What are the other modes through which Akshaya Patra raises funds?
Offline fundraising, online fundraising, CSR and through fundraising events.
Does Akshaya Patra have permission from the State and/or Central Government for collecting donations for the mid-day meal programme?
Yes, we do.
Ministry of Finance, Government of India: Akshaya Patra, an eligible project:
In the year 2003, we applied to the National Committee for Promotion of Social and Economic Welfare, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, explaining our mid-day meal programme. This committee is headed by the former Chief Justice of India and several other prominent citizens from all over the country.
On examining our programme, Akshaya Patra was recommended as an eligible project by this National Committee to raise donations up to Rs.22 crores and grant 100% tax benefits to the donors. This committee reviewed our programme in the year 2006, and further extended the benefits of 100% tax exemption to the donors for another three years. In the year 2009, Akshaya Patra programme was reviewed and the tax exemption benefit to the donors was renewed for another three years.
In our application to the National Committee, we had clearly indicated the basis for the sustainability of the programme as follows:
|Conversion cost support from State Government||25%|
|Subsidized grain allotment||25%|
We have also been filing statements of donations raised before the National Committee.
The Ministry of Human Resources Department Guidelines encourages voluntary contributions:
The Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India, has issued guidelines for conduct of the mid-day meal programme and one of the clauses states:
The Guidelines, in Annexure IX Para 7: "The state government shall be fully responsible in implementing the program through NGOs support either for a cooked meal or pre cooked food variant in eligible schools. To this extent the State Government or the NGO concerned, may mobilize resources for conversion of food grains in to a cooked meal."
In addition, the Guidelines of revised National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education, 2004, encourages voluntary contributions from the community to improve the meal.
Voluntary Community Support for Mid-Day Meal to be encouraged
Members of the community should be encouraged and invited to contribute towards providing a wholesome meal to children. There are many social occasions like religious festivals, marriages, etc. when local families will be happy to contribute a special dish or a sweet to the school Mid-Day Meal programme. This, as also other voluntary contributions from the community (say, in the form of cooking device/cooker, utensils, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, etc.) should be encouraged.
The Akshaya Patra Trust Deed Empowers Raising Donations:
The trust deed of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, which is a trust registered in Bangalore, empowers the Board of Trustees to raise donations. The clause states:
8.xi To accept gifts, donations or contributions from individuals, corporate and non-profit organizations around the world so far as they are not inconsistent with the objects of the trust.
This trust deed has been filed with the various departments of the Government in the last several years.
Private-Public Partnership Model:
The mid-day meal programme is conducted in the Private-Public Partnership model within the guidelines of the Government. Civic society participation in nation building is one of the important aspects of the Government's mid-day meal programme. Many eminent citizens of the country have given donations and supported us in this programme.
Other NGOs also raise donations:
There are many other NGOs providing mid-day meals in the country like Nandi Foundation (Hyderabad), Adamya Chetana (Bangalore) and ISKCON Food for Life Foundation (Mumbai) and all of them also raise donations from the public to conduct the Mid-day Meal Program. All these NGOs also have websites and solicit donations online and offline for their mid-day meal programs.
Hence it is incorrect to say that the fund raising by Akshaya Patra is without permission of the Government.
Civic Society Participation in Nation Building:
Further, in a mature and civilised society, the civic society's impetus to contribute and participate in the development of the weaker sections of the society should be encouraged. This is a universal fact and Akshaya Patra has been encouraging the public, corporations and foundations to support this programme for the benefit of the children.
Gold Shield Award for Financial Reporting:
Akshaya Patra has robust accounting standards and policies, and complies with sound disclosure norms. We are audited routinely and we regularly file our accounts with the various Government authorities.
Recognising this, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India conferred the Gold Shield Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting to The Akshaya Patra Foundation for 5 consecutive financial years beginning with 2008-2009 till 2012-13.
Yet Another Benefit to the Government:
The Government spends Rs. 60,000 per school to set up the kitchen infrastructure for providing meals. In the case of schools where Akshaya Patra is providing the meals, the Government does not have to set up the kitchen and hence this amount is saved.In Karnataka, Akshaya Patra is providing meals in more than 2,627 schools, which means a saving of over (Rs. 60,000 per school x 2,627 schools = ) Rs. 157 million (15.7 crores) to the Government.
Does Akshaya Patra have permission of the Government to receive donations from foreign countries?
Yes, it does.
For receiving donations from foreign countries, Akshaya Patra has taken the permission from Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, under Foreign Contributions (Regulations) Act and the statements of all donations received are being reported to the Home Ministry year after year.
The foreign donations that we receive is a small percentage of our total requirement (about 10%) and it is mostly from a few well known industrialists of Indian origin.
How much does it cost to set up a centralized kitchen to cook for about 1 lakh meals?
- The cost of setting up a kitchen for North Indian menu is about Rs.9 crores.
- The cost of setting up a kitchen for South Indian menu is about Rs. 8 crores
What are the main cost components of a centralized kitchen?
The main cost components of a centralized kitchen are:
- Civil works
- Kitchen equipments
- Delivery vehicles
- Stainless steel Delivery vessels
What is the contribution from the Government towards the cost of setting up centralized kitchens?
There is no contribution from the Government, either Central or State, towards the cost of setting up centralized kitchens. The Akshaya Patra Foundation raises donations from individuals, institutions, foundations and corporations to meet these expenses.
Where can I see the cost per meal break-up?
The cost of meal break-up falls under the following heads:
o Cost of meal preparation
o Distribution expenses
o Administration and other expenses
o Publicity and promotion expenses
For more information visit How is your money spent?
Is there a need for Akshaya Patra to raise donations in addition to the government subsidies?
Yes, there is a need to raise donations to meet the following expenses:
1. To set up large centralized kitchens.
2. To maintain the large kitchen infrastructure.
3. To meet the cost of running expenses, over and above the subsidies provided by the government.
How does Akshaya Patra justify the cost effectiveness of its operations?
1. Akshaya Patra provides a sumptuous three or more item menu. This meal meets the nutritional requirements of children, complying with the Government norms.
2. Please note that the meal is wholesome and served in unlimited quantity (except rotis which is limited to two per child for class 1 to 5 and three per child for class 6 to 8)
3. We strive to meet the Government norms in terms of consumption of dal, vegetables and oil. Curds are also served from South Indian kitchens.
4. In addition, an item like sambar can be made with lesser dhal and vegetables as well to reduce the cost, but Akshaya Patra has always strived to provide a certain standard meal for the benefit of the children.
5. Our model kitchens enable us to deliver. Cost is incurred for set up and maintenance of same.
What does Akshaya Patra do with the unused government rice?
We return unused rice or draw less rice for the next month. This practice is followed in all our Akshaya Patra kitchens.
Secondly we are making attempts how to increase the intake of grains by children as the government norms is to feed 100 grams per meal. Our experience has been that the children in Bangalore, Hubli and Bellary schools do not consume 100 grams despite a three item menu including curds.
We have also informed about our experience of the actual consumption of grains in different parts of the country to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, New Delhi.
Were there some allegations against Akshaya Patra program in the Legislative Assembly of the Government of Karnataka? What was the outcome of this?
Some persons with vested interests had misinformed a few MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) due to which certain questions were raised and allegations made in the Legislative Assembly of the Government of Karnataka in April 2007.
Subsequently to clarify all misinformation and clean up the image of Akshaya Patra, we requested the Education Department of the Government Karnataka to conduct an investigation on all questions and allegations made against Akshaya Patra. A three-member committee consisting of Gazette Superintendent, Assistant Director and Accounts Superintendent was set up to conduct the investigation.
On 10-07-2007 the three-member committee's report was communicated by the Joint Director, Mid-day Meal Program, Department of Education to the Secretary, Department of Primary Education, Government of Karnataka. An excerpt of the concluding paragraph of the report says:
"Akshaya Patra is conducting the mid-day meal program since 2001-02 in association with the government. No malpractices of discrepancies have been found in the execution of the program. There have been no instances of any adverse effects of the meals on the children. No instances of misappropriation or misuse of funds and grains provided by the government were found during the investigation. When all these information is scrutinized, I find that the allegations made by Sri Venkataswamy are far from truth."
What is unique about the Akshaya Patra mid-day meal program?
1. A strategic initiative to address two crucial and inter-linked issues: hunger and illiteracy
2. A wholesome, nutritious, three-item menu, prepared in stringent hygienic conditions, as per the nutritionist's recommendations
Our program is :
1. Implemented using a technology-intensive, centralized and decentralised models that can be efficiently scaled and replicated
2. Secular, and inclusive, with the child as the focus
3. Transparent, professionally managed, and run by a Board of Trustees, with the support of committed professionals and volunteers.
Does Akshaya Patra receive government funding?
Yes, Akshaya Patra receives a grains and cash subsidy.
Is Akshaya Patra a registered charity in India?
Yes, Akshaya Patra is a registered charity under the Indian Trust Act 1882(Reg. No 154)
What is the Akshaya Patra's PAN Number?
Akshaya Patra's PAN Number : AAATT6468P