International Labour Day (May Day) celebrated on May 1st each year, marks a day of celebration of labourers, and the working class around the world. This day is used to promote labour unions, and to recommit to the cause of promoting dignified, safe and humane conditions to work in.
Akshaya Patra also believes in looking after its employees, and makes sure that the staff has a fulfilling, secure work with the Foundation. Employing nearly 4,000 men and over 2,200 women (according to January 2015 records) in different facets across the organisation, Akshaya Patra ensures that each employee enjoys equal opportunity for growth and development.
Even to the lowest paid staff members Akshaya Patra adheres to the prevalent minimum wage directives of that State Government, and where not applicable defers to the directives of the Central Government. Aside from this Akshaya Patra also abides by other statutory laws like the Employee State Insurance Act (1948), Employee Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act (1952), and the Payment of Gratuity Act (1972).
Akshaya Patra also promotes employment free of gender bias. Almost all the 24 kitchen units across the country employ women who assist in the cooking process. The decentralised kitchen units in Baran and Nayagarh together employ over 1,400 women from local self-help groups providing them with sustainable income and greater social standing, making them role models for future generations of women in the area.
The cooking process begins as early as 2am in the Akshaya Patra kitchens, so that the food is packed and ready for delivery by morning. In order to make this process safe and comfortable for the staff that has to arrive early, Akshaya Patra provides staff accommodation close to the premises at all their major kitchen units.
Akshaya Patra has also adopted a governance philosophy that helps it behave efficiently, ethically and create value for its employees. The Foundation achieves this through four basic tenets: board accountability to the Foundation and stakeholders (including employees), equitable treatment to all stakeholders (including employees), strategic guidance and effective monitoring by the Board, and transparency and timely disclosure.
It is this focus on constantly creating a healthy, inspiring and fulfilling work environment that has enabled Akshaya Patra to cross so many milestones in the past 15 years. With the continued mutual trust and dedication from both the organisation and employees, the Foundation looks forward to an even brighter future.