1. The Embassy of Japan in India, under its scheme ‘Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects’, today decided to extend grant assistance totaling US$ 145,180 (approximately equivalent to Rs.70 lacs) to two Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to support their respective projects for providing machineries for free mid-day meal service, and for extension of the training center for sustainable development. The NGOs and projects receiving the Grants are as follows:
(i) The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been working to provide free mid-day meal service for students studying at government primary schools, since its establishment in 2000. So far, the organization has covered about 4,500 schools in six states, which benefit 800,000 students in total. The service aims at increasing enrolment and attendance to schools, as well as improving studying performance and their nutritional status. Despite all the efforts the organization has made to provide mid-day meal service free of charge, the shortage of machineries limits the number of beneficiaries. In order to provide the service to 40,000 more students in need, the Jaipur branch is determined to set up new chapatti/roti making machineries. Realizing its need, the Embassy of Japan has decided to grant them a sum of US$69,078 for the project.
(ii) College of Continuing and Non-Formal Education, Allahabad Agricultural Institute-Deemed University has been implementing a variety of rural development and agricultural projects in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, since 1975. The organization also provides training in field such as cooperatives, women’s empowerment, food processing, education, health, sanitation, and so on. Besides the growing needs and demands from targeted 30 villages, shortage of space has limited the number of participants for training. In order to provide effective programs for rural women, sustainable agriculture training and food processing activity, the organization requires extension of its building. Realizing its need, the Embassy of Japan has decided to grant them assistance of US$ 79,102 for the project.
2. The Signing Ceremony to formalize the arrangements is scheduled to take place at 1600 hrs., on Wednesday, 25th February, 2009, at the Embassy of Japan, between Mr. Masashi Mizukami, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, and the representatives of the above NGOs.
3. The scheme of ‘Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects’ was introduced by the Government of Japan in 1989, to provide timely assistance directly to the activities of NGOs promoting welfare of the people in developing countries. Projects eligible for the grant assistance include such fields as primary healthcare, primary education, care of the handicapped people, poverty alleviation, enhancing status of women, public welfare, environment protection, etc. The Embassy of Japan and the Consulates General of Japan in Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai are in charge of this scheme in their respective regions.
4. For further information, please contact Mr. Hisashi Sakata, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan. Telephone No.2687-6564.