Bangalore, India (PressExposure) May 17, 2008 -- Rotary International, one of the biggest non-governmental organisations engaged in serving humanity since the last 100 years, has conferred this year's VOCATIONAL EXCELLANCE AWARD to The Akshaya Patra Foundation, for its yeomen service to humanity in providing mid-day meals to needy school children and enhancing the literacy efforts of the government. The foundation currently runs the world's largest-run school meal programme feeding over 8,50,000 school children every day. The award in the form of a citation and the prestigious Shri Subramanyam and Smt. Gangamma Holla Rolling Shield was presented by Rajendra Rai, District Governor, Rotary Bangalore Orchards, to Shri Madhu pandit Das, Chairman of Akshaya Patra Foundation.
The award is given out every year by Rotary Orchards. Last year the Shri Subramanyam and Smt. Gangamma Holla Rolling Shield was given to Nature Cure Hospital run by Trust headed by Shri Veerendra Hegde, Dharmasthala.. Commenting on the reasons for the award being given to Akshaya Patra, Rajendra Rai said , "The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been chosen for this prestigious award because of the yeomen service rendered in launching mid-day meal scheme to school children throughout the country and thereby being responsible for causing a revolution in the filed of primary education. We are pleased and proud to present this Award to Akshaya Patra. Recently it has been chosen by Howard University for its business studies."
The Akshaya Patra Foundation presently feeds wholesome, nutritious and hygienically cooked school meals for over 8,50,000 children across 14 locations that span six states of India. All the meals are cooked in the most technologically advanced kitchens. Recently the Foundation had the added honour of being chosen for a rare case study by Harvard Business School, USA. By 2010 the organization is targeting one million students in India.
Receiving the award, Shri Madhu pandit Das said, "We are happy to receive this award from Rotary International, an organisation which has established itself as a beacon of hope and service for all mankind all over the globe. Their recognition of our humble efforts is truly a privileged honour that which will serve to push us with greater zeal to achieve our larger goals of ridding this nation of hungry children and illiteracy. Today, we have reached over 8.50 lakh children and aim to touch 10 Lakh (one million) children by the end of 2010. We are confident that the illumination of our efforts through the recognition of international organisations such as Rotary International will enable us to reach out to more supporters and stakeholders
ABOUT ROTARY INTERNATIONAL The organisation was founded by Paul Harris in the year 1905. Since then the organisation has spread all over world and today it has its presence in 168 countries. Presently it has more than 1.2 million members who are called Rotarians. Besides it also operates through Rotractors and Interactors.
In India Rotary International has contributed immensely to few humanitarian programmes particularly in the field of literacy, health and hunger. The United Nations has entrusted the task of eradication of polio from this world to Rotary International. Rotary Orchards is a part of district 3190. Some of the significant contributions by District 3190 is the establishment of Hospice, a hospital which takes care of cancer patients, vocational training centers, eye hospitals, dialysis centers, old age homes, construction of school buildings, book banks etc.
ABOUT AKSHAYA PATRA
AKSHAYA PATRA FOUNDATION: A Meal Today, A Life Tomorrow. (NATIONAL LEVEL SCHOOL MEAL PROGRAMME)
According to a UNESCO report, around 13.5 million children in the age group of 6-13 years are out of school in India. Despite the trillion-dollar economic growth, a large chunk of India's younger generation, does not have access to schools because of poverty and malnutrition.
To facilitate the education of needy children, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, provides unlimited noon meals in schools in partnership with the Central and respective state governments of India. Currently the program is feeding 8,50,000 children in over 4,500 government, government aided schools and anganwadis (day care centers) in 11 locations across India on any given day.
They are Bangalore, Hubli-Dharwad, Bellary, Mangalore and Mysore in Karnataka, Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh, Jaipur, Nathdwara and Baran in Rajasthan, Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh and Puri in Orissa. This is the largest NGO run food program in the world.
Akshaya Patra is wholly an ISKCON- Bangalore initiative and its head office is headquartered in Bangalore.
What makes Akshaya Patra unique? â¢ The Akshaya Patra program uses centralized, automated kitchens for cooking food which is then distributed to schools through special purpose vehicles. â¢ Akshaya Patra's kitchens can cook about 100,000 meals in less than five hours with least human intervention and sustained quality. â¢ A three item menu is served to children as per the recommendations of qualified nutritionists. â¢ Due to extensive mechanization of the kitchen, the program is able to offer children standardized, high quality, hygienic meals. â¢ The program also offers education and health interventions for holistic child development. â¢ Akshaya Patra is a secular, not-for-profit program implemented only in government schools where there is no discrimination whatsoever. â¢ The program is independently governed by a Board of Trustees & audited by KPMG. â¢ A study in the year 2006 by AC Nielsen Org Marg Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, has vouchsafed for the efficacy of the program in increasing attendance in schools, improving nutritional status of these children, enhancing their learning abilities and reducing drop out rates. â¢ Akshaya Patra program is run with part subsidies from the government, besides financial support from corporates and individual philanthropists. â¢ All contributions to The Akshaya Patra Foundation are eligible for 100% tax deduction under section 35AC/80GGA(bb) of the Income Tax Act 1961 in India. â¢ With a vision to ensure that no child in India is deprived of education because of hunger, the Akshaya Patra Foundation is striving to end hunger and create a human resources pool that will propel India into the league of developed nations.