Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Poisoned Plate- Mid Day Meal

As per the Supreme Courts's order Govt. of India Started Mid Day Meal, but it's mismanagement and irregularities are known to everyone. Every second day a new scam related to mid-day meal is in news, recently when number of children died in Patna, a big question mark arise about the hygiene and quality of food given to future of our country. Govt is spending crore on running this scheme so that more n more children enroll in school and can get the education, but what's the use of spending such huge amount when govt is not able to mange the things well, when they are not able to provide quality of food, then how can we expect the quality education n future for younger ones. Contrasting to this there are some NGOs who are working same model, but their work is really commendable, like Aksaya Patra Foundation...unlimited food for education(ISKCON). The organization distributes freshly cooked, healthy meals daily to 1.3 million underprivileged children in 9,000 government schools through 20 locations in 9 states across India. Built on a public-private partnership, It costs just Rs. 750 to feed a child daily for the entire school year due to government subsidy and provision of grains and state-of-the-art technology. For many of the children, this is their only complete meal for the day. It gives them an incentive to come to school and stay in school and provides them with the necessary nutrients — becoming the food for education.

Centralized and decentralized kitchens

Assets such as state-of-the-art centralized kitchens are constructed and maintained across regions to ensure timely mass production of over 100,000 meals in most hygienic condition every day. Continuous R&D is taken up leading to innovations in the construction process. As construction of such kitchens are not feasible in all locations. For example, in Baran, which is a remote village and children catered to are in 100ds, it is more feasible to have a decentralized kitchen. The kitchen would be set up in a small premises and food is cooked by a few employees from the local region, making whole process cost effective and generating other benefits such as women employment, etc.
Akshaya Patra Blue Bus delivers food to the schools once the hot nutritious meals are ready.


Surveys have shown that in areas where Akshaya Patra provides meals, student enrolment for Standard 1 has significantly increased to 41%. Its efforts to get children to school by eradicating their hunger has contributed to the right of every Indian child to get access to education.
  • An impact study of the program showed an improvement in school enrollment and dropout rates with a continuous increase in classroom performance. The foundation aims to serve 5 million children daily by 2020.
  • The Harvard Business School did a case study on Akshaya Patra in 2007 on Akshaya Patra's model for precise time management.
  • The US Congressional Hunger Center (CHC) has awarded an International Fellowship to Akshaya Patra, chosen from 35 other nominated social organizations around the world.
  • The World Economic Forum invited Akshaya Patra to share its experiences for The Hunger Project in Africa.

Even renowned organisations such as World Economic Forum wants this NGO to share it's experience then why can't govt. of India can learn something from they maintain all the quality and standards without spending large amount as govt is doing right now.

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