Exactly when things appeared to return to a new normal, the second rush of the COVID-19 pandemic hit us and this time it was harder. Since the very beginning of the lockdown announcement to reduce the spread of the infection, the deeply affected were the low-income sections and the general public. With no cash to deal with their day by day expenses and no investment funds, they were in a problem. During this difficult time, families dreaded being killed by hunger more than the virus.
The Government of India approached to offer help to such families. Different NGOs approached to support them with online donations from different individual and corporate donors.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation started its COVID Relief Service from the beginning of the pandemic on 25th March 2020 and continues its feeding support as the subsequent wave becomes widespread. As of 30th April 2021, the NGO in India has served a combined of 124 MILLION MEALS.
This incorporates freshly prepared meals served to destitute individuals, grocery kits that help a marginalized family sustain, and happiness kits that were given to school children of Government schools.
What is Akshaya Patra Feeding?
The Indian charity serves cooked meals to daily wagers, construction-site workers, laborers, migrants, and needy people. The cost of each cooked meal is £0.25p. Every meal is cooked in a safe and hygienic manner.
To support marginalized families with essentials in the tough times, grocery kits are distributed in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tripura, West Bengal, Punjab, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh. The cost of each grocery kit is £8.
To support families and school children studying in Government and Government-aided schools, Happiness Kits are distributed since 25th August 2020. Mid-day meal beneficiaries are benefitted in Bengaluru, Jigani, Hyderabad, Thane, Silvassa, Jaipur, Vadodara, Lucknow, Vrindavan, Guwahati, Ballari, Hubballi, Mangalore, Pune, Surat, Bikaner, Udaipur, Jhalawar, Jodhpur, Rourkela, Puri, Ahmedabad, Warangal, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Nagpur, Gorakhpur, Cuttack, Bhavnagar and Vizag. The cost of each Happiness Kit is £6.
Number of meals distributed so far (As of 30th April 2021)
- Cooked meals – 60,798,910
- Grocery kits – 1,019,876
- Happiness kits – 1,063,977
Apart from carrying out the COVID Relief Service Programme, the Foundation runs other programmes simultaneously. With the Yatri Sewa Programme, travellers are provided with food packets and water bottles to help them in journey. The Indian charity also supports the feeding of pregnant, lactating mothers and children in Anganwadi centres.
Stories of Akshaya Patra Beneficiaries
Migrants and laborers are rushing back to their hometown fearing an economic shutdown. Once they go back, they will not have a job to support their family or enough savings for the future. During this tough time, Akshaya Patra has joined hands with the Government of India, State Governments, and District Authorities to help laborers and daily wagers. Here are a few stories from Akshaya Patra’s beneficiaries.
Neetaben Ukabhai is a domestic help living in Ahmedabad. Being the sole bread-winner of the family, the pandemic caught her off guard.
“Everybody refused to employ me with the fear of the virus infecting them even though I did not have any symptoms. With no money to buy essentials for the future, I was not sure if we would survive. Due to Akshaya Patra, we are alive by eating their meals.”Neetaben Ukabhai
Shyam Kushwah is from Vrindavan and works in a pipe manufacturing factory. He lost his job due to the pandemic inflicted lockdown. He was a single parent and was not able to take care of both his sons. He is ready to work for any small amount to take care of his children.
“I was not able to feed them every day with healthy meals. How would they fight any virus without being healthy? I felt extremely helpless as they slept on an empty stomach. But, thanks to Akshaya Patra; if it wasn’t for their service, I am scared I would have lost them. It is a boon to receive these meals at the time when we needed them the most.”Shyam Kushwah
To read more such stories of Akshaya Patra’s beneficiaries please visit – Our Stories
Help us Feed More
Make a difference in the lives of people who are in dire need of help. Your generous contribution can give them the required meals in this tough time. Be a part of Akshaya Patra’s feeding programmes. While you donate online you make a positive impact in the lives of marginalized people who are currently struggling due to the Second Wave.