Many NGOs have stepped forward to implement this scheme across the country. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one such NGO. This NGO implements the mid day meal scheme in Gujarat and eight other states of India. The Foundation feeds a total of 4,00,158 children by providing mid-day meal in Gujarat’s 1,653 Government schools. It is operational in 3 locations of Gujarat.
Through its centralised kitchen in Gandhinagar, it provides mid day meal to 1,21,508 children. As an operational NGO in Vadodara, it feeds 1,13,593 children in the area; and its Surat kitchen provides meal to 1,65,057 children in the location. This NGO for children in Vadodara has been providing mid-day meals since November 2009. It has a centralised kitchen to meet the daily requirements. The centralised kitchen of this NGO in Vadodara is an ISO 22000:2005 certified unit. There are 39 customised meal distribution vehicles to deliver the cooked mid-day meal to the beneficiary schools.
Here is an anecdote of one of the mid-day meal beneficiaries in Gujarat NGO. This is the story of Bharwad Gopal Hamili Bhai, a young lad of Standard VI, studying in Dr. Hansa Mehta Primary School. This school is located in a small village named Vadsar that is few kilometres away from Vadodara. Gopal hails from a cattle rearing community. But he is a determined boy who aspires to become a Police Officer. Gopal has not let the economic status of his family become a hurdle in his well-set aim. He washes his only set of uniform mid-week so that he can go to school in clean uniform throughout the week. By taking cattle out for grazing after school hours, Gopal also helps in contributing to his family income.
Gopal along with his brother and two sisters are all beneficiaries of mid-day meal scheme in Gujarat provided by The Akshaya Patra Foundation. Gopal’s mother, Jeeku Behn tells that the free school lunch has been a big support. As their dinner mostly comprise of Bajri roti and Mirchi (Indian bread made of millet consumed with chillies) and that her children go to school by having only a glass of milk, the mid-day meal scheme in Gujarat proves to be a great help in ensuring at least one nutritious meal per day for her children.
She goes on to say, "Akshaya Patra food is a substitute to a mother's recipe." Hence, she also encourages her neighbours to send their children to schools where this Vadodara NGO serves free school lunch. Support the mid-day meal scheme in Gujarat by donating to this Vadodara NGO.
To donate to this NGO, visit https://www.akshayapatra.org/onlinedonations.