With the vision of “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”, Akshaya Patra set foot towards implementation of the mid day meal programme in June 2000. As an initial step the Foundation fed 1500 children in 5 schools of Bangalore.
It slowly started branching out to other parts of Karnataka and then to other states. Currently, it is operating in 19 locations across 9 states with 18 centralized kitchens, and 2 de-centralized kitchens. It caters to 9075 schools reaching out to 1.3 million children everyday on school working days for the entire day.
In 2009, Akshaya Patra was invited by the State Government of Assam to start its work in Guwahati. With the support of the Government the Foundation immediately began its work to set up a kitchen. Despite many challenges like inadequate water supply, partial drainage facility and irregular electricity supply, Akshaya Patra constructed a fully functioning centralized kitchen with all amenities, in keeping with its hygiene standards of cooking and other kitchen operations. The Guwahati kitchen of Akshaya Patra was inaugurated in February 2010. This is the largest kitchen of its kind in North East India.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Guwahati, is currently providing mid-day meals to 512 Government schools in the region. In an effort to further the implementation of mid-day meal programme, the Foundation will be distributing steel plates to about 47000 government school children in the region.
The distribution programme will take place on a phase by phase schedule. To mark a symbolic inauguration of the distribution programme, Shri Janardhana Dasa, Unit president, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Guwahati; in the presence of eminent personalities like Mr. S.K Roy, District Collector; Shri Jayanta Bhagawati, well-known film personality; Mousumi Saharia, famous Assamese singer, distributed steel plates to 100 school children, on the occasion of Children’s Day.
This free-plate distribution programme will also help to address the challenge related to reduced impact of the mid-day meal programme due to less availability of basic infrastructure like clean plates, water and sanitation.
This gesture of Akshaya Patra on Children’s Day, not only instilled the sense of equality among all children but also brought loads of precious little smiles.