The above statistic is what the Akshaya Patra charity was founded upon in order to eradicate hunger in India by the year 2020. You can help us.
A healthy tasty meal at lunchtime can greatly affect how children focus in school — there is no use in a teacher even attempting to describe quadratic equations to 30 hungry children. That is why Akshaya Patra’s ‘food for education’ goal provides good meals to 1.6 million school children in government-run schools across 11 states in India everyday. This is primarily possible through the use of highly efficient machinery that can make around 200,000 rotis (breads) a day!
To get more of an insight into how and why the charity started, it is useful to hear the story of its beginnings. Mr Shridhar Venkat, the charity’s CEO, explained how he had one day missed his dinner and the next day had had some delay in eating breakfast. He spoke about how during this time he was only thinking about food, and it then occurred to him how he was taking the luxury and freedom to have cooked meals for granted. This made him question how children in classrooms across India can focus on their studies when many from poorer backgrounds often go without meals. This has fundamentally been the basis of Mr Venkat’s vision — ‘food for education’ — ensuring that all children, no matter their background, have access to a good nutritious meal every lunchtime.
The charity has been able to raise money through their ‘Meals for Meals’ scheme, in which restaurant managers help to fundraise by asking customers to add £1 to their food bill. Volunteers help to build relationships with independent restaurants to make this happen and to discuss with them just how much difference it can make to a child. A mere £10 can help feed one child for a whole year.
The UK head office of the charity has planned an event aimed at young people in order to raise more awareness about the charity and its mission. It will be an excellent opportunity for those interested in the not-for-profit sector — as the inner workings of charities are usually not taught at school — whilst also giving people the chance to network with young city professionals, and even the CEO himself!
Event: 15th of February
Location: We Works in Old Street
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Speaker: Shridhar Venkat CEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEXGXNszL1E
Price: Free (To RSVP click here)
Audience: Students, young professionals around Central London