The Akshaya Patra Foundation (Akshaya Patra means inexhaustible vessel) aims to hold meaning to its name and hence is making efforts so that they never run out of food to give to the innumerable kids that sleep hungry every night in our country.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation was started in 2000 to address two of the most immediate challenges of India — hunger and education — and reaches out to about 1.3 million children every day with mid-day meals, but they plan to do much more.
Hence, to spread awareness about this initiative, to garner more support and to celebrate their journey so far, the foundations released a docu-drama, Under One Sky on May 16. Singer Shankar Mahadevan, the goodwill ambassador of the organisation, launched it.
“I’m the goodwill ambassador of Akshaya Patra for a year now. Under One Sky is an awareness building initiative. For this, I’ve also composed a special song, Gyaan ki Shakti that has been penned by Javed Akhtar. I performed that on the release day,” says Mahadevan, who added that the organisation hopes to reach out to five million children each day by 2020. The singer-composer informs that the docu-drama will be put up on YouTube so that more people can see it and get aware about the issues of food and education. “The important thing is to send the message across. So that an increasing number of people come together for the cause,” he shares.
How it works
The Foundation began its work by providing quality mid-day meals to 1,500 children in five schools in Bangalore with the understanding that the meal would attract children to schools, after which it would be easier to retain them and focus on their holistic development. Thirteen years later, the Foundation has expanded its footprint to cover over 1.3 million children in nine states and 19 locations across India. In 2012, the Foundation served its billionth meal.
Public-private partnerships with the central and respective state governments have helped to scale up the programme rapidly and make a huge difference. The Foundation has pioneered the use of technology and scientific advancements to expand and to have real impact. Its simple approach has been shown to not only prevent malnutrition, but also encourage education, a two-pronged strategy that is bringing a sustainable positive change.