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A Case Study on
Akshaya Patra
Submitted by
Hitesh Rajwani
426
SIMC-B
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
About Akshaya Patra Foundation
In the Mahabharata, Surya (the Sun God) gifts the exiled Pandavas an Aksh...
Akshaya Patra’s work has been recognized across various platforms such as
• CNBC India Business Leader Award in the Social...
as an eye opener to introduce food safety and hygiene measures into the system the imperative need of
mid day meals in imp...
standards integral. In this respect it stands as worlds largest and the best mid day meal practice, and
offers value in be...
standards integral. In this respect it stands as worlds largest and the best mid day meal practice, and
offers value in be...
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Akshaya patra

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Akshaya patra

  • We all know new generation or the children are the future of our nation. If we want to keep our nation's future healthy then we must maintain the health of children. Akshaya Patra is an organisation who initiate a very well step by providing healthy food to poor kids. My profession is photography and bcoz of my profession I got a chance to visit this organisation. When I was there the feeling was too good. When I saw poor kids and a smile on their face. That moment was priceless.
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  • I worked with Akshaya Patra for a very short time and will definitely work in future with them. I worked with them while I had my summer training program in Hyderabad. For my personal happiness, I joined this organization as I heard a lot about them and whatever I heard, was not incorrect as these people are great and the thought to teach poor child and provide them healthy and tasty food are really wow idea. Thank you so much for such amazing job.
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Akshaya patra

  1. 1. A Case Study on Akshaya Patra Submitted by Hitesh Rajwani 426 SIMC-B
  2. 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY About Akshaya Patra Foundation In the Mahabharata, Surya (the Sun God) gifts the exiled Pandavas an Akshaya Patra – a vessel that magically provides inexhaustible amounts of food and is never empty. Inspired by this parable The Akshaya Patra Foundation works towards ‘hunger-free education’ for children, while attempting to abolish the widespread malnutrition problem in the country. It also indirectly address gender discrimination issues in the public school system and provides employment in its decentralized kitchens to people in rural areas. It all started way back in 1998 when the late Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada noticed a group of children fighting over scraps of food with a group of street dogs. Moved by this sight, he declared, “No one within a ten mile radius of his center should go hungry.” And so began the practice of giving out food to nourish the community. In 2000, The Akshaya Patra Foundation was founded to address the dual challenges of hunger and education in India. The organization provided nutrition-rich midday meals to extremely underprivileged children in India with the aim of increasing school enrollment, reducing drop- out rates, and improving academic performance. The Akshaya Patra Foundation had a simple vision: “No child in India should be deprived of education because of hunger.” Today the foundation reaches to over 8600 schools in 8 states across India. It serves cooked lunches from 19 kitchens to 1.4 million children daily, forming the largest NGO-run mid-day meal programme in the world. About Akshaya Patra Program Akshaya Patra program provides unlimited, freshly cooked, nutritious meals to 1.4 million underprivileged school going children in India, everyday throughout the school year. This gives children an incentive to come to school, stay in school and provides them with the nutrients they need to develop their cognitive abilities to focus on learning. It also acts as a strong incentive for parents to send children to school. Akshaya Patra’s meals are provided under the government’s midday meal program. Akshaya Patra partners with state governments in order to help implement the program in their states, with the typical agreement being that the government contributes 45-50% of the costs in the form of grain and cash subsidies. The organization is distinguished from other midday meal programs since its entire meal production and delivery system is intelligently designed and engineered to maximize operational and cost efficiency, while adhering to international standards of hygiene and quality. Where the environment is conducive (i.e., in mid-size and large cities), the program has incorporated a centralized approach with kitchens serving multiple schools. Akshaya Patra also has a decentralized approach catering to the needs of communities in hard-to-reach rural areas with limited infrastructure and schools separated by large distances.The centralized kitchens are the hallmark of the Akshaya Patra program. These fully automated kitchens can prepare 150,000 meals in less than five hours. IMPACT OF AKSAHAYA PATRA PROGRAM Akshaya Patra kitchens have enhanced the effectiveness of the Mid-day Meal Scheme in the local schools, and have brought benefits in bettering enrolments and the school attendance of children. This is in addition to the nutritional development of children, most of who hail from marginalized backgrounds. The incentive of a guaranteed meal under the Akshaya Patra mid-day meal program has been able to bring children back to school. This is the most significant impact of the program. As students’ enrolment and attendance increase, so do their educational levels. The meal program thus reinforces the Government’s Right to Education Act. In the long term, it is expected that children with benefits of education, would eventually be able to lift themselves out of poverty. Since the program directly addresses the issue of hunger, it benefits from wide based support across all stakeholders.
  3. 3. Akshaya Patra’s work has been recognized across various platforms such as • CNBC India Business Leader Award in the Social Enterprise of the year category (2009), • Microsoft Tech Award (2009) and the Microsoft Education Award (2009) • Marico Innovation Award (2011). AC Nielson study conducted in 2006 showed that the program increased student enrolment in Class I by 23% and overall attendance by 11%. Thus reinforcing the Government’s Right to Education. Additionally, around 78% parents perceived that their child’s health had improved due to the mid day meals. REASON FOR SUCCESS Akshaya Patra serves as a model of sustainable programming due to its emphasis on public-private partnerships with state governments this model makes it the world's largest Non Profit run mid-day meal program. The organization has ambitious plans for its growth and by 2020, aims to expand its reach to impact 5 million children. 1. One of the key factors lending to Akshay Patra’s success is the marriage between corporate rigor and commitment of an NGO. This has led to amplified and productive scalability. 2. The exemplary leadership and support expertise from the likes of TV Mohandas Pai , Abhay Jain and Raj Kondur have also contributed significantly to the success of the program. 3. Akshaya Patra's unique and successful partnership with state governments. Akshaya Patra's immense experience in operating the mid-day meal program has made it the preferred Non Profit partner of the government in implementing the scheme. 4. Akshaya Patra is also the most cost effective mid-day meal provider. The organization is able to feed a child for an entire academic year at a cost of only INR 675. 5. The standardization of meal production and delivery system maximizes operational efficiency. This further adds to the ease of replication, outreach and success of the program. 6. The centralized automated kitchens are core to the program’s operations. Akshaya Patra has spent more than Rs. 60 crore (US$12.9 million) in setting up its kitchens. The kitchens with unquestionable credibility, food safety standards hold the key for tremendous success achieved by the foundation. CONTRASTING COMPARISON BETWEEN AKSHAYA PATRA AND BIHAR’S MID DAY MEAL DEBACLE India’s Mid-Day Meal Scheme today covers 110 million (11 crore) children in 12,00,000 schools across the country, making it the world’s largest school lunch program. This is implemented by the Government in partnership with voluntary organizations to help mobilize community support, as also promote public- private partnership (PPP) in the scheme. The Scheme was devised in 2001 as per a directive by the Supreme Court of India to the state governments to provide mid day meals or hot lunches in all government and government funded primary schools based on thorough understanding of the links and correlation between hunger and education and to combat the two biggest crisis of nation. Although program has been successful in increasing the students’ enrollment by 29.53% across the country, safety of the students is of utmost priority, which is unfortunately lacking in many areas. Mid Day meal tragedy at Chapra Bihar tragedy which snatched the lives death of 23 students and many more dozens hospitalized is one such example. The tragedy has left question marks on the has called the quality standards , management and oversight of India’s mid-day meal program. Considering the tragedy
  4. 4. as an eye opener to introduce food safety and hygiene measures into the system the imperative need of mid day meals in improving education, fighting hunger and breaking the cycle of poverty for economically vulnerable children can not be declined. A contrast to the bihar mid day meal debacle is the Akshaya Patra program which runs on the principles of strong food safety standards, accountable management, efficiency and impact. Kitchens of Akshaya Patra are technology intensive and can produce more than a hundred thousand meals in 5 hours at low cost and with high food safety standards. All the kitchens of Akshaya Patra are replicable and follow standards thus safety measures and standards are maintained by each kitchen which provide healthy, hygienic and fresh food in all parts of the country. ANALYSIS OF AKSHAY PATRA FROM A Public Relations Point of view Akshay patra has been a knight in the shining armour for ISKCON Foundation. As a result of dedicated and sustained efforts leading to an impeccable public relations strategy. a) ISKCON has been in the news for wrong reasons be it real estate development, child molestation, illicit affairs of self proclaimed acharyas. Akshay patra has turned out to be a savior, a tool which has proved handy to regain the faith, devotion for ISKCON. It has brought back the elements of trust and credibility to the foundation. b) The success story of Akshay Patra and the extensive coverage over various forms of media including the contrasting comparisons between ordinary mid day meal programs , Harvard Business review case study on Akshay Patra has helped ISKCON in clearing the tarnished image of the spiritual organization. The fact that Akshay Patra has a strong PR Strategy backing up the noble cause of feeding over a million children every day cannot be denied. It is said that ISKCON Gurus needed a positive PR in the public and media, as well as amongst their congregation, to ‘cover up’ or ‘make up’ for their shocking past failings they preformed for the past 30+ years. The communications department at Akshay Patra has the following postulates to accomplish • Ensure maximum visibility for the organization through regular and sustained media coverage that includes a multi-dimensional view of the organization’s activities • Identify and work proactively to engage with influencers with a view to continuously enhance the image of Akshaya Patra and to increase awareness on the work it does • Actively research and work to increase the footfall of influencers to any or all of the units of Akshaya Patra across the country • Identify and enable speaking opportunities at reputed universities and institutions for top management of Akshaya Patra. • Build and sustain strong relationships with the media, both national and regional • Design and engage the media in creative ways such as workshops and seminars and one-to-one meetings so that Akshaya Patra is top of the mind recall • Manage media consultants working across the country, including setting monthly targets and monitoring their progress CONCLUSION The Akshaya Patra Programme demonstrates an inspiring success story in the field of Public Private Partnership in India’s Mid-day Meal Scheme. It has set an example how a well-implemented programme can effectively address the issue of hunger and malnutrition in the country. In doing so, the Akshaya Patra Programme is also reinforcing the Right to Education Act by ensuring that children not only come to school, but more importantly stay in school. The unique aspect of this intervention is that the programme has been able to take a massive initiative to scale, while keeping its high quality and delivery
  5. 5. standards integral. In this respect it stands as worlds largest and the best mid day meal practice, and offers value in being replicated across the country. Furthermore, the impacts are verifiable clearly, which lends credibility to the intervention, and has definitely helped build a multi-stakeholder partnership around the programme. The Programme has infused positive light into the otherwise darker future thus bringing forth a cleaner and trustworthy image for ISKCON Foundation
  6. 6. standards integral. In this respect it stands as worlds largest and the best mid day meal practice, and offers value in being replicated across the country. Furthermore, the impacts are verifiable clearly, which lends credibility to the intervention, and has definitely helped build a multi-stakeholder partnership around the programme. The Programme has infused positive light into the otherwise darker future thus bringing forth a cleaner and trustworthy image for ISKCON Foundation

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