Platinum win at 3rd Annual Convention and Competition of Lean Six Sigma

Akshaya Patra, Gujarat won the Platinum award in the first category at the 3rd Annakshayapatraual Convention and Competition of Lean Six Sigma. The event attended by about 500 people from India and abroad was hosted on 9th October by Concept Business Excellence Pvt. Ltd, Vadodara.

About 40 case studies by leading manufacturing companies were put forward in the session on Lean Six Sigma tools, from which Akshaya Patra was the first and only NGO to participate in the session. The Foundation received a standing ovation from the competition’s esteemed judges and audience for their case study. Along with Akshaya Patra, there were two other Platinum award winners in the first category.

The other award categories were Diamond and Gold awards.

The Chief Guest of the event was Dr. Per Petersson, Senior Partner, Lean management coach and author; Guest of Honour was Dan Blucher, Senior Partner, Lean management coach and author, with Guest Speaker Sandesh Kadam, Site President, Reliance Industries Limited at Silvassa. Receiving the award on behalf of Akshaya Patra were Tushar Dange, Amarnath Sharma, Amrit Sahoo, Puneet Tripathi and Ajay Wagh.

The theme for this year’s event was ‘Lean Six Sigma for Global Competitiveness’. Global Competitiveness here refers to India’s best performance across economic, social and environmental conditions. It encourages data driven policy based on evidences, identification of good practices, and improvement in statistical standards, amongst others. In line with this a Lean Six Sigma approach enables organisations to produce a product/service better by eliminating redundancy, decreasing output time, reducing wastage and developing a zero defect product.

The project which was implemented in Surat achieved the reduction of cooking gas cost by 10 per cent, and streamlined certain processes like raw material flow to the machine, and optimisation of baking temperature and machine speed. In fact the kitchen team achieved four to five times the goal they had set for the project.

This annual convention provided a platform for a wide cross section of industrialists from varying leading companies to discuss real life case studies on how Lean and Six Sigma practices will help streamline and enhance a company’s results. It is an honour for Akshaya Patra to be a part of this programme and receive this illustrious award.

5 secrets behind Akshaya Patra’s success .

Looking out of a window one day in Mayapur, a village near Calcutta, his Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada saw a group of children fighting with street dogs over scraps of food. From this simple, yet heart-breaking incident, came the determination that no one within a 10-mile radius of their ISKCON center should go hungry. That is how Akshaya Patra was born in 2000.


From that moment, Akshaya Patra has become a legendary organisation which feeds approximately 1.3 million children in nine states in India by partnering with more than 10,000 government schools through its mid-day meal programme. By doing so, they provide motivation and nourishment to students to pursue education for a better future.

Impressed by these numbers and their impactful story, I decided to visit one of the Akshaya Patra kitchens in Bangalore to understand what motivates them. The outcome was these amazing lessons I learnt by observing their operations and talking with Sayani Bhattacharya, who works in the communications department, and who guided me during the visit.

  1. Find a big problem and its bigger solution.
    Around 45 million children do not attend school in India because they have to fend for themselves and their families. They typically end up with menial jobs. Without education they remain in poverty. Those who do manage to attend school remain impoverished. This hampers their learning. The issue that Akshaya Patra is tackling is very important and the solution they have found is a great one. While all the mid-day meal programmes are based on small kitchens, they have created big and efficient kitchens to serve as many people as possible. Their average kitchen is serving 50,000-100,000 children, while their biggest one in Hubli serves 250,000 children
  2. Be efficient.
    Akshaya Patra has redefined the concept of a community kitchen. Here they have silos of rice and daal, tubes that move the food from one floor to the other, workers who check the quality of the food and maintain reports. Everything flows in a perfect way in order to serve as many people as possible. Efficiency is key to their business model: no other organisation in the world is able to produce hygienic and good quality food at such low costs. They are able to do it because of their superior quality and unlimited quantity of food. A typical meal consists of rice, chapattis, sambar, dal and curd; a complete meal that helps children to concentrate better which in turn increases their performances.
  3. Behave like a company
    Akshaya Patra was born from the fusion of two groups: ISKCON, a faith-based group in India, which had the expertise in cooking on a large scale for people in its temples, and senior executives at Infosys and in other technologies companies in India. When they started they brought the best thinking in manufacturing, innovation, supply chain and logistics to scale as much as possible. “Our founders were graduates from IIT and we have always believed in the power of technology to serve our purpose in the best way possible. That’s why we have key partnerships with important universities and technology companies to achieve more every day. That’s for sure one of our key advantage,” says Sayani.
  4. No quality vs quantity debate
    Being a great organisation doesn’t mean achieving big numbers, but providing solutions with a larger purpose. Akshaya Patra doesn’t compromise the quality of its meals to achieve quantity. In fact, more than that, every process is completely sustainable. Gas stoves were replaced with Oorjastoves, which use biomass pellets as fuel. The smokeless stove has a chamber for burning briquettes, a mini-fan powered by rechargeable batteries and controlled by a regulator, which blows air to fan the flames. They also have strong policies in terms of keeping the place clean in order to serve the best food possible to the children they feed.
  5. What it take to scale
    Akshaya Patra is an organisation built to grow. It is not just about being cost efficient and professional, but about its long-term vision. They believe that “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger,” and they are doing whatever is possible to make that happen. At the moment they are the largest food distribution program in the world and they have a goal to distribute food to five million children by 2020. Considering their great success, it is a dream that doesn’t seem impossible to achieve.

Akshaya Patra Foundation may discontinue mission after 2030

The occasion saw singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan being declared the brand ambassador of Akshaya Patra by ISKCON Bangalore president Madhu Pandita Dasa

The Akshaya Patra Foundation that serves midday meal to over 1.4 million schoolchildren in nine States has said that it may not continue the mission beyond 2030.

Strange, but true, the non-governmental organisation established by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Bangalore, wants every child in the country to get everything — from food to education, without any external intervention by 2030. The foundation’s wish was revealed by it


s trustee T.V. Mohandas Pai at a function to celebrate Akshaya Patra serving the one billionth meal here on Sunday.

Mr. Pai said the that foundation began the mission with just 1,500 students in 2000 and is now serving 1.4 million children in nine States with support from the Union and the State governments and donors. By 2020, the foundation aims to serve five million children, from which point, it hopes every needy child in the country will be taken care of.

Infosys Technologies Chairman Emeritus N.R. Narayana Murthy said that children will absorb their lessons better if they had had a good breakfast. He asked Mr. Pai, “Why don’t you arrange for biscuits and banana for schoolchildren in the morning.” While many NGOs do not want to wind up any programme, Mr. Murthy appreciated the foundation’s decision to wind up the programme by 2030.

The occasion saw singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan being declared the brand ambassador of Akshaya Patra by ISKCON Bangalore president Madhu Pandita Dasa. A digital versatile disk featuring a promo-song by lyricist Javed Akhtar and composed and performed by Mahadevan was released by Infosys Foundation Chairperson Sudha Murty.

Two Akshaya Patra beneficiaries, C.J. Karthik of government college, Saneguruvanahalli, Bangalore, who got admission into MBBS at Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute after securing the 90 rank in CET, and C. Savita, who stood 9 in SSLC as a student of corporation high school in Sriramapuram, Bangalore, were felicitated.

The former Chief Justice of India S. Rajendra Babu and ISKCON vice-president Chanchalapati Dasa were present.

Akshaya Patra Foundation serves billionth meal to government school children

Bangalore: For the past 12 years, Akshaya Patra Foundation has served cooked food to nearly 14 lakh children in government schools across the country. And now, it has reached an important milestone. The foundation just served its billionth meal in August.

From a very modest beginning, the foundation now covers most government schools in nine states across the country.

Chanchalapathi Dasa, the Vice-Chairman of the Foundation said, “We have always said that we are a very rich country with a lot of poor people. That’s the sad part of it. Our government has very good programmes, very good leaders and a huge outlay of budgets. But the challenge in our country is delivering, how to deliver these good programmes up to the last mile, reach to all the children in all the corners of the country. That’s been a big challenge and Akshaya Pathra has provided a demonstrating model of how it can be done with a group of well meaning people working with the government and working with corporate, individuals.”

Now, even as students increase and volumes expand, Akshaya Patra Foundation has not lost sight of its core principle – serving tasty and nutritious food to children.

To celebrate the grand milestone of its billionth meal, the Foundation got music director Shankar Mahadevan and lyricist Javed Akthar to compose a theme track for them.

Mahadevan says he will try and dub the song in every possible language so that the message spreads across the nation. “I think with everybody’s support and with the power of music, we are all here to support the cause, we are going to spread it like anything. We are going to dub this song in every possible language and in every state in the country.”

Akshaya Patra now hopes that in some years, the country will have food security and people won’t need the support of such foundations. But till then, they will continue providing healthy food to many more under-privileged children across the country.

Children Reviews

Dear Aunty/Uncle,

How are you? I am fine, thank you. My name is Rani. I am studying in the 10th standard. We do not know each other, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart for changing my life forever.

I come from a small village outside Bangalore. My parents moved to the city to find work, leaving behind their farms. It was not easy at all. My father found work on a construction site and my mother works in other people’s houses. Even I had to do small-small jobs to earn money. There was no other way. How would we eat otherwise? I thought moving to a big city meant that I could go to school. But it looked like an impossible dream.

Then one day, we heard about this school that feeds children. I begged my parents to consider sending me to school now. After all, their burden would be reduced, right? After much pleading, they finally agreed. And I started going to school. My first day at school was the happiest day of my life. I’ve never missed a single day of school since then.

At school, I asked my teacher, “Who is sending us this food?” The teacher told me that it was you, and many more people like you. She told me that you made a special contribution to help Akshaya Patra make this meal for me. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to you, and to Akshaya Patra. That is why I am writing you this letter today, to thank you. I cannot imagine my life without this meal and without this school.

Please keep up the good work. I will also send you letters from time to time, telling you about what is happening in my life.

Yours sincerely,

What Makes Every Akshaya Patra Meal a Balanced Diet


A balanced diet is one which contains a proper concentration of essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates that help the body function well and maintain good health. This is a necessity in every individual. However, a balanced diet in children is an absolute necessity. At The Akshaya Patra Foundation, they don’t just prepare meals for children; they make sure that every meal that reaches our beneficiaries is enriched with the required components for their physical, cognitive and mental development.

Vitamins and Minerals: Beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower and carrots are the most common ingredients found in the mid-day meal on any given day. These are rich in vitamins and minerals that are highly responsible for the mental growth and cognitive development in children.

Carbohydrates: The Akshaya Patra kitchens situated in the Southern region of India prepare rice to suit the local palate, whereas in the North, they provide Rotis to the children. Both the varieties contain sufficient amount of carbohydrates that help store energy in the body. This helps children stay active all through the day.

Proteins: Spinach, potatoes and pulses like lentils and beans are regularly used in the school meals. A major advantage of these vegetables is that they are low in saturated fat and high in fiber which helps keep the body fit and active while also regulating the body’s metabolism.

What’s more, even the ingredients used in garnishing all the vegetable dishes like curry leaves, cardamom, coriander, cumin seeds, and cloves, also have a nutritional concentration in them. At every Akshaya Patra kitchen across 10 states and 22 locations in India, there is no compromise when it comes to including nutritional ingredients in the meal that a child is about to consume.

At our kitchens, they strongly believe that childhood is a sensitive period of development when growth occurs and they want to provide our children with all the nutrients they need to succeed in life.