10 year-old Rakesh lives in abject poverty in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. His father, a snake charmer by profession, earns a meager US $15 per day with which he must feed and clothe his large family including his wife, 5 children and himself. Snake charmers in India typically visit towns and villages on market days and during festivals to earn money for their family’s daily subsistence. However, owing to the Wildlife Protection Act, which enforces strict safeguards over snakes, the family’s earning has become threatened and Rakesh’s father has taken to playing music at weddings and celebrations. This fetches him a very sporadic and uncertain income; a threat to the family’s well being. Against this background, the meal that The Akshaya Patra Foundation provides to Rakesh at school is a life line for the family. Studying in grade 5 in Government Higher Primary School in Rajasthan, he is able eat a fresh, nutritious, unlimited meal in school and take a little food home as well.
Rakesh's story is just one out of millions of similar stories across India. Children, just like Rakesh, are forced on a daily basis to make a decision to attend school or go to work to support their family and put food on the table. Akshaya Patra provides an alternative for these children and their families. By providing a freshly prepared, nutritious daily meal in school, children no longer must work due to economic necessities. This meal serves as an incentive for them to come to school, stay in school and focus on learning. A mid day meal also reduces the financial burden on the parents.
On June 13th, GlobalGiving is going to be hosting their second Bonus Day of the 2012, giving supporters like yourself an extra incentive to help children like Rakesh. Starting at 12:01am on June 13th, 2012, GlobalGiving will match online donations made to Akshaya Patra at 50%!!! There is $75,000 in matching funds but once funds have been depleted, no more donations will be matched. GlobalGiving will match up until $1,000 per donor until matching funds run out.
Please consider donating on June 13th to magnify the impact of your donation! Only $15 feeds a child for an entire year so every little bit counts. Also, please check out and share our links below to NPR's broadcast covering Akshaya Patra, an article on our advance technology in Huffington Post, and a super cool video on how we make 40,000 chapattis in just 1 hour!
On behalf of the Akshaya Patra children, thank you for all that you do.
The Akshaya Patra Team
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