Akshaya Patra: Unlimited Food for Education

Mr. Ganesh R., the CFO of Akshaya Patra, Professor G. Raghuram, the director of IIM Bangalore and Richa Valecha, a current student of PGPPM program of IIM Bangalore formed the panel for a discussion on accountability of an annual report in a social sector. The consequences of a regulatory mechanism for NGOs and benchmarking the performance had to be discussed. The panelists uniformly agreed that an annual report would add credibility to an NGO and help the organization also understand to what extent has it been effective in attaining goals.

Mr. Ganesh R described how Akshaya Patra provides meals to around 16 lakh children and their largest kitchen makes 1.5 lakh meals in merely 4 hours. He explained how it works on a PPP model (Public Private Partnership) and gets support from multiple organizations. He talked about their plans for future expansion in new geographies and the operational efficiency as one of the major strengths of Akshaya Patra. It is extremely commendable that in 17 years of its functioning, there hasn’t been a single record of food system management which was fatal. By 2016 Akshaya Patra had provided 2 billion meals cumulatively and now they hope to hit 3 billion by 2019. Professor G Raghuram added that the problem in rural areas is also crucial and should be addressed. He suggested that after 3 am – 8 pm, other markets can use the kitchens to utilize the setup. He admired the vision statement of Akshaya Patra which states that no child in India should be deprived of education because of hunger. Very few organizations have a strong vision statement like this one.

On a concluding note Professor G Raghuram mentioned that our target should be to solve problems of India in a commercially viable manner, because 500 million people is a huge business opportunity. The event ended with the release of Akshaya Patra’s annual report for financial year 2016-17, called ILLUMINE. Akshaya Patra is motivated by the cause to serve millions of children and it does so in an entirely transparent and accountable manner. Their mission is to provide food to 5 million kids by 2020. An organization like Akshaya Patra should be an inspiration on how we can transform the country and indeed bring a change in people’s lives.

Media Cell IIMB is the student run outreach and communication committee of IIM Bangalore dedicated to form the bridge within the student community and the outside world.

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