Strange, but true, the non-governmental organisation established by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Bangalore, wants every child in the country to get everything — from food to education, without any external intervention by 2030. The foundation’s wish was revealed by its trustee T.V. Mohandas Pai at a function to celebrate Akshaya Patra serving the one billionth meal here on Sunday.
Mr. Pai said the that foundation began the mission with just 1,500 students in 2000 and is now serving 1.4 million children in nine States with support from the Union and the State governments and donors. By 2020, the foundation aims to serve five million children, from which point, it hopes every needy child in the country will be taken care of.
Infosys Technologies Chairman Emeritus N.R. Narayana Murthy said that children will absorb their lessons better if they had had a good breakfast. He asked Mr. Pai, “Why don’t you arrange for biscuits and banana for schoolchildren in the morning.” While many NGOs do not want to wind up any programme, Mr. Murthy appreciated the foundation’s decision to wind up the programme by 2030.
The occasion saw singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan being declared the brand ambassador of Akshaya Patra by ISKCON Bangalore president Madhu Pandita Dasa. A digital versatile disk featuring a promo-song by lyricist Javed Akhtar and composed and performed by Mahadevan was released by Infosys Foundation Chairperson Sudha Murty.
Two Akshaya Patra beneficiaries, C.J. Karthik of government college, Saneguruvanahalli, Bangalore, who got admission into MBBS at Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute after securing the 90 rank in CET, and C. Savita, who stood 9 in SSLC as a student of corporation high school in Sriramapuram, Bangalore, were felicitated.
The former Chief Justice of India S. Rajendra Babu and ISKCON vice-president Chanchalapati Dasa were present.