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Founded in the year 2000 with just 5 schools and 1500 students in Bangalore, Karnataka, The Akshaya Patra Foundation today feeds 1.3 million hungry mouths at Government schools across 9 states and 21 locations in India. Thirteen years ago, the pioneers of this not-for-profit organisation probably did not know that their dream of reaching out to over a million children would become reality one day. Commenced as a pocket-sized initiative, over the past years, The Akshaya Patra Foundation today has been recognised with various accolades and awards. This is an account on why this organisation deserves the credits it has earned.awards_0

It is a challenging task to make such immense amounts of meals on a daily basis. But with ample support from the Government as well as individual and corporate donors, feeding 1.3 million children every day has become a possibility for The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

Equally important is the fact that the donors, well-wishers and knowledge enthusiasts of this organisation are informed about how their donations are utilised. Hence, another aspect given utmost priority in this NGO is transparency and accountability with regards to funds.

Recently, the Foundation was awarded for the fifth consecutive year with the Gold Shield by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the year 2012-2013. Akshaya Patra is by far the only not-for-profit entity to have gained entrance into the ICAI Hall of Fame since it won the Gold Shield for the fifth time.

The League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) also presented The Akshaya Patra Foundation with Gold Award for excellence in its industry in the development of the organisation’s Annual Report within the fiscal year 2012-2013. At the PRCI Global Communication Conclave 2014, the organisation was recognised with Corporate Collateral Award (Gold) in the Annual Reports category. This is only some of the much recognition earned by the Foundation.

The Annual Report of The Akshaya Patra Foundation contains a highly detailed account on its financials and their breakup recorded over that particular fiscal year. Right from the amount of funds gained through Grants from the Central and State Governments and donations, the report gives a complete account on the Foundation’s monetary management. Large amount of funds is required not only to erect massive centralised kitchen infrastructures, but also to maintain them. Since the centralised kitchens utilise customised equipment for most of their operations, it is quite a challenge to restore old ones with new or to fix equipment. Funds are also needed to train employees and kitchen staff to ensure rigorous hygiene and quality while cooking.

The constant and strict focus on transparency has always resulted in accolades and felicitation for Akshaya Patra. The Foundation’s Board currently comprises eight Trustees who hail from diverse professional backgrounds. This Board plays a primary role in ensuring the maintenance of an impeccable record of funds utilised while implementing the programme, since the Foundation follows a regular process of submitting Monthly Financials to the Board.

The Board of Trustees follows a systematic method of governance within the organisation. At The Akshaya Patra Foundation, there is a list of mandatory objectives or actions to be observed by each member of the Board, one of which is gathering for regular meetings.The versatility of these members brings out suggestions and opinions during these meetings that help better the functioning of the Foundation so as to aid in its outreach and expansion while maintaining financial transparency and reporting.

At The Akshaya Patra Foundation, we believe that getting nominated by the jury for all these awards itself is a level of recognition, while winning them is another. This constant acknowledgement and appreciation of our work has always motivated us to progress. We also believe that the relentless support from the Governments and donors, as well as testimonies from our beneficiaries is helping us approach our mission of reaching out to 5 million children by 2020.

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