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World Ngo Day - Contributing To The Cause And Avail Tax Benefits

By Author: Akshaya Patra
Total Articles: 13

In an effort to honour and encourage the generous services of the NGOs, 27th February is commemorated as the World NGO Day. It is an annual event celebrated globally by various organisations, communities, and leaders. With the universal concept of Celebrate, Commemorate and Collaborate, the first World NGO Day was first celebrated on 27th February 2014 with the intention to motivate people to get involved more actively with the activities of various NGOs and also create a synergy between NGOs and other sectors and communities. This day also gives an opportunity to appreciate the efforts of those NGOs who excel in their service making them top NGO in their specific segment.

NGOs play an all-encompassing role in the well-being and sustainability of the entire society. NGOs are legally constituted private organisations or groups that work independently from any form of government, i.e. they are not managed or owned by the government or government representatives. The NGOs reflect upon various issues and work in tandem with larger organisations like UN, UNESCO etc. and also receive aid from individual volunteers and corporate supporters. The role of NGOs is significantly important because:

- Their services range from social development, human development, health, skill development, environment to animal rights, and more.
- NGOs work at all levels – local, national, international – thereby being to cater to the needs from the grass root level to the global level
- The operational structure of NGOs enables organisations to get involved more closely with their respective causes resulting in a more focussed way of dealing with an issue.

One such organisation working towards improving child nutrition and education is The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an Indian NGO implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme across 12 states in the country. With the vision of ‘No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger’ this organisation steers all its effort to maximise the potential of technology and resources towards providing nutritious and wholesome meals to school children. The Foundation has been ranked 23rd among the top 100 NGOs featured in the 2013 edition of The Global Journal titled ‘Top 100 NGOs Annual Ranking’. Since its inception in 2000, this top NGO has achieved many important milestones such as:

• Akshaya Patra is the first organisation to enter into a Public-Private Partnership in the mid-day meal programme sector by signing a MoU with the Government of Karnataka.
• Along with mechanised and centralised kitchens, Akshaya Patra also has a well-structured network of decentralised kitchens to serve mid-day meals in remote areas like Baran in Rajasthan and Nayagarh in Odisha.
• In 2006, Akshaya Patra was considered as a case study at the prestigious Harvard Business School as part of its MBA curriculum.
• Setting an example for accountability, Akshaya Patra became the first NGO to comply with the IFRS and also the winner of the Gold Shield for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the ICAI for five consecutive years.
• Entered the India Book of Records for running the world's largest school meal programme.
• Akshaya Patra proudly hosted His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama, Former President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton, Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee among other noted dignitaries.
• Out of 34 centralised kitchens, 15 kitchens are ISO 22000:2005 certified.
• Presently, Akshaya Patra is impacting the lives of 16,75,008 children in 13,839 schools across 12 states in India.

Akshaya Patra is at a watershed moment and aims to feed 5 million children by 2020. The Foundation believes that it is an achievable aspiration provided there is equal involvement of the society and hence has provided several platforms to get involved with the cause. As a supporter, one can choose to donate online, sponsor a child, school, kitchen, or a meal delivery vehicle. Supporters can also initiate an online campaign in support of the cause. All donors will be eligible to avail 80G deduction under the Income Tax Act. So, this World NGO Day come forward and donate for the Akshaya Patra’s Mid-Day Meal Programme and save tax on your hard earned money too!

More About the Author

I'm a social volunteer, lives in Bengaluru. I do work for NGOs to make society better. Currently I'm working for The Akshaya Patra Foundation. It's an NGO in India which provides wholesome nutritious mid-day meals to government school children to end classroom hunger. https://www.akshayapatra.org/

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