Akshaya Patra milestones are rather significant for a journey of 18 years
The impact of the mid-day meal witnessed in all the serving locations of Akshaya Patra is indicative that the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with Akshaya Patra in implementing the programme has been successful in meeting the six objectives of the mid-day meal programme.
The work of Akshaya Patra in implementing the mid-day meal in India has been recognised by the National Steering-cum-Monitoring Committee (NSMC) for mid-day meal programme. NSMC has accredited Akshaya Patra as a part of the monitoring committee, and Vice Chairman of the Foundation, Chanchalapathi Dasa, is one among the 13 nominated members to be part of this committee. Also, the NP-NSPE has stated Akshaya Patra’s Centralised Kitchen as a model infrastructure in their guidelines for large scale production of mid-day meals.
Below is an overview of the impact of the Akshaya Patra mid-day meal programme for school children:
i. Increased enrolment – The mid-day meal scheme has become a great incentive for children to come to school. As more often than not, the mid-day meal is the child’s only meal for the day, parents prefer to send their children to school.
ii. Increased attendance – Children look forward to coming to school every day due to the delicious menu. In addition, regional delicacies are also a big draw for them to attend school.
iii. Increased concentration – The nutritious and healthy mid-day meal increases the child’s concentration in class and helps them perform better.
iv. Improved socialisation – The intermingling and eating together habit has increased the unity among children of various religions and castes. It has helped in removing divisional hierarchy in terms of social standing and has fostered a sense of equality among them.
v. Addressed malnutrition – Akshaya Patra is striving to meet the nutritional requirements of children such as energy, carbohydrates, proteins and fat through its mid-day meal for school children.
vi. Empowered women – Women have been employed in different capacities in operations and other areas as cooks, helpers etc., with the advent of the mid-day meal scheme. This vocational opportunity has given a boost to their self-esteem and improved their social standing.