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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Akshaya Patra. Spreading smiles for miles.








I started blogging because I love to share my views with the people who would be interested. Some may oppose my views and some may agree with me but whatever interaction may take place, it gives me happiness of sharing a part of me with the world.
For once I am happy for not myself but about something which I came across recently on indiblogger and surely when you feel happy for someone else that happiness has a flavour of its own. Today I feel quite pleased to write this blog because they say it is going to feed 50 children. Blogging has never felt more worthwhile ever. Wonder how contented would be the feeling of those who are behind the program called Akshaya Patra.. an organization dedicated to feeding hungry children. Their motto is no child should be deprived of education because of hunger. So wisely said words that touch heart.
According to Education for ALL Global Monitoring Report 2007, UNESCO about 13.5 million children in the age group of 6-13 years are out of school in India? Despite the trillion-dollar economic growth, a large chunk of India’s younger generation, does not have access to schools because of hunger and poverty. Their inability to access even one nutritional meal per day is severely limiting their capacity to concentrate in the classroom and receive a proper education, which could otherwise lift them out of the cycle of poverty. Striving to end hunger of underserved children in the 6 to 16 years age group and facilitate their education, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a not-for-profit, Bangalore-based secular trust evolved a free lunch program in schools in the year 2000. What started as a pilot project in five schools in Bangalore, feeding 1,500 children, has now grown into a mammoth endeavor reaching out to over 12,54,698 children in over 6,900 government, government aided schools and anganwadis (day care centers) in 19 locations, across nine states in India, day after day. Akshaya Patra is now the world’s largest NGO-run school meal program. Long time ago the CCF had introduced mid-day meals in our school. I was very young to understand the motive behind it but the joy of standing in line with friends waiting for hot rice, sambhar, etc to be served was enough for me to get enrolled for the mid-day meals program. It did not last for long for all the children. If those who can afford food can feel so happy about mid day meals in school, I cannot imagine the breadth of smile spread on a hungry child’s face through this program and to say this smile has been reaching 1.2 million children is quite great achievement.
AkshayaPatra is such a well chosen name meaning inexhaustible vessel, an object from Hindu mythology. 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. But in present day this vessel can become inexhaustible only when people would help it be so. Some wise person had once said that if you cannot be the light that spreads happiness then at least be the mirror which reflects it. I know not many in the world who would be able to feed 1.2 million children who have been deprived of their right even to have one proper meal every day but all can be a part of it by donating over here
Long serve the Akshaya Patra. My well wishes are with you.

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