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Indian President confers Padma Shri on Akshya Patra chairman

Apr 14, 2016

Akshaya Patra partners with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and various State Governments as one of the admired Public Private Partnerships in education and child welfare.

Madhu Pandit Dasa

Mumbai: The Indian President Pranab Mukherjee conferred Padma Shri on Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman of The Akshaya Patra Foundation at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

Dasa designed the first centralised kitchen of Akshaya Patra for providing mid-day meals to under privileged children in the government schools of Bengaluru rural district during July 2000.

Under Dasa’s leadership and impeccable commitment, the organisation is inching towards its mission of feeding five million children by 2020.

Madhu Pandit Dasa was honoured with the recognition for the services rendered by Akshaya Patra for the children of India. Thanking the government for recognising his services, he said, “I dedicate this award to Srila Prabhupada, a true visionary who wanted to see a hunger free world.”

Dasa said that the prestigious award will go a long way in inspiring the Akshaya Patra team. “This recognition shall give immense encouragement to the Akshaya Patra team to reach greater heights.”

Dasa highlighted the importance of nutritious food for creating better citizens. “It is our humble service of providing nutrition to the government school children through the Akshaya Patra programme. It is an inspiration for me and the entire team at Akshaya Patra to reach out to many more hungry children of this country. Quality food for these children is essential for quality education that will in turn create citizens who can think for themselves and help develop good character,” he said.

Akshaya Patra partners with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and various State Governments as one of the admired Public Private Partnerships in education and child welfare. Scientific studies conducted by leading research organisations such as AC Nielsen and Sigma have also substantiated the positive impact of its mid-day meal programme.

Dasa set up a robust governance model that has made Akshaya Patra an example of transparency and accountability. Akshaya Patra is the only NGO in the country to win the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) Gold Shield Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting five times in a row and placed in its prestigious Hall of Fame.

Under his leadership, Akshaya Patra has grown from providing 1500 children with mid-day meals to 1.5 million children in 15 years, becoming the world’s largest NGO-run school lunch programme. According to a Harvard case study, the foundation has recently served the 2 billionth meal.

A BTech in Civil Engineering from IIT-Mumbai in the year 1980, Dasa completed his M Tech course in IIT-Mumbai in 1981. It was during this time he dedicated himself to the service of humanity by becoming a full-time member of ISKCON.

Apart from being the chairman of Akshaya Patra, he also serves as the President of ISKCON Bangalore and Chairman of Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir in Mathura.

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