Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Akshaya Patra - Providing Mid-Day Meals To Underprivileged Children

I am usually a nice and amiable person. Except when I am hungry. I get cranky, nasty, and not someone you want your path to cross with. Growing up in an affluent family, I never knew what it was to feel hunger. Mom used to make sure I was fed even before my stomach had a chance to feel empty. I really did not know what it "felt" like. Until of course I moved to the US and had work and school and no one at home cooking for me. I am embarrassed to say I still take food for granted, and need to make a conscious effort to change that.

I subscribe to the this blog called "The Better India". They talk about "Positive News. Happy Stories. Unsung Heroes". Last week they posted a photo-essay about an organization called "Akshaya Patra".
Akshaya Patra, meaning inexhaustible vessel, is an object from Hindu theology. It was a wonderful vessel given to Yudhishthira by the Lord Surya, which held a never-failing supply of food to the Pandavas every day.

The TPI Photo Essay

I am picking this straight out of the mission statement, because they say it the best!

Our mission is to simultaneously address childhood hunger and malnutrition and to promote education for underserved children in India. Akshaya Patra believes that no child should be denied equitable access to food and education. The Sanskrit words “Akshaya Patra,” meaning an abundant or inexhaustible vessel, has its origins in the great Indian epic, The Mahabharata,and aptly reflects the aspirations of the organization to provide unlimited food to underprivileged children.
A secular, charitable organization, Akshaya Patra offers unlimited, nutrition-rich food everyday to deserving school children. After reaching its goal of feeding one million children daily a year ahead of schedule, the organization’s next goal is to feed 5 MILLION CHILDREN IN INDIA BY 2020.

Results Achieved:

Akshaya Patra has a demonstrated impact on the children it reaches.

AC Nielsen, an independent research firm, performed an impact assessment in 2010, measuring key indicators such as enrollment, attendance and health. The study demonstrated an increase in enrollment, especially among the female students, and better health and improved performance among all students who received school lunches.
  • Increased school enrollment, especially for girls
  • Increased school attendance and retention of children
  • Improved performance and improved health
 And only $15 feed a child for an ENTIRE YEAR!

So here goes, here is how you get to Akshaya Patra

I cannot imagine not helping this noble cause. And would urge you to help as well! Hunger is very ugly. Wiping it out may not be possible, but we should definitely try to help as much as we can, especially when someone else is doing all the hard work for us.



  1. Kashmira...Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic blog post and Akshaya Patra's mission. It is the support of individuals like you that will enable us to begin eradicating hunger and providing equal educational opportunities to all children in India! Please continue to spread the word!

  2. Another awesome post, Kashmira. I will definitely check them out (my little budget is being subdivided as I write LOL).