Akshaya Patra raises more than $200,000 at annual Bay Area benefit

Vijay Amritraj special guest at fundraiser for school meal program in India.

By The American Bazaar Staff

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SAN FRANCISCO: More than $200,000 was raised by the Akshaya Patra Foundation’s San Francisco Bay Area Chapter at its annual benefit, at the India Community Center in Milpitas, California.

The money raised would go towards Akshaya Patra’s innovative school meal program that serves nutritious school lunches for 1.3 million children across India.

The event, held on October 20, was chaired by B.V. Jagadeesh, Vish Mishra, and Ram Reddy, with the assistance of Steering Committee members Sandhya Rao, Ekta Khurana, Rashmi Rao, and Bhava Avula.

The event drew an enthusiastic audience of long-time Akshaya Patra supporters, business executives and community leaders. Vijay Amritraj, Wimbledon Cup competitor, host of Dimensions with Vijay Amritraj on CNN IBN, and founder of the Vijay Amritraj Foundation, was a special guest and spoke at the event.

Vice Chairman and Trustee of Akshaya Patra’s main branch in India, Chanchalapathi Dasa traveled from India to be the keynote speaker.

“In the US,  there are many who have been supporting and fueling the program in India, and so it is my good fortune to be with you today to express my heartfelt thanks for all the support you have been providing,” said Dasa.

Dasa, known to many as “CP Ji”, was among the first founders of the Akshaya Patra Foundation when it started in 2000 as a pilot program serving school lunches to just 1,500 children in five nearby schools. Together, the founders combined their own knowledge of engineering to transform Akshaya Patra into one of the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programs. Today, it serves 1.3 million children daily in over 9,500 schools from 19 kitchens in nine states across India. Akshaya Patra has an ambitious goal of feeding five million children by 2020.

A public-private partnership, Akshaya Patra combines good management, innovative technology and smart engineering to deliver school meals at a fraction of the cost of similar programs in other parts of the world. Just $15 per year sponsors the meals of a child for an entire school year.  In 2013, The Global Journal ranked Akshaya Patra the #1 NGO in the World working to improve the lives of children and youth, and ranked Akshaya Patra 24th among the top 100 NGOs in the world for innovation, efficiency and impact.

To contact the author, email to editor@americanbazaaronline.com

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