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Winning it for Akshaya Patra!

Winning it for Akshaya Patra

Celebrity support is vital for NGOs and the impact it creates is remarkable. And, the best part is celebrities show utmost support and many times go out of their way to advocate for the cause they are associated with. Akshaya Patra has been fortunate to have received generous support from the celebrity community.

For an NGO, support from the community plays a vital role in achieving their mission. Hence, NGOs provide a platform and welcome support from all sections of the society – government sector, corporate sector, small, medium and big businesses, along with the civil society. The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a mid-day meal NGO in India serving school meals to more than 1.76 million children across India has been fortunate to have received generous support of philanthropists from all walks of life including celebrities.

Recently, Shraddha Kapoor, Indian Actress and Singer, and Neel Ghose, Founder of Robin Hood Army showcased their wholehearted support for Akshaya Patra by playing and donating the prize money in Dus Ka Dum 3 and Kaun Banega Crorepati respectively. In the 24th episode of Dus Ka Dum aired on 26th August 2018, Shraddha Kapoor enthusiastically announced her support for Akshaya Patra and donated the entire winning amount of Rs. 6-lakh towards the NGO. Similarly, Neel Ghose extended his wholehearted support for Akshaya Patra as he graced the hot seat on 14th September 2018 as part of the Kaun Banega Crorepati ‘s special segment called Karamveers. He was accompanied by Indian actress Kajol. Neel generously donated the winning amount of Rs. 6,40,000 to Akshaya Patra.

Watch Shraddha Kapoor and Neel Ghose winning it for Akshaya Patra.

In the past too, many noted celebrities have identified with Akshaya Patra’s cause and has extended their tremendous support in various occasions. To name a few are: Sanjeev Kapoor (Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur), Shankar Mahadevan (Composer and Playback Singer), Vivek Oberoi (Indian Actor), Sonali Bendre (Indian Actress), S.S. Rajamouli (Indian Director and Screenwriter), A.R. Rahman (Indian Music Director, Composer, Singer-Songwriter, and Music Producer), Ram Sampath (Indian Composer, Music Producer, and Musician), and Sona Mohapatra (Indian Singer, Music Composer, and Lyricist).

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What goes into making Akshaya Patra a successful change maker?

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A wholesome meal is important for a child’s overall development. It helps a child become smart and aspire high. The Akshaya Patra Foundation understood the need for a healthy meal. Since the year 2000, the Foundation has been serving children in Government and Government-aided schools. Akshaya Patra currently serves over 1.6 million children in 13,800+ schools across 12 states of India. Its school lunch programme, the largest such NGO-operated initiative in the world, is implemented with the support of the Government of India and various State Governments.

Akshaya Patra receives support from many philanthropists and eminent public figures.

Mr SS Rajamouli and Shobu Yarlagadda – makers of blockbusterfilm Bahubali

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The producer, Mr Shobu Yarlagadda and director, Mr SS Rajamouli of the award-winning film Bahubali took a tour of our Narsingi kitchen on December 11, 2017. They were impressed by the entire process, scale, efficiency and dedication with which the meals are prepared and delivered hot to children. The kitchen at Narsingi serves over 65,000 school children.

Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate, Founder of Grameen Bank

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Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate, Founder of Grameen Bank, visited Akshaya Patra’s Hubballi kitchen on 7 February, 2016. He was accompanied by Mr Anousheh Ansari, Co-founder, Chairwoman and CEO of Prodea Systems and Dr ‘Desh’ Deshpande of the Deshpande Foundation along with others.

Visibly impressed by the efforts of the Foundation to cater meals to thousands of students, Professor Yunus said, “This has been a great visit and it is wonderful to see how Akshaya Patra is reaching out to children in a huge way and addressing malnutrition for India’s children.”

He also lauded Akshaya Patra’s meals and said “children love the meals that is served to them”.

Mr Bill Clinton, Ex-President of the United States of America

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On July 17, 2014, Mr Bill Clinton, former President of the United States, visited The Akshaya Patra Foundation in Jaipur, Rajasthan, and went to a beneficiary school thereafter. Mr Clinton was very appreciative of Akshaya Patra’s work and was awed by the functioning of the roti maker machine.
The students were thrilled to meet the Former President and talk to him. Some of the interaction with the students left him emotionally touched. The excited students also demonstrated some of their whiz-tricks in Mathematics. A cultural programme was held in Mr Clinton’s honour; he was delighted to watch it.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

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We were honored to have His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet visit our Foundation in July in Bengaluru, Karnataka. During his visit, he served meals to Akshaya Patra’s beneficiary children.
He said, “I appreciate and express my gratitude for your real and benevolent practice, which is rooted in the fundamental spiritual principle of compassion, especially by helping the young children who are facing challenges in their physical and mental upbringing. I pray that you would continue your generous help to young and old people as long as their difficulties persist”.

Gulam Ali, Pakistani ghazal singer

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Gulam Ali, renowned Pakistani ghazal singer, had a meal with the beneficiary children of Akshaya Patra in Bengaluru. The Ustad called it one of the happiest occasions of his life. “This is one of the best such programmes that I have ever seen, with thousands of children benefiting,” he expressed.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India

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Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, paid a visit to The Akshaya Patra Foundation in Bengaluru. “When I entered the divine, beautiful temple, I turned to Swami Madhu Pandit Dasa and appreciated his power to spread the message and particularly giving food under the Akshaya Patra programme”, said Dr Kalam.

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Vivek Oberoi thinks Akshaya Patra has lessons for IIM students. What are they?

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The Akshaya Patra Foundation had the pleasure of hosting Vivek Oberoi at our kitchen. He was impressed and thought Akshaya Patra has some great lessons to teach IIM students. The actor thinks that while making a difference to the lives of many, the organisation gives an exceptional example of bang for the buck. He appreciated the working methodology adopted by the foundation while coordinating with the Government, bringing together resources, raising funds and executing.

During his visit he realised that the cauldrons, trolleys, rice chutes, dal/sambar tanks, cutting boards, knives and other similar equipment are well sanitised before usage. He also learnt that the vans are designed in such a way that the food remains hot even when they travel 100+ km.

The Foundation has been awarded the prestigious CII National Lean Six Sigma Award in September 2016 – it is given to establishments which religiously follow Six Sigma techniques to help improve their efficiency at work.

Watch the video to hear him speak about Akshaya Patra’s impressive organisational and operational efficiency!

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