Akshaya Patra – An Implementor Of The Mid-Day Meal Programme
Mid-day meal is a wholesome freshly cooked lunch served to children in Government and Government-aided schools in India. The Indian Mid-Day Meal Scheme is recognised as the largest school lunch programme in the world. The provision of midday meal started way back in 1925 when Madras Municipal Corporation introduced this scheme for disadvantaged children. However, the real impact of this scheme began after the landmark mandate of the Supreme Court of India on 28 November 2001 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.”
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an Indian non-profit organisation implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in a public-private partnership model. It has been providing freshly cooked, nutritious, and tasty midday meals to schoolchildren for the past 19 years from its own kitchens located across the country. The Foundation has been recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programme. Currently, it provides regular school meals to 18,02,517 children studying in 16,856 schools across 51 locations of 12 States and 2 Union Territories.
GROWTH OF AKSHAYA PATRA
Objectives of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme
- Avoid classroom hunger
- Increase school enrolment
- Increase school attendance
- Improve socialisation among castes
- Address malnutrition
- Empower women through employment
Advantages of mid-day meals
- Addresses three critical issues: hunger, malnutrition & illiteracy.
- Increases enrolment rate in schools.
- Supports regular schooling & boosts education.
- Decreases drop-out rate.
- Improves nutrition level & health of children.
- Is in alignment with UN MDGs: Zero Hunger & Quality Education.