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Akshaya Patra, India and the Butterfly Effect

A group of students from the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lisbon, recently conducted a study on The Akshaya Patra Foundation and included it in a research project which was part of their curriculum. The course they have taken up is International Relations and International Politics. The research study they conducted in India was titled ‘India: Domestic and International Political Agenda— an explanatory approach to a Chaos Theory for International Politics: India and the Butterfly Effect’.

This research is an honour to The Akshaya Patra Foundation. It gives us the opportunity to represent India on levels like secularism since the provision of mid-day meals is made available to 1.39 million school children across the country, irrespective of the caste or faith they are born in; and social responsibility since the Foundation is constantly working towards uplifting those that are financially disadvantaged.
    
Why Akshaya Patra was chosen for this study
India is an ideal representation of the Butterfly Effect or Chaos Theory which is a phenomenon often understood as a battle between stability and instability. In precise words, ‘Chaos is an area of science and mathematics that describes situations in which small changes can cascade into larger and larger long-term effects’. With a diverse culture, history and population, India is very essential in what it brings to the table with regards to security and stability at a global level. The study on India was carried out to understand how this massive democracy impacts its own political agenda as well as the international system.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, on the other hand, is like a minuscule representation of how India functions. Through the Government mid-day meals scheme, Akshaya Patra reaches out to over 1.39 million school going children across 9 states and 22 locations in India, providing them with nutritious fresh food every school day. The cultural and religious diversity in this country sometimes, inevitable, creates differences between castes and religions. Through the mid-day meal programme, The Akshaya Patra Foundation aims to bridge these gaps between various groups as the lunch break is a time when all the children sit together for lunch, no matter what caste or creed they belong to. Though there are million others yet to be reached out to, Akshaya Patra is persistently aiming to create generations of healthy children who will eventually impact the future of this country.

Purpose of the Lisbon University Study 
To bring together the theoretical approach of scholars and researchers of International Politics, and the view and practical knowledge of the Indian society shared by its citizens. Drawing a reference to some of the milestones witnessed by the country in the past few decades, the study paints a picture of a multi-faceted diverse universal microcosm that is India.

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