Akshaya Patra: Feed a Child

I was sitting here idle not doing anything good with my life, writing something or anything. It was on such a day that Akshaya Patra really caught my attention for the first time when Nandhini, my fellow blogger friend told me about what they have been doing, even though I do read a lot of information about NGOs and did go through some of their work earlier. I also received an e-mail about their work and I was determined to place a widget/banner of them on my blog and go through the service which they have been doing.

Established in 2000, Akshaya Patra is a non-profit organisation which runs school lunch programme across India. From its humble beginnings, as of now, they are working in ten different states, twenty four locations, ten thousand eight hundred and forty five schools and serving 1.4 million children of our nation. Akshaya Patra dedicates its inception and work to the inspiring resolve of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as the organization takes over the fine vision that “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”.

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Akshaya Patra currently provides freshly cooked meal to children on all school days. This mid-day meal programme has a long history and we remember the mid-day meal scheme being introduced in Kerala in 1984 – the first of its kind can be traced back to the Pre-Independence era, but it will never be enough, and requires more and more help each day. The states covered by Akshaya Patra are parts of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odisha, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

With its headquarters at Bangalore, Akshaya Patra attempts to make sure that no child has to skip school in case of an absence of food. It is a great idea in an environment when the children needs to go past hunger and malnutrition to reach their goals, along with what all factors that the society puts them though. Every child needs to study, and for the same, he or she needs to be free from the most basic problem, which is hunger. Education is the right of all children, and this surely helps a lot. Akshaya Patra has also won the 14th Mother Teresa Award in the Best NGO Category of 2014.

There are times when we want to do something good and we can’t because the situation doesn’t work in our favour. The opportunities to contribute rarely comes when we are looking for them. I was myself looking forward to see Akshaya Patra in Kerala, but it turns out that it isn’t there. Maybe it is because Kerala has its mid-day meal programme working well, and there are other places where the need is more and it is urgent. So, it is not that easy to do anything with Akshaya Patra staying right here, but in the case of the online option present, there is no such limitation.

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There is the option to donate online through this link and it takes just Rs 750/- to feed a child during an year with Akshaya Patra. The children in need can use all the support that we can provide, and there is no small amount. Spreading the idea through the social media profiles is another fine act because not many things match spreading the word through Facebook and Twitter. We bloggers and website owners can also help by putting a banner/widget of Akshaya Patra and spread awareness that way.

You can see samples of the widgets on this blog as well as at my other blog, Movies of the Soul. As most of us are not able to change the code due to being hosted at WordPress.com, we can use the widgets on the sidebars – nobody can predict the what can bring the chance, a blog post, a widget or a banner! It will only take a small space among the rest of the things on display. Together, we have the chance to make a difference, an opportunity that may not always be there. So, lets use it right now, as nobody knows what tomorrow might bring.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Akshaya Patra

TeNy

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For the Planet Earth


A better environment is our need, and not just a requirement of the nature itself. It is our responsibility towards Earth rather than what the planet should do for us – after all, it is the humans who are responsible for the current situation which requires the world to go through some saving. The question remains if what was first needed, about what science should have done for nature, for it is the same field which started finding ways to exploit is in the worst possible ways.

But what people are more concerned now is to go to another planets, but don’t we have a planet here which needs saving? Is it more needed to go to another planet and exploit it too rather than making things better at the place where one was born? Is it more like an escape route for the rich people like in a number of science fiction novels and movies, including the 2013 one which could take it further – like Neill Blomkamp’s Matt Damon starrer Elysium? No, it is never late to save Earth, for nature heals better as long as humans understand the right thing.

Wake me up after saving Earth. I have had enough of you mortals :D

Wake me up after saving Earth. I have had enough of you mortals ­čśÇ

Let’s do what we can – spend some time to plant some trees along with all those things that we do. We are actually doing the same now, around our house. The space is less, but we manage with what we have, and hope to have something like a wall of green around us. There are different types of trees, from Zapota, Star Fruit, Neem, Guava and Star Apple to Jackfruit and the Alphonso Mango. There are also enough vegetables for half of the week which are produced at home.

The food waste is usually used as the compost working as the fertilizer, along with those which are bought from the outside. There is nothing like having your own materials to use for the growing trees which is regularly cared for. The compost bin is available from the Municipality itself, and you can get it without much difficulties. There is also not much space needed as this can be placed on one of the corners near kitchen.

There are not many trees around our place, except for the back-side of our home which has a nice abandoned house surrounded by a number of the bigger trees around. But we live in a town which is going through a faster pace of development, and the amount of greenery has surely come down. It is up-to us, the common people to make up-to it by planting more and more trees around our houses.

Some of our own tomatoes; something for temporary happiness!

Some of our own tomatoes; something for temporary happiness!

Let’s try to make the area around our home green, and keep it the same. A few trees will only do us good, and we have actually utilized all the available space around our house which are not paved by tiles. Our kitten, Simona loves trees and manages to stay on top of some of those already existing trees, taunting the dog which runs around the neighbourhood. Trees are not just our property, for it belongs to many.

If we grow our own fruits and vegetables, we are going to be a lot more self-sufficient than we are now. It has been shown in a number of movies including the Malayalam movies Ividam Swargamaanu and How Old Are You. We need to have our own green world with enough to sustain ourselves, and if everyone begins to think so, we will end up doing the right thing for our environment.

Let’s help Green Yatra (http://greenyatra.org/) on the same. For people from my area, there are some nice places to buy something for the contribution to your green world when you travel from Perumbavoor to Muvattupuzha, on the left side just when reaching Keezhilam, and another one when you travel from the same place to Kothamangalam, after Pattaal. Let’s try to make this world cleaner and greener, thus making the much needed difference! ***The images used in this blog post are from my home, taken on my Asus Zenfone5 and Samsung Galaxy Duos.

TeNy

The Need for Cleanliness

We ask for many things in this world. Isn’t cleanliness among them? My hope is that it will be a basic requirement soon, and people will get to realize the same. During my earlier visit to Singapore, I did wonder if India can one day have the same cleanliness. I wondered about what they had that India didn’t. I have found the state of Kerala cleaner as a whole, but never really steady in its cleanliness, especially these days as waste is indeed being thrown on the side of the roads. All photos used here were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310 except for the one mentioned otherwise.

What is it that a beautiful country needs? It is not the tourist attractions, because nature and history has already provided the same as long as they are not vandalized. What every nation needs is cleanliness, as it is very important for the health and hygiene of the citizens of the nations as well as the visitors. Without good sanitation, we can’t say that we are good hosts and follow the policy of “Athithi Devo Bhava”. Yes, some people might think that we are awesome hosts just because there is a phrase about it, but the real fact is that we have to work on it.

Is it fair towards the animals? I don't think so.

Is it fair towards the animals? I don’t think so.

The first thing that can come to some people might be to act that they should try to create a show for the others, acting as if trying to clean, just because it is the trend. No, you are not doing any favour to the nation by doing so. The first thing to do is to keep your house and premises clean, and then your neighbourhood area. It is how the whole thing should begin. Haven’t we all heard about the saying “charity begins at home”? Well, so does the health and hygiene – we can’t make the society any better without changing ourselves, can we?

Our responsibility to our nation begins at home. Whatever we do at home is significant, even as not many people are aware of what we do in our room or on the backside of our house. It is what we practice at home that we take to the world outside. It is our actions between our own that is reflected even when we are outside and nobody is looking. Yes, this has to start with oneself, and not with a bigger group. If you walk around a broom and keep your house untidy, you are to blame despite what show you can come up with in the public.

Kitty caught in what humans litter (taken on my Galaxy Duos)

Kitty caught in what humans litter (taken on my Galaxy Duos)

We have polluted our world, made it terrible for many creatures of nature, and it is all because we don’t care much. With that pollution, we have spread diseases, and these begin when we don’t care about waste disposal. Check all those rivers; are they any cleaner than they used to be? So much waste has been thrown into the rivers, and it is almost impossible to drink directly from there days or even clean. Even the holy rivers are not spared. This proves that clean India doesn’t mean that we should dispose our waste anywhere.

Yes, we have people who get rid of their waste by throwing it to the properties of others. We also have those who put their waste anywhere when nobody is looking. They are no lesser evil than those big industries which pollute our air as well as water, some of them even directly causing deadly diseases to humans and killing off a lot of creatures and plants. It is a need to raise our voice against these practices, but only when we keep cleanliness in our own home that we are worthy of the same, and it is what we should strive for.

This should be applicable everywhere, but why is that we need signs?

This should be applicable everywhere, but why is that we need signs?

This blog post is written in relation to Dettol NDTV Banega Swachh India campaign in association with Indiblogger, and it is a much needed move towards a better India. Please check http://swachhindia.ndtv.com/ for more details, and lets contribute to making and keeping our nation clean not as something which we are forced to do, but as a part of our lives as a duty towards our nation and the fellow countrymen.

This initiative is a┬áprogram to address the rising need of hygiene and sanitation in India. It will try to create awareness about┬áthe same, and will also work for construction and maintenance of toilets. The brand ambassador is none other than Big B – Amitabh Bachchan. NDTV Dettol – Banega Swachh India bus is supposed to cover about four hundred villages across eight Indian states – Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, MP and Maharashtra. With the same, they will create awareness around hygiene and sanitation through a number of ways which can connect the best with the common man.

Cheers to http://swachhindia.ndtv.com/.
TeNy