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Father’s Day celebrates the caring and protective spirit of fathers

Happy Fathers Day

Father is an epitome of protection and care. Studies reveal that men are biologically programmed to care and provide. No wonder then, that our fathers show their love best by doing something for us. The third Sunday of every June honours fathers worldwide. Non-profit organisations around the world use the occasion to pay tribute to fathers on this day.

How did Father’s Day originate?

There are several interesting stories that are associated with the celebration of this day. In most countries, Father’s Day is observed on the third Sunday of June, but in Europe and Latin America, fathers are honoured on St Joseph’s Day, which is a traditional Catholic holiday that falls on March 19. The Spanish and Portuguese brought the sentiment to Latin America.

A story goes that Sonora Dodd from Spokane, a city in the state of Washington in United States of America, was raised by her father – a single parent – along with five other siblings. When she heard a Mother’s Day sermon in 1910, she felt that fathers must be honoured too. So Dodd began a campaign for a day dedicated to celebrating fathers. The first such Father’s Day was finally celebrated in Spokane in 1910, followed by several towns and cities in America.

Another story is about one Grace Golden Clayton from Fairmont, West Virginia. There was a mine explosion in a nearby town that had killed more than 360 men. Grace argued that the children of these men needed a day or time to remember and pay tributes to their fathers and so, the day was celebrated in 1908.

Whatever the history, it’s a wonderful day that unites the world in honouring fathers. Apart from other bodies, non-profit organisations like Akshaya Patra channelise resources to honour fathers who encourage their children towards education. The organisation involves people on the occasion to help feed the children during its school lunch programme. Several donors come forward to sponsor a child or sponsor kitchen equipment every year as a gesture of honouring their fathers. Many of the Foundation’s employees are fathers, striving hard to give their children a good life and the organisation values their efforts.

What can you do on Father’s Day?

You can choose to be a child’s godfather on Father’s Day. All you need to do is sponsor a child and help Akshaya Patra feed millions of children by this single gesture. This may be through an online donation or a fundraising campaign.

Beneficiary schools organise events in their premises, encouraging children to write, draw or express feelings for their fathers in several other ways. You may find such a school near you in these states – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh. You may choose to visit some of these schools and talk to children and teachers during lunch time and witness for yourself How Akshaya Patra’s meals benefit children.

Father’s Day this year can be channelised towards furthering the education of children through nutritious meals. You may easily do so by sponsoring a child.

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Celebrate for a Cause

Akshaya Tritiya – The perfect time to gift a plentiful plate of food to children!

Happy Akshaya Tritiya

Akshaya Tritiya, signifying ’the day of gold‘, falls on between mid-April and mid-May on the third day of the lunar month’s bright half. It is the birthday of the goddess of food – Annapurna Devi. The festival holds great importance for the Hindu and Jain communities.

The question is “Akshaya Tritiya is only about buying gold?”

The word Akshaya stands for ‘unlimited’, while Tritiya means ‘third day’. There are a lot of legends that are associated with this occasion. One famous reference is found in The Mahabharata, when the Pandavas had to go into exile for 13 years in the forest. During this exile, quite a lot of Brahmanas followed them. But Yudishthir requested the Brahmanas to turn back, since he couldn’t provide them with food or protection in the forest. However, the Brahmanas refused to return and decided to fend for themselves. Grieved over his inability to provide them with food, Yudhisthir then cried out and meditated on Surya, singing hymns in his praise. Surya then appeared before Yudisthira and gave him Akshaya Patra – the vessel of unlimited food. The entire troupe then set out to Kamyaka forest, since they now had an unlimited supply of food.

Much like the Akshaya Patra in the Mahabharata, The Akshaya Patra Foundation too aims to be an unlimited source of food for the unfed children of India. Through our school lunch programme, run alongside the Government of India, we feed the children in Government and Government-aided schools across India.

Thus for us, Akshaya Tritiya is the most auspicious occasion to encourage more donors to donate for the cause of Food for Education and join hands in feeding the children of India. Donating on Akshaya Tritiya gives you an added blessing as your charity is going for a noble purpose that completely lives up to the spirit of this occasion. As a gesture of homage on the birthday of Annapurna Devi, you can choose to provide ‘anna’ to the children by feeding them with nutritious meals through Akshaya Patra’s school meal programme.

We wouldn’t be the ‘unlimited vessel’ for the purpose of feeding the children had it not been for generous donors around the world. You may choose to make use of the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya in order to reach out to the future of our nation – our children.

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