Organization: Akshaya Patra                 (Show #19, Sept. 2009)
Guest: Charu Gupta, Chair, San Francisco/Bay Area chapter

Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest NGO-run midday meal program.
Through a public-private partnership, Akshaya Patra combines good
management, innovative technology and smart engineering to deliver
school lunch at a fraction of the cost of similar programs in other parts
of the world. $28 feeds a child daily for the entire school year.  For many
of the children this is their only complete meal for the day. The meals
give them an incentive to come to school, stay in school and provide
them with the necessary nutrients they need to develop their cognitive
abilities to focus on learning.  Akshaya Patra is now feeding over a
million children every day across 5,774 schools in 7 states in India.  The
goal is to reach 5 million children by 2020.  The impact of this program
has been significant.  An AC Neilson report showed a 13.8 percent and
34.2 percent improvement in enrollment for boys and girls respectively,
in Bangalore schools. In addition, attendance rates increased in all
schools tested, particularly in Vrindavan, where there was a 14.6
percent increase.  

The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA is Chaired by Mr. Desh Deshpande
and Mr. Madhu Pandit Dasa and also headed by Ms Madhu Shridhar as
the President.  For additional information please visit our website at or call at
781-438-3090.  For the Bay Area chapter, please contact
Charu Gupta at
Chai with Manjula
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