Bangalore, Feb 2: The Akshaya Patra Foundation of ISKCON has made the its free mid-day meal scheme a grand success by covering 8.5 lakh children in 4500 schools within a span of eight years.
The foundation held its 'Zero to Billion' conclave of the industry and community leaders that was attended by about 400 eminent leaders of India, spanning diverse sectors such as corporates, social institutions, philanthropy, art and culture, media and government, here last night.
The objective of the conclave was to act as a catalyst for building a bridge between the 'hands that need help' and 'hands that give help' and sensitise corporates and individuals to become partners with NGOs and government's India development mission.
Under Akshaya Patra, ISKCON was at present feeding hot meal to 8.5 lakh poor children studying in government schools spanning five states. This included two lakh students in Bangalore alone and 1.80 lakh in Hubli city in Karnataka. The other cities covered included Jaipur in Rajasthan (1.25 lakh), Gandhinagar in Gujarat (65,000) apart from schools in Orissa.
Speaking on the occasion Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman of the Akshaya Patra Foundation said, "The journey of Akshaya Patra is a story of how a seed of simple thought and great act became a nucleus around which the mission to feed and encourage the education of a million children belonging to all communities beckons us today." Mr N R Narayana Murthy, Chairman and Chief Mentor of Infosys Technology, speaking on the occasion said Akshaya Patra had brought confidence and hope that there was enough people in this country who can bring a change and reaching the figure of 8.5 lakh children in just eight years was an extraordinary effort.
To make the scheme a greater success the foundation should ensure longevity of the scheme and ensure scalabality by adopting modern technology.
"You will have to ensure that your system works without any interruption and if something goes wrong it should be set right immediately. The other factor that helps you spread your wings is that do not depend on a small set of doners but bring in a large group of philanthropists apart from the government so that scalability is achieved without any problem," he said.