Akshaya Patra is the world's largest NGO school meal program, providing hot, nutritious, school meals to 1.7 million children across India. Akshaya Patra USA supports the mission by raising funds and awareness for the school meal program.
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Akshaya Patra CEO and Ayurveda Aficionado Vandana Tilak Talks About Giving Back on Chai With Manju
WALTHAM, MA—As Akshaya Patra USA gets ready to host its annual fundraising Boston gala, its multi-faceted social entrepreneur visited Boston from California last month and talked about giving back and her own journey on Chai With Manju.
Ms. Tilak, who traveled throughout India with her mother as a child, worked with her uncle with tribal people and children in rural Maharashtra and credits Ayurveda for her healthy diet and lifestyle, was appointed CEO of Akshaya Patra USA in January.
Akshaya Patra currently serves mid-day meals to over 1.6 million children in 13,800 schools across 12 states in India, every day. Ms. Tilak’s goal is to feed more children and raise awareness in the United States about the services Akshaya Patra provides in India.
“You don’t really make these choices. They happen naturally,” said Ms. Tilak, talking about her own choices in life.
To watch the full interview with Ms. Tilak on Chai With Manju, please click here.
A trained classical singer who has delved into movie making and social entrepreneurship, Ms. Tilak is also an avid practitioner of traditional Indian medicine system of Ayurveda.
“You need to have some discipline in your life with diet and lifestyle,” said Ms. Tilak.
Ms. Tilak, who assumed her Akshaya Patra USA CEO position on January 1st, has been actively involved with the non-profit organization since 2012, starting the Los Angeles chapter in 2014 and serving as a board member since 2015.
Under Ms. Tilak’s leadership, the Los Angeles Akshaya Patra chapter has consistently surpassed its annual fundraising goals, and successfully raised over $1 Million in 2017 with a team of dedicated volunteers and a hands-on advisory board. Ms. Tilak also serves on the boards of Almex USA and Almex Advanced Materials Corporation.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA has been steadily growing 20% every year with new donors and corporate CSR inflows.
As CEO, Ms. Tilak plans on galvanizing the organization by leveraging creative fundraising ideas, integrating TAPF India’s marketing strategy, improving technology and Akshaya Patra USA’s presence on social media. She is excited about working with chapters and youth ambassadors across the US while building a good support structure for increasing large and small donations.
Akshaya Patra Foundation's Kitchen in Varanasi Sponsored by WestBridge Capital
STONEHAM, Mass., July 31, 2018 (Newswire.com) - WestBridge Capital (“WestBridge”), an investment firm focused on India, has become the Sole Corporate Sponsor of the Akshaya Patra Foundation kitchen in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Pradesh Government is also a major partner in the building of the kitchen. Once fully commissioned in early 2019, this kitchen will provide midday meals to 100,000 students serving designated schools within a radius of 40kms.
WestBridge manages $2.8 billion of capital and focuses on making long-term investments in high-quality businesses in India. WestBridge’s investors consist predominantly of top university endowments and foundations.
WestBridge’s Managing Director Sumir Chadha could not be more satisfied with the partnership stating, “Akshaya Patra is the type of organization that corporations want to partner with. With a mission to solve some of our time’s greatest challenges – nutritious food and access to education in India – they have a proven track record of meeting goals through efficient and best-practice operations, quality assurance and innovative partnerships. We are proud to give back to the community through our partnership with Akshaya Patra.”
Narayan Murthy, co-founder of Infosys and an advisory board member of the Akshaya Patra Foundation USA, said, “It is notable that companies like WestBridge are vastly invested in not just giving back, but also are mindful that their CSR funds go towards bringing about exponential and lasting change by building kitchens that serve millions of meals to school children every year.”
The organization began feeding 1,500 children every day in 2000 and currently feeds over 1.7 million children in 14,125 government schools daily through a network of 37 ISO standard centralized kitchens in 12 states. Its mission is to reach five million children every day by 2020. With a history of frugal innovation, the capacity to scale, and maximize the value of partnerships, it is poised to succeed. Vandana Tilak, CEO of the Akshaya Patra Foundation, expressing her gratitude for WestBridge’s vision said, “We take our work very seriously. This is not charity - it is a child’s right to have access to good nutrition. We thank the Uttar Pradesh Government and WestBridge for taking action towards bringing nutritious food to the classrooms.”
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