It's the season to give from the abundance we enjoy and bring smiles to innocent faces. That's exactly why I am talking to you about Akshaya Patra on Christmas Eve. No pretty decor post on this blog; no, not today!
I waited this long to talk about this wonderful venture because I wanted to have a meaningful post up on the blog this Christmas. Also, this post will feed 50 kids, and by reading it you are helping me support this wonderful organization!
Thank you dear readers, I would appreciate it if you read this post through.
A story of compassion
The seed for Akshaya Patra began with this heart wrenching story. Looking out of a window one day in Mayapur, a village near Calcutta, His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada saw a group of children fighting with street dogs over scraps of food. From this simple, yet heart breaking incident, came the determination that: No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.”
The start of a mission
In June 2000, Akshaya Patra started their mid-day meal program in Bangalore by feeding 1500 children in 5 schools. At that time there was no State run school meal program in Karnataka. Within a few short weeks the organization received hundreds of requests from teachers who expressed the dire need of such a scheme.
This over whelming response was the impetus for the growth of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.
The growth of a noble cause
In November 28, 2001 the Supreme Court of India passed an order which mandated that: "Cooked mid-day meal is to be provided in all the government and government-aided primary schools in all the states." Akshaya Patra was called in to give testimonies to the Supreme Court in order to implement the mandate.
By the time the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of School Health and Education) extended its support too. In 2003, Akshaya Patra was already reaching out to 23,000 underprivileged children through the support of its donors.
With the partnership of the Government of India & various State governments, as well as the generosity of thousands of supporters,the organization has grown from a small endeavor to a mammoth force that stretches across the country.
With close to 1.2 million meals prepared everyday throughout India, the kitchens preparing these meals are highly mechanized and scalable. Often termed as Intelligently Engineered Kitchens, they were built with a commitment to quality and hygiene that ensures the best possible food for the children.
Each one is uniquely tailored to meet the requirements of its location, so that the meal provided is suited to the regional preferences of the children.
10 years later, they reach out to 1.2 million children everyday, having transformed a vision into a reality. They will continue to do so…and they need your help. Will you help them?
'A simple child... That lightly draws its breath And feels its life in every limb, What should it know of death?'
- from ‘We Are Seven’ by William Wordsworth
Have a look at this video, and see the potential for yourself!
Wasn't that inspiring? Click on the picture below if you feel like donating right now to this wonderful cause.
If you can't donate monetarily, there are so many other ways you can encourage this wonderful cause.You can be a cyber supporter - read about it here; or you can talk and spread the word, take the message of Akshaya Patra along with you as you meet and interact with people - read about it here
..for the real meaning of Christmas is the giving of love everyday!
A wonderful Christmas to all of you!
Have a blessed and meaningful Christmas season!
P.S - If you liked this post, please vote for it here.I stand a chance to win a trip to Jaipur. If I win it, I may not be able to make the trip given my current condition (blush!), but perhaps the amount could go towards the AP charity :)