The League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) Vision Awards, the world’s largest competition for annual reporting, granted two awards to the Akshaya Patra Foundation. The Vision Awards recognize outstanding annual reports and exemplary communication capabilities. Akshaya Patra received The Gold Award, for ‘excellence within industry worldwide’, and received a second award for ranking 73 out of 5,000 companies in the ‘top annual reports of all industries worldwide.
These awards speak to Akshaya Patra’s creativity, message clarity, report financials, and information accessibility.
“This year´s annual report for The Akshaya Patra Foundation with the theme “The little blue bus that carries hope” proves to be remarkable in light of tremendous competition. Overall, we find this work to be outstanding”, said Christine Kennedy, LACP Managing Director.
The Gold Shield for ‘Excellence in Financial Reporting’ was also granted to Akshaya Patra, for the third year in succession, by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). The Gold Shield is the most prestigious award given by the ICAI and is only given to those organizations with the highest level of accounting practices. The award was given based on Akshaya Patra’s Annual Report and the Accounts for the year ending March 31, 2011.
“The key strength of Akshaya Patra is its belief in absolute transparency in all its activities. The organization’s value systems have in fact received its due recognition through these awards”, said Madhu Sridhar, Akshaya Patra USA’s President and CEO.
Started modestly in Bangalore feeding 1500 children in 5 schools, the Akshaya Patra Foundation, one of the world’s largest NGO-run midday meal programs, is currently feeding 1.3 million children daily in over 9,000 government run schools from 21 kitchens in 10 states of India. A public-private partnership, Akshaya Patra combines good management, innovative technology and smart engineering to deliver school lunch at a fraction of the cost of similar programs in other parts of the world. It costs Akshaya Patra only $15 to feed a child for an entire year. This meal gives these children an incentive to come to school, stay in school and provides them with the necessary nutrients they need to develop their cognitive abilities to focus on learning.
A strategic intervention in education, Akshaya Patra aims to simultaneously address the twin challenges of childhood hunger and malnutrition and to promote education for underserved children in India. According to UNICEF, one third, 57 million, of the world’s malnourished children live in India. The 2011 Global Hunger Index, a report published by the International Food Policy Research Institute, places India at 67 out of 81 developing countries in hunger. India’s Demographic and Health Survey found twenty-one million primary school age children are not in school, and of the students enrolled in school, 40% will drop out before reaching the fifth grade.
In a short time, the foundation has grown to become the largest, and certainly most innovative, school lunch program in the world. Akshaya Patra is a great example of what can be accomplished when the public sector, private sector and the civic society collaborate– a cost effective, scalable solution with high quality service delivery. Akshaya Patra’s next milestone is to serve 5 million children daily by 2020.
Akshaya Patra, a grassroots organization, is continuously working on building support in communities all across USA through Akshaya Patra chapters. For more information please visit www.foodforeducation.org.