Ritu Sampige

“Education is a dream for me, but there is no time for me to go to school. I have to spend the entire day earning money so that I can afford at least one meal. But, if I did go to school, I would definitely become a doctor!” These were the words of Megha, a 13-year old girl from a village in the outskirts of Bangalore, India.

Coming from a First World country, I was in dismay after hearing about Megha’s plight, which resembled more than 61 million kids in India. After hearing about children like Megha, I knew that it was time for me to make a difference in the world and Akshaya Patra was the perfect means for me to achieve my goal! I was immediately inspired by Akshaya Patra’s cause after attending a banquet hosted by the organization and joined the Youth Ambassador program at once to meet my goal. To raise funds, I played various violin concertos for friends and family members all over Houston and collected donations during my birthday parties. Finally, I had raised enough funds to feed more than 135 children per year. However, my journey did not stop there. I continued to spread awareness about the fascinating cause of Akshaya Patra while keeping girls like Megha in mind. Finally, when I visited India last summer, my goal was fulfilled when I saw my motivator, Megha, sitting inside a classroom while taking notes about a lecture. Tears began to drop from my eyes in joy as I had finally reached my goal! Thanks to Akshaya Patra, Megha was able to eat a nutritious meal everyday along with earning an education!

Thank you very much Akshaya Patra for making me a part of your team and for giving me the opportunity to live my dream! During my journey to help Megha, I found my own passion for helping my community. Being a Youth Ambassador has been the most enriching experience in my life and I will cherish this time for years to come. As an aspiring neurologist myself, I know that with Akshaya Patra’s help, I will see myself working with Megha in a hospital one day!