The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has awarded the Akshaya Patra USA the Gold Shield Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting! Akshaya Patra’s outstanding achievement in non-profit transparency and accountability has earned us the award for the fifth consecutive year and has entered us into the ICAI Hall of Fame!
Transparency and accountability are at the center of the Akshaya Patra model. Without the trust of donors like you we could not have scaled from serving meals to 1,500 children in 5 schools to 1.3 million students in 10,050 schools in just 13 years. Our commitment to transparency and accountability ensure that our program can efficiently and safely provide over a million nutritious meals to deserving children across India.
When asked how Akshaya Patra's meals are changing lives, Executive Director of Akshaya Patra India, Shridhar Venkat likes to share the following story:
“I keep telling this story to every new person I meet. I happened to meet this young boy, who was a beneficiary of Akshaya Patra a few years back. He had graduated and was now working. He was the son of a security guard, his father used to earn hardly Rs.1500 per month and he had four siblings. When he came to meet me, he came with a white envelope.
He told me that his father had been a temporary security guard. He said that he used to get 40% marks in 8th grade and many times he would faint during class, because there was no food at home. After Akshaya Patra came to his school, his attention span went up, he was able to focus on his studies. He was able to study hard, play hard. In 10th grade he got a grade of 92% and received scholarships to study 11th and 12th. He then got 97% in PCM and went on to earn a Bachelors of Technology in Computer Science.
In the envelope, in his hand was the offer letter from a leading company, MNC. He said his father no longer works, and he takes care of him. That’s the power of a meal. Most of us take meals for granted. But there are many millions of children in this country who go to bed hungry. This boy was one of them and that’s the difference it made”
The Akshaya Patra Foundation provides hot, school meals to more than 1.3 million children across India. Our meals encourage school enrollment, and giving under-served children access to life-changing educational opportunities. We would like to share with you the story of Sanjay, who dreams of a bright future:
Although Sanjay is just about three and a half feet tall at 13 years of age, the ambitious boy wants to join the armed forces when he grows up. “You need to be much taller for that,” says his teacher, Sugunavati, in a playful tone. One cannot be fooled by his size as this bright boy studying at the Mahadevi Hiriya Prathamika Shaale, Mysore, has an equally bright future since he is one of the highest scorers in his school. Despite his family’s economically unfortunate condition, he has a strong hold on his dreams and is working towards them.
When asked as to how this ambition came about, Sanjay said, “This has always been my ambition. I want to serve my country by becoming an Army Officer. My uncle who is in the Army is my inspiration. Besides protecting my country, I have observed my uncle’s confidence, his gait and personality to choose the defence for a goal.”
Sanjay stays in Sunkudkere, an area in Mysore which is known for frequent power cuts and water problems. His mother works as a domestic helper in households and has to leave early every morning. Due to time constraints she cannot prepare food for her three children, two of whom are girls. There are days when the kids have to depend entirely on the food that is provided by Akshaya Patra in their school. Sanjay is one such child who not only depends on this midday meal, but also loves the fresh hot and tasty food he gets from Akshaya Patra. “I’m grateful that such a facility is made available to us and I enjoy the food provided by Akshaya Patra to us,” says the boy.