“No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”- Akshay Patra!
Every child dreams to achieve something in future. In the age of schooling, they deal with so many issues; hunger is also one of them. According to FAO estimates in ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in World, 2018’ report 195.9 million out of 1.3 billion people are undernourished in India. It means 1 in 4 children is malnourished.
One day in Mayapur, near Calcutta, A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada saw a group of children fighting for a piece of bread. This visual aspect made him to think for the underserved children. He decided that no child in the radius of 10 miles from their center should go hungry. He engendered the roots of Akshaya Patra Foundation in 2000. A Non-profit Organization recognized as world’s largest kitchen which serves the children of government school. The pragmatic vision of the foundation is “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”.
According to Hindu mythology, the word “Akshayapatra” means the inexhaustible vessel (continuous supply of food). In the early years, it used to serve 1500 children from 5 districts. Today, the foundation provides food for 1.75 million children across 12 states in India. Presently Akshaya Patra is running by Mr. Sridhar Venkat, Executive director of Akshaya Patra. It is the implementing partner of Government of India in the mid-day meal scheme. It combines good management, innovative technology to deliver hygienic food for the children.
Mr. Sridhar invites students from many NGOs and B-schools for the exposure of their foundation. On the part of LEAD prayana, the prayanees will be taking to Akshaya Patra. The visit to the foundation instilled lot of inspiration in the minds of the prayanees. The foundation is happy that it is able to inspire the pioneers by their work. The visit makes the student know about the activities of an organization involving Management, Finance, etc. Besides observing the processes they even had an interaction with the team of the kitchen. The students were also taught the mantra meditation and explained its importance and benefits.
A student will be able to learn something when he comes out of the classroom. When we go out into the world, we encounter the learning as a whole and are forced to engage in many modalities. LEAD prayana is an opportunity for students where they can visit many organizations which they aspired to join in the future. Travelling and visiting with the co-prayanees can share their ideas, thoughts with one another.
Written By: Nithyashri Chiluka