The Akshaya Patra Foundation has set the target of feeding 5 million hungry mouths by the year 2020. Not a mean task by any stretch of imagination
When some political leaders were busy to confuse peopel with the slogans of ‘Garibi Hatao’ Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada decided to bring a paradigm shift in the lives of the children. He decided that ‘no children will be hungry within a radius of ten miles from his centre.’ And his ardent followers went on to establish the Akshaya Patra Foundation in June 2000. Today the Foundation is the word’s largest mid-day meal programme in India.
The school children who are fed by Akashya Patra Foundation
He saw a group of children fighting with stray dogs for scraps of food. This heart-breaking sight promted His Holiness with this holy mission in his life. True to its vision, the Foundation has set several impossible milestones while serving the humanity. Clearly, feeding the country’s teeming hungry millions is not for the faint-hearted but this noble task of an amazing non-profit organisation called Akshaya Patra Foundation is no easy task, as it has set itself the humongous task of feeding 5 million hungry mouths by 2020. Not a mean task by any stretch of imagination.
But then the late founder’s vision is so abiding and inspiring that the Foundation has never wavered in its relentless commitment to feeding the poor school children by helping them stave off what is called “the Classroom Hunger” – a noble cause which prompted the Government of India award its prestigious Gandhi Peace Foundation in 2016 in recognition of its noble service to humanity. Recently, Vice-President Shri Venkaiah Naidu expressed his appreciation to the Foundation for its community service.
Akashya Patra Foundation
Today, the Akashay Patra Foundation reaches 13,210 schools, feeding over 1.65 million
children every day in 11 states through 27 kitchens. It also feeds Anganwadi children,
lactating mothers, and expecting women
Congratulating the Foundation, Prime Minister Shri Modi said in a tweet, “The Foundation’s determined efforts ensure nutritious meals for many. Their outstanding work has also ensured more children go to school. I congratulate them for the Gandhi Peace Prize.”
Today, an increasing number of philanthropists are pledging millions of dollars to the Foundation. One of the first donors was Mohandas Pai, a co-founder of the IT giant Infosys, who donated a vehicle almost 18 years ago. And there has been no looking ever since.
Westbridge Capital, a US based Venture Capital firm has pledged as part of its CSR initiatives, one million dollar to the Foundation. Last year, Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog was delighted to see the giant-sized kitchen, “It's amazing in terms of its size, scale and cleanliness!" Akshaya Patra prepares nutritious mid day meals for 1.7 million children every day in its kitchens. It is world's largest mid-day meal programme.
The Foundation has striven to address the issue of “classroom hunger” and promote “education” by providing nutritious meals to children in Government and Government-aided schools. Today, it reaches 13,210 schools, feeding over 1.65 million children every day in 11 states through 27 kitchens.