“India cannot fully develop its economic potential until all of its children receive a proper education” was said by Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys Technologies, in a Fundraising event of The Akshaya Patra Foundation held at Milpitas, California, United States, on 17 November 2012. Murthy also sits on the advisory board of the Akshaya Patra Foundation USA.
Speaking to India-West before the evening event at the India Community Center in Milpitas, Murthy said, “One of the most important ingredients needed for the success of our country is inclusivity through education. Every Indian is excited about this concept,” adding, “We must bring the power of education to every poor child in India. It is our path to global progress.”
With the vision of “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”, Akshaya Patra was founded in 2000 in Bangalore, India. The Foundation serves a daily school lunch under the Mid-Day Meal Scheme to 1.3 million low-income children in Government schools. Presently operating in 20 locations across 9 states in India, it reaches out to 9075 schools.
The meals are prepared in state-of-the-art ISO-certified kitchen facilities and cater to local palate. The programme aims to encourage more children to attend school and is aiming to scale up to be able to serve 5 million children by the year 2020. The organizers of the Milpitas event mentioned Akshaya Patra’s milestone achievement of recently crossing the one billion mark for serving meals.
“India has been making spectacular growth,” he said, noting that the country’s gross domestic product was growing by five percent. Foreign direct investment in India has risen to $30 billion, said Murthy, adding that the country was also “number one” in telecom services throughout the world. “But there is another India which is untouched by this spectacular growth,” said the Indian entrepreneur, noting that 700 million Indians live without proper sanitation and 280 million live without regular water supplies.
It is certain that the fund raised will be of significant aid in the progress towards achieving the mission of Akshaya Patra; thereby helping the Foundation in achieving its vision. Akshaya Patra sincerely thanks all the donors and the organisers of the event.