Sanjana, a daughter and a school topper

Akshaya Patra

It’s just another day for her; she reaches school around 9 am, completes any pending homework, attends the morning assembly and gets on with Std VIII classes for the rest of her day.

Sanjana Borashetti, with two neatly tied plaits, is a school topper and is the go-to person for her classmates. In love with literature, especially poems, Sanjana has her own collection of poems written in Kannada in a class workbook. After school, she heads home which shelters seven people under the same roof; a home that has grown accustomed to living without electricity.

On living without electricity

Akshaya Patra Foundation

Until four years ago, everything was normal in this household. However, it took a different direction when her father could not repay a few loans and owing to mounting bills, the house lost its power supply. Four years on, the house continues to live without the basic need.

Sanjana’s father is a milkman and mother works as a domestic help. While her parents get busy in the morning, she starts her day with a prayer. At times, she helps mother fetch water from a nearby well (the family needs at least 10 to 15 pots of water every day), cleans the house, and helps her brother with his homework.

In school, she supervises many activities such as assembly, attendance and news (relevant current affairs are announced every day). Being the class monitor for a total of 36 students, she shares a good rapport with her classmates and ensures everyone is aware of upcoming activities in school.

Sanjana and her classmates play with a skipping rope

Akshaya Patra Reviews

If not electricity, there is a lot of hope for the family. In order to study and complete her homework, Sanjana uses a torch. “There are two torches at home. I use one while studying,” she says. Although they do not have access to electricity, the young girl excels in studies.

I want to put an end to bribes

To live without a few basic necessities can be a challenge. But a few get on without perceiving it as a hindrance. For Sanjana, television is a forgotten tool and lack of electricity is no reason to complain. With all the support that she gets from her teachers, she has been performing well in her academics and is also sure of her interests. “When I grow up, I want to become a DC,” she says. District Collector (DC) is one of the most competitive jobs in India and Sanjana wants to take up this role to put an end to bribes.

Her school is her support system

Akshaya Patra

Government Higher Primary School, located in Bairidevara Koppa, Hubballi, is well maintained, clean, and the students are enthusiastic. A section of this school was built under the ‘Freedom through Education’ project led by Round Table India.

For Sanjana, being in school amongst her classmates means everything. Be it studying or spending free time, she prefers school environment. During her lunch provided by Akshaya Patra, she gets to eat freshly cooked food; Rice and Sambar, and Pulao are her favourites. Back at home, food is prepared on an earthen stove using firewood.

When there’s time, Sanjana writes poems (she learnt poetry in a summer camp a year ago), collects favourite quotes from books and also collects information that would improve her knowledge. Books are her best company and she is grateful for the education she is currently receiving.

13-year-old Sanjana is one among the many students in India looking forward to fulfilling her dreams and The Akshaya Patra Foundation wishes her the best.

Akshaya Patra: Stepping Closer Towards Our Mission.

Akshaya Patra

The anticipation one feels prior to the arrival of a delicious meal, is unmatched. The joy that follows the sight of a steaming hot meal is even more intense! Isn’t it wonderful that over 1.6 million school children in India get to experience this very joy every day in the form of a nutritious school lunch from Akshaya Patra? As we scale up our efforts to expand across the country, the number of beneficiaries we feed every day is about to rise dramatically too! Thanks to the groundwork laid in 2016, the year 2017 will see us taking a significant leap towards our mission of feeding 5 million children by 2020.

In 2016, we opened our innings in Maharashtra with our first kitchen in the state, in Nagpur.  We also added two more locations to our presence in Andhra Pradesh – Kakinada and Mangalagiri. Towards the end of the year, in December, we laid the Foundation for our first high-tech mega kitchen at Khandi in Telangana. The construction cost of the kitchen will be covered by the Infosys Foundation, which has donated Rs 18.03 crore towards it. This kitchen will feed over 1,00,000 children in the region from the next academic year.

Akshaya Patra Donation

We also initiated the process of setting up 11 new kitchens in Uttar Pradesh in the last month of 2016. The groundbreaking ceremony for the same was performed by Honourable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Shri Akhilesh Yadav, on December 26, 2016 at Lok Bhavan, New Secretariat, Lucknow. Children in the districts of Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, Etawah, Kannauj, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Rampur and Ballia will benefit from our Mid-Day Meal Programme after the establishment of these kitchens. It will expand our reach to 13 lakh beneficiary children in UP from the current 2,11,680.

We are striving hard to expand our reach across the country, where 179.6 million people live below poverty line. We urgently need your support to ensure that children do not suffer dire consequences due to hunger and lack of education. Walk with us on the road to eliminating classroom hunger now. Join the cause by lending your support!

Manning the Dream towards Riddhi.

Akshaya Patra Foundation

Wanting to break out of earthly confines and fly high is a dream that is common to much of the human race. However, only a few get to experience the same and soar the skies. Riddhi Barot, an Akshaya Patra beneficiary from Veer Narmad Primary School in Saradnagar Tarsali, Vadodara, studying in Std VII, is one such student. She wants to become a pilot and ride the wind like a bird. There is another potent motivation for this young lady’s dream – making her parents proud. “I want to do it for my parents,” she says.

The daughter of a father who works in an electric shop and a mother who is a homemaker, Riddhi also has two siblings –sister Siddhi (in Std V) and brother Jai (in Std II), studying in the same school. The noted Gujarati writer, freedom fighter and social reformer, Jhaverchand Meghani, is a big inspiration in Riddhi’s life. Her parents and teachers provide her with great motivation and the latter heap praises on the young girl for her neat handwriting!

Academics and sports are Riddhi’s avid interests and she counts Science and English as her favourite subjects. She is also an enthusiastic shuttler and loves to play badminton, besides being active in Scouts and Guides. She is a competitive girl, participating in various contests and looks forward to the drawing competition in particular.

About Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meals served in her school, Riddhi says, “The madhyan bhojan (mid-day meal) is highly nutritious and if this food is not provided at school, we’ll fall ill and lose out on studying and playing.” Her favourite dish is Chana Dal and Bhath, while her siblings, Siddhi and Jai like Dal Dhokli the most.

We wish Riddhi the very best for her future.