Fact: Children love food. They all know their favourite grub and if asked they could probably draw it too. Food is sheer love for children. Apart from keeping children energized, focused and healthy food fills them with immense pleasure and that is exactly what we do too! With our morsels of love we feed 1.5 million children every single day. Akshaya Patra’s blue vans reach platefuls of tasty nutritious mid-day meals to these innocent souls for whom that one fresh tasty meal is ample gusto to attend school without a miss!
Talking of fresh tasty meals, hear what our two little musketeers have to say about their dreams and Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meals…
Suchismita is nine years old and the eldest of the three siblings. It is her soft disposition that compelled us to talk to her when we visited her school in Puri. She is in the fourth standard and her teachers are extremely appreciative of her obedience in class. She nurtures a dream of becoming a police officer, she says, “I want to become a Police Officer when I grow up and throw all thieves in prison.” It is this sweet and innocent delivery of her dreams that makes us adore her. She also reveals that she understands about current affairs and is extremely focused to work her way up pushing all odds behind. When we asked her about Akshaya Patra’s food, she displayed a beaming smile and said, “Oh yes! I love soybean and matar paneer (peas and cottage cheese).
Another one such Akshaya Patra beneficiary is Darshan, who is a true patriot in making. He dreams of joining the Indian Army and fighting for the nation. With conviction he asserts, “I feel that when you join the army, there is a sense of pride. To fight and protect the nation is the right of every citizen in India.” Darshan’s will to join the Indian Army has stemmed from his liking for History that has acquainted him with myriad war heroes who have dedicated their lives for their motherland. It is extremely inspiring to see young minds like Darshan who at such a young age have their mind already set on what they want to become once they have grown up.
Fetching inspiration from stories of India’s struggle for Independence and the World Wars, Darshan felt that he was somehow indebted to his country. “So many people have fought and laid down their lives for this country. Why can’t I do the same?” he added. Revealing his future plans, he further added, “I have to prove my worth if I want to represent my nation. I will have to first complete my higher education and then apply for the Civil Services Examination.” Darshan has been an Akshaya Patra beneficiary since 2008 and credits the Foundation for providing mid-day meals to his school. He chirpily adds, “I like the rice and sambar (lentil based vegetable stew) served by Akshaya Patra but my favourite is bisibelebath that is served only on Saturdays.” Appreciating Akshaya Patra, Darshan further said, “Akshaya Patra’s food is not only improving the quality of life for thousands of children but it is also promising children a secured future. Akshaya Patra’s food is everything to us!
Beneficiaries like Suchismita and Darshan are only two illustrations out of the millions of how Akshaya Patra has been changing lives by providing meals of joy and hope. With every passing day we only become more passionate and committed to our mission, “To feed 5 million children by 2020” because we sincerely believe and dream of an India that will be hunger free for our children.