The Journey of Akshaya Patra: From an Idea to a Revolution.
The Akshaya Patra foundation started their journey without a strong base. Without mapping the seas and looking out into the horizon, they set sail to find contentment on the land of community service. It started when the Akshaya Patra team decided to serve their first meal in the nearest government school. The children’s eyes sparked when the savory, guilt-free, and pure sattvic food was served. They never figured it would go on for 17 years.
Akshay Patra was the first organization who thought of servicing the poor school-going children in India. They understand that satiating hunger and providing a wholesome nutritious meal will boost the mental and physical well-being of the children. It all started when Shri Mohandas Pai and Abhay Jain visited the ISKCON temple, Bengaluru to urge Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa to help the underprivileged school children. They thought Annadanam is a daily ritual in the ISCKON Temple, so why not feed the needy?
The team arranged underused temple kitchens to mass produce tasty vegetarian delicacies. Shri Mohandas Pai and Abhay Jain planned to organize vehicles to transport the food to the school children. The numbers grew and soon Akshaya Patra had to install necessary infrastructure to accommodate food for lakhs of children.
This Sangam of philanthropist was later established as a non-profit, non-governmental organization. They started by serving 1,500 children over five different schools in Bengaluru. November 28, 2001, had been a joyous day for Akshaya Patra as the Supreme Court of India directed them to provide mid-day meal to government-aided schools in all the Indian states. The HRD Ministry extended a helpful hand to Akshaya Patra, apart from humanitarians, businesses, and well-wishing donors. Our organization currently is the world’s biggest non-profit meal program that provides wholesome and nourishing food to more than 1.6 million children across 13,539 schools in 11 states.
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