an automatic end result.
4. The social responsibility of business is to make a profit, famously said Milton Friedman, the
Nobel Prize winner. He explained that in making a profit a company creates thousands of jobs,
both directly and indirectly through suppliers, distributors and retailers. It imparts valuable skills
to its employees. It pays crores in taxes. It improves the lives of millions of satisfied customers
with its products and services. This is an enormous service to society. If some shareholders get
rich on the way, so what? Companies should focus single-mindedly on their competence,
providing goods and services better than their competitors, and not get distracted by extraneous
activity. A companys social responsibility is to make profits legally, not to harm nature, and
uphold the highest standards of governance.
It is then left for the promoters of the corporations to practice ISR from the profits received
above to really answer Social Responsibility.
Is ISR practical?
Yes, it is. The successes of ventures like www.kiva.org that empower individuals to bring
sustainable change are case in point. Furthermore, the advent of Web 2.0 and social networking
has fuelled Individual activism, campaigning and giving.
But there is still a long way to go. On the other hand the trends show that the biggest growth for
big charitable organizations in the world is coming through individuals and not through
corporations and governments. The aspects of ethics, honesty and integrity surely need further
consultation.

AKSHAYA PATRA Philosophy


The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Bengaluru,
India. The organization strives to fight issues like hunger and malnutrition in India. By
implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in the Government schools and Government aided
schools, Akshaya Patra aims not only to fight hunger but also to bring children to school.
Since 2000, the organization has worked towards reaching more children with wholesome food
on every single school day.
Akshaya Patra is continuously leveraging technology to cater to millions of children. Its state-ofthe-art kitchens have become a subject of study and they attract curious visitors from around
the world.
In partnership with the Government of India and various State Governments, and inestimable
support from many businesses, philanthropic donors and well-wishers; Akshaya Patra has
grown from their humble beginnings in the year 2000, serving just 1,500 children across 5
schools. Today Akshaya Patra is the worlds largest (not-for-profit run) mid-day meal programme
serving wholesome food to over 1.4 million children from 10,845 schools across 10 states
in India.

Comparative Number Of Meals (in Lakhs)


3000
2500
2000

Comparative Number Of
Meals (in Lakhs)

1500
1000
500
0
2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014

A brief on the growth of The Akshaya Patra Foundation


On November 28, 2001 the Supreme Court of India passed a mandate that:"Cooked mid-day
meal is to be provided in all the Government and Government-aided primary schools in all the
states." Akshaya Patra was also called upon to provide testimonies to the Supreme Court.
By the time the Ministry of Human Resource Development - Department of School Health and
Education extended its support to the initiative in 2003, Akshaya Patra was already reaching out
to 23,000 children.
Today, Akshaya Patra has kitchens in 24 locations spread across 10 states in India, a result of
the successful partnership with the Government of India, various State Governments
and generous supporters.

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Mission And Vision Statement


VISION: NO CHILD IN INDIA SHALL BE DEPRIVED OF EDUCATION
BECAUSE OF HUNGER
MISSION: TO FEED 5 MILLION CHILDREN BY 2020

Through their mid-day meal programme, attempt is to feed the millions of children in India who
have the zeal to learn and achieve, but not the means. By feeding them that one wholesome
meal a day, they give them the motivation and nourishment they need to pursue an education
and a better future. It is their endeavor to reach out to every child at the grass root level of the
society.
Close to 13.5 million underprivileged children in India are out of school and into child labor in
order to earn a single meal in a day. (Source: www.worldbank.org.in). The surest way to break
out the cycle of poverty is through education. Education can significantly improve the quality of
life of a family for generations to come. When the basic needs of a child, such as food are not
met, education often becomes the last priority. They are helping underprivileged children by
providing them with a healthy, balanced meal that they would otherwise have to work for. The
meal is an incentive for them to continue their education. It helps reduce the dropout rate to an
enormous extent and increases classroom attendance.
.

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History Of Akshaya Patra


Every beginning has a cause. The foundation of Akshaya Patra was formed with a cause of
helping the malnourished and poor children with food, so that they receive education. It is based
on compassion.
Looking out of a window one day in Mayapur, a village near Calcutta, His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, saw a group of children fighting with stray dogs over scraps
of food. From this simple, yet heart-breaking incident, was born a determination that no child
within a radius of ten miles from our centre should go hungry.
It was his inspiring resolve has helped them in making The Akshaya Patra Foundation, as what
it is today.
In June 2000, The Akshaya Patra Foundation started the mid-day meal programme in
Bengaluru, Karnataka. The initial days of implementation were not smooth sailing for the
organization. But soon came the helping hands of Mohandas Pai, who took the initiative of
donating the first vehicle to transport food to the schools; and Abhay Jain, who promised to
bring in more donors to contribute for the further expansion of the programme.
The humble beginnings of the Foundation started with serving of the mid-day meals to 1500
children across five Government schools in Bengaluru.
The programme embraced the vision that
No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.
Today, through the partnership with the Government of India and various State Governments, as
well as philanthropic donors; the organization runs the worlds largest mid-day meal programme.
Built on a public-private partnership, Akshaya Patra combines good management, innovative
technology and smart engineering to deliver a nutritious and hygienic school lunch.

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Governance and Management


Their Governance Philosophy is based on a set of laws, rules and regulations and good
practices that enables the organization to perform efficiently and ethically and create value for
all its stakeholders.
The organization is committed to the belief that the adoption of the best governance practices
will take us a long way ahead.
The roots of their value system and governance practices reflect the culture of the trusteeship.
The core philosophy rests on 4 basic tenets:

Board accountability to the organization and stakeholders

Equitable treatment to all stakeholders

Strategic guidance and effective monitoring by the Board

Transparency and timely disclosure

Following the philosophy and adoption of the best governance practices, Akshaya Patra
continuously strives for excellence.

Existing Board Of Trustees


Akshaya Patra firmly believes that good governance and ethics are the necessary foundations
of any Non-Governmental Organization. In pursuit of the same, the Foundations Board of
Trustees plays a primary role in ensuring good governance and functioning of the Foundation.
The Foundations Board comprises of Board of Trustees and Board of Advisors. Presently, there
are eight Trustees and seven Advisors in the Foundations Board.

1. Madhu Pandit Dasa


Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation

2. Chanchalapathi Dasa
Vice Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation
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3. Suvyakta Narasimha Dasa


Trustee, The Akshaya Patra Foundation
4. Jaganmohan Krishna Dasa
Trustee, The Akshaya Patra Foundation
5. T.V. Mohandas Pai
Chairman, Manipal Global Education Services

6. Abhay Jain
Board Member & Head Group Corporate Affairs
of Manipal Education and Medical Group,
Member Board of Jain University
7. Ramadas Kamath U.
Senior Vice President, Head of Infrastructure,
Commercial, Facilities, Administration,
and Security, Infosys Limited
8. V. Balakrishnan
Founder & Chairman, Exfinity Technology Fund
9. Raj P Kondur
Founder and CEO, Kondur Corp.

Presidents
Each centre of The Akshaya Patra Foundation operates under the guidance of Presidents who,
on a voluntary basis, oversee the functioning of the organization. The Presidents, with their
missionary zeal and expertise, manage the governance and administration of Akshaya Patra at
the location level.

Management Team
The organizations Executive Management Team consists of individuals with specific skills in
fields of Management, Operations, Finance and Accountancy, Communications and the like.
Their knowledge base, along with the guidance of the Unit Presidents, helps in the operation of
the organization in an efficient manner and ensures best usage of resources.

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Finance
Akshaya Patra believes in absolute transparency in all their activities. In keeping with this
principle they comply with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and, to a large
extent, with the Indian Accounting Standards issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of
India. They also apply the latest principles of Fair value accounting and recognize all in kind
donations.
Their best practices have always resulted in keeping the operational expenditure to a fraction of
revenues earned. This has been the result of optimizing the administration and fundraising
costs.

Donations Received ( in Lakhs)

5628.67
10680.26

5448.5

7470.62

6815.47

16

2009-2010
2010-2011
2011-2012
2012-2013
2013-2014

17

How your money is spent


Donations are actually meant for the children. Every donation is diligently spent for the food that
is served directly or indirectly. On an average, 84% of the total cost is used towards meeting
the programme cost and 12% towards the programme management cost. 4% of the total cost is
steered towards meeting fundraising and communication costs.
The organization upholds maximum transparency in funds utilization.

Breakup Of Total Costs

12%

4%
Programme Cost
Programme Management
Cost
Fund Raising And
Communication

84%

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Besides the mid-day meal programme the organization also works on other feeding and social
initiatives.
The programme-wise expenditure of the organization

Programme-Wise Expenditure

9%
89%

2%

Mid-day Meal Feeding


Other Feeding
Programmes
Other Programme

The analysis of the total revenue expenditure for the year 2013-14

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25000

20000

15000
8682.44

10355.1

10000
4031.4

4596.02

4633.48

4538.4

2012-2013

2013-2014

5000

Analysis of Revenue Expenditure (Rs in Lakhs)

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Materials And Utilities


Consumed
Personnel Cost
Other Operation
Expenses*

Cost Per Meal Calculation

Rs.
7.40
(PerChi
ld/day)

Cost Per Meal

Rs.
4.38

Government Subsidy

Rs.
3.01

Cost Incurred by Akshaya


Patra

232
days

No. of Working Days

Rs. 3.01 x 232 = Rs. 698.32 + 7.5% (Rs. 52/-) Inflation (the general level of prices
going up) = Rs. 750/- Per Child/Year

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Audit & System


To meet the highest standard of transparency, stringent measures are in place. They believe
that internal control is the key to good governance.
In order to ensure the effectiveness of the internal controls, the organization has appointed
Chartered Accountant firms of repute, as Branch Auditors. The Branch Auditors submit the
audited reports of their respective branches to the management periodically. These reports are
then reviewed by the Audit Committee.

The Audit Committee is a sub-committee of the Board of Trustees that was formed to ensure the
effectiveness of the internal control environment.
Audit Committee composition
V.BalakrishnanChairman
RamdasKamatMember
Raj Kondur Member

As transparency is the utmost important objective of an NGO, Akshaya Patra has been able to
uphold absolute transparency in all its activities. For their effort, they have been recognized
with:

CSO Partners Award for the Outstanding Annual Report in the NGO category for three
consecutive years: 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11
ICAI Gold Shield Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting for five consecutive
years since 2008-09
South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) Best Presented Accounts Award for four
consecutive years: 2008-09 (Certificate of Merit), 2009-10(2nd runner-up), 2010-11(Gold
Award), 2011-12 (Silver Award) and 2012-13 (Gold Award)
Gold Award at League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) Vision Award
for two consecutive years: 2010-11 and 2011-12

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Mid-Day Meal And Other Initiatives


On November 28th, 2001 the Supreme Court of India passed an order stating:
"We direct the State Governments/Union Territories to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme by
providing every child in every Government and Government assisted Primary School with a
prepared mid-day meal."
Mid-Day Meal Scheme aimed to:

avoid classroom hunger

increase school enrolment

increase school attendance

improve socialization among castes

address malnutrition and

empower women through employment

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, which was by then successfully implementing its own school
lunch programme in Karnataka, was called in to give testimonies for verifying the efficacy of the
scheme; post which the mandate to implement Mid-Day Meal Scheme was passed.
In order to successfully carry out this mandate, each State Government then started its own
Mid-Day Meal programme. Initiated by the Government of Karnataka, Akshara Dasoha is one
such scheme in place.
Once started, one challenge that the Government faced now was that of successful
implementation. As the guidelines for the NP-NSPE, 2006 state, wherever possible, the
Government would: mobilize community support and promote public-private partnership for the
programme.Not-for-profits, such as Akshaya Patra, are therefore encouraged to set up
operations and they act as the implementing arm of the Government.
The recognition of the role of voluntary agencies in partnering Government initiatives by the
Centre may have had some influence in the initiatives taken by the Government of Karnataka to
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bring
several
NGOs
into
major
Government
---Karnataka Human Development Report, 2005

sponsored

programmes

In fact, as the Karnataka Human Development Report 2005 explains, the Government of
Karnataka was the first to take this step of involving NGOs in development programmes. The
report states that this involvement of the NGOs in multilateral/bilateral programmes, raises the
level of co-operations to another level. The NGOs become not only implementers; they also find
a place in designing and managing programmes together with Government at all levels.

This pioneering move, by the Government of Karnataka, to make NGOs the implementing arm
of the Government has been one of the major reasons for its success in attaining the goals of
the programme. The achievements of these private-public partnerships have even influenced
the Central Government. By setting up and encouraging private-public partnerships, the
Government is successfully leveraging the skills and resources of the private sector for the
greater good. Today, India's Mid-Day Meal Scheme is one of the largest school lunch
programme in the world. 104 million children were covered in 1.15 million schools during 201314.

Objectives of MDM
The Government of India started Mid-Day Meal Scheme. With an aim to enhancing enrolment of
children in schools, retention and increased attendance while also improving nutritional levels
among children, the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NPNSPE) was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme on 15th August, 1995. After some
amendments there on, as per the expansion of the programme, the Government designed a set
of rules and guidelines to be followed for implementation. These include various aspects related
to child health and growth like the quantity of calories and proteins required for children from
specific age groups, the quantity of grains that can be allotted to each child and so on.
The objectives of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme are:

Improving the nutritional status of children in classes I-V in Government, Local Body
and Government aided schools, and EGS and AIE centers.

Encouraging poor children, belonging to disadvantaged sections, to attend school


more regularly and help them concentrate on classroom activities.

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Providing nutritional support to children of primary stage in drought affected areas


during summer vacation.

Quality of MDM
Quality and Food Safety are the primary ingredients at each of the Akshaya Patra kitchens. As
compared to the past they have introduced various metrics in every area of operations and
service delivery. They have also tied up with different organizations to review the quality of the
mid-day meals we prepare and serve children. To maintain the quality of the meal,
standardization of recipes across all locations has been undertaken. To improve quality
standards, advance projects like Kaizen and 5S have been started in different locations.
Employee Health and Safety activities are conducted to further increase hygiene standards and
improve safety and health.

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Mid Day Meal Programme Implementation


While implementing the mid-day meal programme, the Central and State Governments work
hand in hand. Central Government issues guidelines to be followed by State Governments while
executing the scheme. However, there are some states that have issued guidelines different
from Central Guidelines.

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A National Steering-cum-Monitoring Committee is set up to monitor the programme, assess its


impact and provide policy advice to Central and State Governments. Central assistance in the
form of subsidies is released upon submission of the committees Annual Work Plan by the
Programme Approval Board.
Steering-cum-Monitoring Committees are also set up at a state level to monitor the programme.
A nodal department is authorised to take responsibility. Implementation cells are organised by
the nodal department and one officer is appointed at each district and block level to oversee
effective implementation of the programme.
The Panchayats/ Urban Local Bodies are in charge of the scheme in states where primary
education is entrusted to them.

Other Initiatives
The organization has taken many other feeding and social initiatives other than Mid Day Meals
Programme. Here are some of the Feeding initiatives and social initiatives that are under taken
by Akshaya Patra.

Anganwadi feeding
Disaster relief
Feeding expecting and lactating mothers
Feeding programmes in old-age homes
Feeding programmes in special schools
Feeding runaway children
Feeding the homeless
Subsidized lunch for the economically backward

"Apart from the above initiatives, the Foundation also works towards social initiatives like:"

After class tuitions


Community health camps
Health check-up camps
Life-skills programmes
Scholarship programmes

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Mid Day Meal Little Bus


On a normal school day, a distinctive blue bus with images of happy school children zooms past
the streets of 24 locations in 10 states across India. This blue bus carries thousands of smiles
just like the ones displayed on it. This blue bus is the most identifiable part of Akshaya Patras
mid-day meal programme since it delivers over a million hopes, dreams and of course, smiles
with the meals that it carries to the 10,845 schools in our country.
When the Akshaya Patra started executing the mid-day meal programme in the year 2000,
access to delivery vehicles was a major challenge. Hence, the organization would hire transport
vehicles from external dealers to deliver food to the schools. Since there were just five schools
and were situated not too far from the kitchen, it was manageable.

Gradually, one of the trustees of the organization arranged for a customized transport vehicle.
Supporters grew in leaps and bounds over the years that followed, as did the number of children
they reach out to. With more supporters, more vehicles started flowing in to carry meals and
dreams across towns, villages and cities.
The blue bus is a customized transport vehicle specially designed to deliver food that is packed
in stainless steel 304 Grade vessels which can keep food hot and fresh for long intervals of
time. Every vehicle is steam-sterilized before the loading process. The vehicle uses a puffed
body to reduce loss of temperature and a honeycomb structure to hold the vessels upright and
keep the freshness of the cooked meal intact till it is served.
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And that is how every meal that goes into those 1.4 million plates is warm, fresh, nutritious
and ready to eat!

From Kitchen to Schools (Mode of Operation)


Akshaya Patra Kitchens
The Akshaya Patra Foundation operates in 24 locations across 10 States in India
Centralized kitchens are large kitchen units that have the capacity to typically cook up to
100,000 meals. These kitchens serve a set of schools located around the unit. They are
automated and thus ensure hygiene during the cooking processes. On the other hand, in
locations where factors like difficult geographical terrain and improper road connectivity do not
support construction of large infrastructure, the decentralized kitchen format is the ideal solution.
These kitchens are run by the Women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) under the guidance and
supervision of Akshaya Patras kitchen process and operations module.
Akshaya Patra Kitchens have adopted Six Sigma Methodologies
Cooking in the centralized units begins in the early morning. All kitchens run by the organization
follow a scheduled menu. All the centralized kitchens are equipped with cauldrons, trolleys, rice
chutes, dal/sambar tanks, cutting boards, knives and other similar equipment that are sanitized
before usage. The North Indian kitchens are equipped with rice cauldrons and dal cauldrons.
Each rice cauldron has a capacity of at least 500 litres; and each dal cauldron has the capacity
to cook 1,200 litres to 3,000 litres of dal. As roti is an integral part of the North Indian menu, the
kitchens are equipped with roti making machines, which have the capacity to roll out up to
200,000 rotis from 6,000 kgs of wheat flour.
The South Indian kitchens are equipped with rice cauldrons and sambar cauldrons. Each rice
cauldron has a capacity of at least 500 litres; each sambar cauldron has the capacity to cook
1,200 litres to 3,000 litres of sambar. All the vessels are of stainless steel 304 food grade
material.

Quality Assurance during procurement of raw materials


The SQMS process covers sub processes like Supplier Selection, Supplier Qualification,
Supplier Rating etc. to ensure that the right and best raw materials are procured. Quality Control
process ensures that raw materials are accepted only after thorough Quality Inspection in order

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to meet all the requirements of our Raw Material Specifications, which is generally taken and
adopted from Food Safety Standards Act 2006 (FSSA).

Storage, Handling, Preservation of raw materials


Fresh vegetables are procured on a daily basis. After procurement, sorting of vegetables is
done to retain the best quality. All the vegetables are cleaned with potable water and sanitized
before the cutting process. Cold storage is used to store ready-to-cook cut vegetables to retain
freshness. Rice is supplied by the Food Corporation of India (FCI). Before the cooking process,
the rice is machine-cleaned and washed thoroughly. In order to ensure all the raw materials are
fresh, all the kitchens follow the FIFO (First In First Out) and FEFO (First Expiry First Out)
methods while issuing the raw material for production.
By doing so, the kitchens are able to properly identify, store and retrieve the raw materials in an
appropriate manner.

Quality and Safety during cooking


All the kitchens of Akshaya Patra follow a standard process for preparing the mid-day meals.
This process is charted out to ensure hygiene and quality of the cooked meal and also to
adhere to the food safety standards. All the cooking equipment like cauldrons, trolleys, rice
chutes and sambar/dal tanks, cutting boards, knives etc. are sterilized using steam before the
cooking process begins. The vessels used in the kitchens are made of stainless steel of 304
grade and is best for cooking and handling food.
The decentralized kitchen units are equipped with necessary cooking equipment like chapati
pans, cooking vessels for rice and dal and vessels for transporting the cooked mid-day meals to
the schools. Personal hygiene and Food Safety trainings are provided regularly to the kitchen
staff to ensure hygiene standards are met.
All the kitchens have well trained Cooks and Production Supervisors to manage and supervise
the production. Critical Control Points (CCPs) like cooking temperature are checked and
recorded at periodic intervals to ensure the right quality of the meal.
To ensure food quality is maintained, Quality Check is done by the Quality Officers in each
kitchen.

Food Packing and Transportation

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The cooked food is packed in steam sterilized vessels. They use specially designed and
customized transport vehicles to deliver food which is packed in stainless steel 304 grade
vessels. These vehicles are steam sterilized before the loading process. These vehicles use a
puffed body to reduce the temperature loss and a honeycomb structure to hold the vessels
upright and keep the freshness of the cooked meal intact till it is served to the children.

Delivery
Methods like Logistic charting for route optimization, GPRS to track the delivery vehicles for
safety and on-time delivery are gradually being adopted and implemented in the kitchens.

Post Delivery Process


In order to consistently maintain quality of the meal, Akshaya Patra take feedbacks from schools
on a daily basis while delivering the meal. The Quality Officers in the kitchens review the
feedback and initiate or trigger appropriate corrective or improvement actions to improve the
quality and delivery of food. They circulate Dos and Donts pamphlets to all schools on a
regular basis for creating awareness on food safety and hygiene while serving the mid-day
meals.
Audit & Review mechanisms play a key role in monitoring the key processes & systems and
their performance. So, they have institutionalized Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) Monthly
Audits, Surprise Audits on Food Safety & Quality, to name a few. Quality Metrics Performance is
reviewed on a monthly basis. Detailed Customer Satisfaction Surveys are done by the Quality
Staff at periodic intervals apart from the day-to-day feedback we take during the delivery of
food. In certified kitchens, ISO 22000 Internal Audits are done twice a year by qualified Internal
Auditors led by Quality & FSMS Managers, and their Certification body does the surveillance
audits twice a year. The data from all the respective audits are reviewed and appropriate
improvement or corrective actions are taken. All actions are further monitored till effective
implementation.

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Continual Improvement methods


As the aim is to maintain and better the services by sustaining the quality of the mid-day meals
they provide, there is a need for continual improvement. They need to advance the performance
of various processes continuously so that every cycle of improvement leads to the next level of
achievement. They adopted a holistic approach and designed a programme called Akshaya
Pragathi. As a part of the programme they have adopted and implemented Kaizen, CI Projects
and Six Sigma methodologies to ensure and make every member a part of these initiatives.
Training is an integral part of the Continual Improvement Programme. The Financial Year 201213 saw training on 5S, GMP, Lean and Kaizen, and ISO 22000 Awareness for kitchen
employees across all locations for more than 6,000 man hours. The Quality Department aims to
conduct 15,000 man hours of training on similar topics in the Financial Year 2013-14.

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Centralized Kitchens
The Akshaya Patra centralized kitchens have the capacity to undertake large scale feeding,
typically up to 100,000 mid-day meals a day. These semi-automated kitchens adhere to Food
Safety Management Systems (FSMS) to ensure safe handling, preparation and delivery of the
food.
Using these highly mechanized units, Akshaya Patra is able to achieve the highest levels of
hygiene by reducing human contact with the food. After cooking, the food is packed into
stainless steel containers and transported via conveyor belts to be loaded into custom made
food distribution vehicles, to be taken to the beneficiary schools.

Decentralized Kitchens
Decentralized kitchens are set up in locations where geographical terrain and bad road
connectivity make it difficult to set up a large infrastructure. These kitchens are run by women
Self-Help Groups (SHGs) who undertake the cooking process under the guidance of Akshaya
Patra.
The members of these groups are trained in Akshaya Patras kitchen processes and operations
module, and are monitored by Akshaya Patra representatives to ensure that safe, nutritious food
is being provided to children in their mid-day meal.

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Standard and Hygienic Kitchens (ISO Certified)


Akshaya Patra Kitchen: A beacon of quality
The Akshaya Patra Foundation operates based on a well-crafted module that puts hygiene and
quality on top of its priorities. They believe that eating is not only for nutrition, it is also for taste.
They want children to relish what they eat and hence, they prepare a different dish every day to
break the monotony.
Lets see what goes into making every meal completely safe, nutritious and tasty at the same
time.

Food Safety Management Systems


Akshaya Patras centralised kitchens are equipped to prepare meals for large scale feeding. A
strict kitchen process is observed which includes certain mandatory routines to be followed by
each member of the kitchen staff. Food Safety Management Systems are implemented in all the
kitchens be it centralized or decentralized, in order to handle, prepare and deliver food.

Food Safe Stainless Steel


The cooking in centralized kitchens begins very early in the morning. All kitchens run by the
organization follow a scheduled menu. All cauldrons, trolleys, rice chutes, dal/sambar tanks,
cutting boards, knives and other instruments in these units are sanitized before usage every
single day. All vessels used in the kitchens are made of food safe stainless steel of 304 Grade
which is capable of enduring high levels of temperature for long intervals.

Raw Materials
The raw materials that are procured are of the best quality and to ensure this robust Supplier
Quality Management System (SQMS) is implemented. This system further consists of a range
of examination processes like Supplier Selection, Supplier Qualification, Supplier Rating and so
on.

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Hygiene
In order to make sure that none of the personal hygiene practices are missed out before the
cooking begins, each staff member follows a routine hygiene chart. Daily shower, use of clean
uniforms, caps to cover the hair, face masks to cover the mouth and nose area, gloves,
gumboots, other protective gears and hand sanitization are mandatory.

Recipes
Standardization of recipes is an important factor while maintaining high levels of nutrition along
with taste. In order to achieve these levels, a well-structured Quality Assurance programme is
implemented at all stages of Operations Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production.

Quality Control
The Quality Control process in the organization accepts raw materials only after thorough
Quality Inspection so as to meet all the requirements of our Raw Material Specifications which
are generally adopted from Food Safety Standards Act 2006 (FSSA). Twelve of the centralized
kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 certified and the remaining kitchens are in the process of this
certification.

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Achievements and Milestones


Hunger is the greatest ailment. Akhshaya Patras efforts to fight hunger and malnutrition have
earned them recognition, accolades and awards from all around the world. They have become
inspiration to many charitable organizations that are working in the same area, to up their
standards. Few of the recognitions are listed below:

In his letter to The Akshaya Patra Foundation, the President Barack Obama wrote, In just a few
years, Akshaya Patra has become the largest single feeding programme in the world. Your
example of using advanced technologies in central kitchens to reach children in 5,700 schools is
an imaginative approach that has the potential to serve as a model for other countries. Thank
you again for all of your efforts.
World Economic Forum invited Akshaya Patra to share its experiences for The Project Hunger
in Africa.
Akshaya Patra entered the Limca book of Records as 'the world's largest school meal
programme'.
In June 2010, Akshaya Patra entered the India book of Records for running the 'world's largest
school meal programme'.
Akshaya Patra received Silver for its Annual Report 2013-14, 'The Fab Five Superheroes' at the
International ARC Awards 2015 under the 'Foundation' category of Non-Traditional Annual
Reports. The organization also received Grand Award Winner position for the Best of
International category (Mid-East/India).

Akshaya Patra's Annual Report 2013-14 has won Silver at the Summit Creative Awards (SCA)
2015. This is the third consecutive time that Akshaya Patra's Annual Report has been bestowed
with this honor at the SCA. The Foundation also won Gold for its film 'The Possibilities'.

Akshaya Patra received the Quality Mark Award for Achievement and Excellence in the NGO
segment for the year 2015.

Akshaya Patra received the Chanakya Award for NGO of the year 2015 by PRCI (Public
Relations Council of India).

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Akshaya Patra has become a five time winner of the SAFA (South Asian Federation of
Accountants) Awards. The Foundation received the SAFA Best Presented Annual Report
Awards 2013 in the Non-Governmental Organizations (including NPOs) category, coming ahead
of the other SAARC countries participating.

The Hubli and Vasanthapura (VK Hill) kitchens received CII National Food Safety Awards 2014.
The VK Hill kitchen received the highest award of 'Outstanding Performance in Food Safety'
while the Hubli Kitchen received the second highest award of 'Certificate of Commendation for
Significant Achievement in Food Safety'.

The Gujarat team received the Platinum award in the first category of the 3 rd Annual Convention
and Competition of Lean Six Sigma. Akshaya Patra was the first and only NGO to take part in
the session, and came ahead of about 40 case studies presented by leading manufacturing
companies.

In the recently conducted Indizen 2014 5th National Convention on Operational Excellence by
Kaizen Institute of India (KII), The Akshaya Patra Foundation won the award in the category of
'Continued Commitment to Operational Excellence'.

Milestones
The Harvard Business school conducted an in depth case study on The Akshaya Patra
Foundation aimed to analyze the scalability and sustainability of the mid-day meal programme.
The study was carried out in Bangalore and Baran village, and published in December 2007.
On August 2012, Akshaya Patra reached an important milestone of serving its billionth meal.
Akshaya Patra nominated to be part of National Steering-cum-Monitoring Committee for MDM
Programme.

London Business School conducts a study on The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

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How everyone can contribute?


Get Involved
Every one of us, at some time in our life, feels like contributing towards the betterment of the
society. But among the various obstacles faced by many of us in doing so, are limitations
pertaining to time. In order to tackle these and give you the opportunity to support a noble cause
of uplifting underprivileged school children in India, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has made
volunteering provisions that will give you the freedom to spread our message without disturbing
your schedule. Read on to know more about the volunteering options at Akshaya Patra.

Approach
If you have an idea that you would like to share with them, or if you wish to collaborate with
them for volunteering, fundraising and other activities, you can reach them in the following ways:
infodesk@akshayapatra.org

Initiate
There are various ways in which we can contribute towards societys progress. Its relatively
easier to support a cause pertaining to the upliftment of underprivileged children. Every child
loves an entertaining event like an art and craft workshop or a magic show. Each of us can
make a difference to the lives of these children in various ways. Either you can initiate and
organize an event at a Government school where Akshaya Patra provides meals or you can be
part of an event that is organized by the organization. Its your choice! The Akshaya Patra
Foundation has organized numerous events that have assisted in fundraising to support our
cause.

OUTRIDE HUNGER - 'Outride Hunger' was a bike ride organized by The Akshaya Patra
Foundation in association with various biker groups in Bengaluru. Witnessing participation from
over 150 individuals from the city, the ride was a great success.

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TEACHERS DAY CELEBRATION - September 2013 was an exciting month for many children
and teachers from several Government schools across Bengaluru. The entire month was
packed with different cultural activities performed by the students dedicated to their teachers.
The programme was organized by the employees of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

CLICK IT WRITE A BLOGGERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS MEET - This was a bloggers'


and photographers meet, spread over two days, organized by The Akshaya Patra Foundation at
Banjarpalya Higher Primary School, Kanakapura (Bengaluru). The participants of the meet
spent a whole day with the school kids teaching them various activities. After the event the
participants wrote blogs and created photo galleries of their visit, made them accessible to the
public and shared them with Akshaya Patra.

A WALL OF HOPE AND JOY PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION - A photography exhibition that


showcased various images of children shot by different photographers from all over the world,
was held in Bengaluru for three days. The exhibit attracted over 1000 visitors.

CSR Opportunities
Why should you associate with The Akshaya Patra Foundation?
In India 43 per cent of children are malnourished and 1.5 million are at the brink of becoming
victims of malnourishment because of inflation. On the other side 1.7 million children in India,
are out-of-school. Akshaya Patra strives to address issues related to malnutrition, hunger and
deprivation of education by incentivizing food to bring children to school. Aim is to nourish
children ensuring they access education. Huge amount of support is required for the effort.
By working with Akshaya Patra, you can strengthen them in reaching more children every day.
Your CSR activity would ensure nourishment to each child they reach and keep them in school.
You could help them in developing sustainable models and augment their scalability.
Since inception, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has received valuable support from its
philanthropic corporate partners. As a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility, many private
and public sector organizations have wholeheartedly come forward to support the cause of
Akshaya Patra.

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Many CSR opportunities are made available for the companies who choose to partner with
them. Below are a few of them:

Strategic philanthropy through funds & in-kind contributions

Cause-marketing initiatives

Events & sponsorship

Innovations & project solutions for children

Fundraise in your community


Generating awareness about the need to provide enough nutrition to children in India will go a
long way to sustaining our cause. Get your local community involved in the programme and
keep the momentum going!

Raising the funds locally:


There are many ways to generate interest in your community about the cause of Food for
Education

Organize a stand to represent The Akshaya Patra Foundation at a local event

Arrange a collection box at a local supermarket and make Akshaya Patra the
beneficiary

Organize a local community event - it could be anything from a local sports day to a
fund raising party

Ask your childs nursery/school to organize a fund raising annual day programme

Organize an awareness campaign at your local rotary club and ask for donations

Organize a marathon and ask runners to be sponsored and donate the funds to
Akshaya Patra

Apart from these measures, there are some other things you could do
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Organize collection tins at shops, bus stops, train stations, post offices etc. to collect
funds for Akshaya Patra

Distribute Akshaya Patra posters and information pamphlets to raise awareness


about what we do. You can place these in shops, supermarkets, schools, bus stops,
restaurants etc.

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Stories of Hope
This Akshaya Patra Beneficiary is a true victor

Situated close to the BHEL locality in Patancheru, Hyderabad, Zilla Parishad High School is a
well-known structure around here. Its here that we meet an Akshaya Patra beneficiary, Monica
Devi.
Monica has toiled hard to be a topper in her class despite the obstacles she has faced. This 15year-old girl was just seven years old when her father parted ways with the family, leaving
Monica, her brother and mother. But this loss has not broken Monica's spirit. Monica is amongst
the top performers in her class and is a class favorite.
Monicas family comes from humble beginnings. Her mother works as a housekeeper at a
multinational company. Her grandmother works in a temple. Monica is grateful to her
grandmother for raising her. It was her grandmother who looked after her during the tough times
while the mother has labored hard to make ends meet. Her brother is pursuing an
industrial training course at an institute in Hyderabad. "I am very close to my family. They are
everything to me. They have stood by me at all times," says a content Monica.
Monica's teacher heaps praises on her for working so hard. So ambitious she is, that even after
school, she goes for tuitions on every school day. "I study up till 10 pm and then I return home to
eat. During my free time, I prefer reading. It helps me stay focused," says Monica.
Monica is fond of the Akshaya Patra meals and is pleased that Akshaya Patra is providing
meals to so many students at her school. She is particularly fond of the aloo (potato)
and brinjal (eggplant) curry provided by Akshaya Patra. "Just before lunch, my friends and I
cant stop thinking about the meal," said Monica.
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This Akshaya Patra Beneficiary is a true victor in many aspects of life. Despite the obstacles,
Monica has paved a way for herself while being grateful to those who have given her constant
support. Monica aspires to become a teacher and work towards the betterment of society. Her
lively character is truly a sign of her achievements. We wish her more success in the future.

A strong vision of a true educator


Every day, even after school hours at the Government Upper Primary School, Gori Palya, a few
children stay back and continue to study. A teacher who conducts these classes explains that
these students need some additional hours of classes since they find it a little difficult to
comprehend the day's lessons. Kusuma B H, Principal of the school, has been instrumental in
bringing initiatives like these constructive classes for the students.
Most children who come to this school are first generation literates. The Principal says, "The
parents of most students don't understand the importance of education and thus encourage
children to work. Hence we've had to adopt the system of morning and evening classes. Most
children who attend the morning classes go home in the noon and work to add to the family
income."

Kusuma teaches chemistry and biology for the high school students and sometimes teaches
other subjects based on the requirement. It's been just over two years that she began taking on
the responsibility as Principal of the school. Earlier, she worked for a government school in
Shivajinagar. During her nine-year-long tenure in that school, it was awarded by various
organisatons like Intel and Agastya Foundation for progress in science research. She says, "It
has been my aim to promote not just academics but also other activities that help in overall child
development."

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Ask her what made her opt for a career in teaching, she narrates a small story. She says, "I
wanted to study medicine, but at 21 I began teaching Hindi at an educational institution. I
realized I was passionate towards teaching. Though my father was not pleased, I began
teaching in the school owned by my mother. I taught there for six years. I passed the KES
examination in 1997 and since then I have been associated with government schools."
Kusuma has big plans for the school and wants to transform the attitude of the children towards
education. She adds, "I want them to be educated, secure with employment and more
importantly, become good citizens of the country."

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Other NGOs fighting the same cause


IFBN (Indian Food Banking Networks): This organization works for the same cause that is to
eradicate hunger and malnutrition from India. The operational methodology of this NGO
includes setting up of Food Banks throughout the country, so that every district has at least one
food bank by 2020. It acquires donated food and makes it available to people who are hungry or
lack nutritional food.
Ekta Shakti Foundation: a social service organization was originated with the sole objective to
synchronize the development efforts made by various State Government to nourish children in
the schools under mid day meal scheme and to propagate care, support and social welfare
interventions along with livelihood promotion among youth and women through training on
market led trades.
Naandi: To enhance the quality of life of the marginalized and less privileged in our society by
addressing concerns of hunger, quality education, drinking water and livelihood opportunities.
Jay Gee Humanitarian Society: The Society got involved in providing Mid Day Meal (cooked
food) to various Government bodies since conception of the program.

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Conclusion

Akshaya Patras contribution to fight hunger and malnutrition among the poor children is
commendable. Their efforts are appreciable with the fact that it has been recognized and it has
been awarded many awards for their contribution to the society. From serving to nearby 5
schools and now their presence in 12 states about the involvement of mass and initiative. Their
humanitarian approach is merged with the organized operation and delivery methods and
processes to cater the need of millions of poor children. Induction of various project
management and Quality initiatives and methods has made them to increase their efforts in
many folds. The trust and spiritual bond established in hearts of millions will only result in
serving more and more poor children so that they are deprived of education because of hunger.
We all should become active participants in their in their heartwarming endeavor by any means
may be donation or volunteering. I believe Akshaya Patra through their pure thoughts and zeal
will change the statistical index of the malnutrition in India.

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References

http://www.imasocialentrepreneur.com/social-responsibility/
http://www.isrworld.org/2008_06_01_archive.html
http://www.akshayapatra.org/
http://www.archive.india.gov.in/sectors/education/index.php?id=7
http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Midday_Meal_Scheme
http://www.akshayapatra.org/uploads/files/csr-document.pdf
http://www.indiafoodbanking.org/about/food-banking
http://www.ektashakti.com/what-we-do.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-governmental_organization

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