When Savitha and Mounesh began school in Bangalore they were the first in their large family to attend school. “When we joined school, we didn’t know a single alphabet, neither in Kannada nor in English. Even writing our name was a distant dream. But we picked up. Although it took us two years, we were finally on par with fellow classmates”.
Determined to achieve their dreams no matter what the odds, Savitha and Mounesh come from the humblest of origins. The children of farmers from Ahmednagar, their parents were forced to move the family to the slums of Bangalore when severe droughts devastated the crops. Now they struggle to provide for their family of 17 while working irregularly as daily-wage laborers. Studying by candle light and surviving on Akshaya Patra’s nutritious school meals, Mounesh says, “I would push myself to go to school. If not for the mid-day meal, I don’t think I would’ve had the minimum attendance needed to write my annual exams.”
Savitha and Mounesh are the first among their family to become literate. This May they achieved another first—both of them passed their 10th grade exams and are starting college. Savitha dreams of working as a psychologist and Mounesh is studying hard to become a lawyer.
Everyday Akshaya Patra’s school meals are changing the lives of children just like Mounesh and Savitha. For families living on the edge, these wholesome meals are a welcome relief that empowers them to support their children’s dreams of education. With the help of Akshaya Patra’s meals, children who have inherited a legacy of poverty and illiteracy are graduating from college and taking their place in India’s vital future. This Diwali, as your family celebrates the warmth of family and friends, help these children in India realize the illuminating power of education. Your generous Diwali gifts sustain the resilient dreams of these children who are Hungry for School.
It has also empowered us to build relationships with corporations and foundations interested in making a difference in the lives of children. The Caterpillar Corporation donated over $2 million for our newest kitchen being built in Lucknow that will serve 100,000 additional children annually. ConAgra Foods has sponsored vehicles and distribution vessels and meals for children in Gujarat.
We know that you, and all of our dedicated supporters, are committed to taking action to improve the lives of children in India. Help us reach our next goal of feeding 5 million children by 2020!
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.