August 3rd 2019: Hon’ble Vice-President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu conferred the Outlook Poshan Special Jury Award on The Akshaya Patra Foundation in recognition of its valuable contribution in the Urban Nutrition (Institution) category. On the behalf of Akshaya Patra, the Foundation’s Vice-Chairman, Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa received the Special Jury Mention Certificate at a ceremony held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. Also present at the ceremony was Shri Ruben Banerjee, the Editor-in-Chief of Outlook.
In his address, Hon’ble Vice-President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu highlighted the importance of joint efforts to address malnutrition and acknowledged Outlook India’s efforts to bring all the people and institutions working towards this cause on a common platform. He said, “Nutrition is essential for a healthy immune system, higher-order cognitive ability, empowerment of the present and future generations, and therefore, should be a top investment priority for the country.” Stating that share and care is the core of the Indian culture, he further added that it is the duty of the state and well-meaning organisations to take care of people who cannot afford and cited Akshaya Patra as one of the organisations performing this duty.
Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of State for Women & Child Development (WCD), supported the endeavour through a video message calling malnutrition a challenge that we as Indians need to meet together and hoping that the winners of Outlook Poshan Awards will inspire many after them so that women and children are protected against the menace that is malnutrition.
Since its inception, Akshaya Patra has been striving to incentivise education and address hunger and malnutrition in India. As the implementing partner of the Government’s MDM Scheme, the Foundation serves wholesome mid-day meals to children in 45 locations across 12 states. The Foundation also implements the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Anganwadi feeding programme in eight locations.
On receiving Special Jury Mention Certificate, Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa said, “It is a matter of honour for The Akshaya Patra Foundation to be honoured at this event. It validates our efforts to support the health and education of our children.” He further added, “I want to thank our Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu Ji for presenting us this certificate, and extend my sincere gratitude to the Outlook Group and all the jury members for recognising our efforts.”
In acknowledgment to the Government’s continued support to the Foundation’s endeavour, he said, “I want to thank the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India, and all the State Governments who have given us the opportunity to serve the children of our country.”
The Outlook Poshan Innovation Award for the Urban Nutrition category was won by SNEHA (Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action).
Outlook Poshan Innovation Awards celebrate the exemplary efforts of individuals and institutions in the field of nutrition. The awards aim to recognize the outstanding work of individuals/professionals and institutions in providing innovative solutions to tackling the scourge of malnutrition in India.
About The Akshaya Patra Foundation
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Bengaluru, India. The organisation strives to fight issues like hunger and malnutrition in India. By implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in Government schools and Government aided schools, the Foundation aims not only to fight hunger but also to bring children to school. Since 2000, the organisation has worked towards reaching more children with wholesome food on every single school day. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is continuously leveraging technology to cater to millions of children. Its state-of- the-art kitchens have become a subject of study and they attract curious visitors from around the world.
In partnership with the Government of India, various State Governments and inestimable support from many philanthropic donors and well-wishers; Akshaya Patra has grown from humble beginnings serving just 1,500 school children across 5 schools. Today, The Akshaya Patra Foundation is the world’s largest (not-for- profit run) Mid-Day Meal Programme serving wholesome food to over 1.76 million children from 15, 668 schools across 12 states in India.