Thursday, 12 March 2015

Tax deductible donations for mid-day meal programme

The mid-day meal programme implemented by The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an initiative of the Government of India to provide free school lunch to children studying in Government schools. This programme acts like a supporting pillar to aid literacy programmes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. The mid-day meal programme has been able to bring children to school from lower socio-economic families for the main reason and hope of receiving one free meal. Parents who would otherwise send their children earn a square meal send them to school primarily for the reason of free food and in the process these children receive their rightful share of education too. Witnessing the power of one meal, the Government of India started to encourage the participation of Non-Governmental Organisations to implement the mid-day meal programme even at the grass root level of the society. This encouragement has led many NGOs to take up mid-day meal programme as their core cause. One such organisation is a NGO in Bangalore.

This NGO in Bangalore started serving mid-day meal at Government schools in Bangalore before the official orders by the Supreme Court to provide cooked mid-day meals at schools. But after the official orders by Supreme Court in 2003, it was a welcome progression for this NGO in Bangalore to implement the mid-day meal programme in partnership with the Government. This NGO in Bangalore is The Akshaya Patra Foundation. It was started in June 2000, with the vision of Srila Prabhupada that 'No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger'. This NGO in Bangalore sets itself a mission of feeding 5 million children by 2020. This NGO in Bangalore functions in a Public-Private Partnership model and gives ample platform for the society to participate in furthering the cause of mid-day meal programme. It not only confides itself to monetary donations rather it welcomes participation of corporate houses, innovation and technology organisations, students, professionals and the global participation for a knowledge sharing and volunteering partnership.

Akshaya Patra is one of the top most Non-Governmental Organisations in India. Its presence can be felt in 23 locations of 10 states in India. Every day this NGO serves mid-day meal to more than 1.4 million children across the country. For implementation of the mid-day meal programme, it receives support from the Central Government and various State Governments. One of the significant supports it has received over the years is the tax exemption act for donations. This means that a donor's contribution is considered eligible as tax deductible donations. According to Section 80G and 35AC of the Income Tax Act any donation of above Rs.500 made towards the mid-day meal programme of Akshaya Patra will be considered as tax deductible donations. Being eligible for tax deductible donations means that the donor will receive 100% tax exemption for the amount he donated towards this NGO.

What better way to do charity than contributing tax deductible donations towards mid-day meal programme and providing wholesome meal to millions of underserved children of the nation? 

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