Akshaya Patra Foundation raises $500,000 in virtual gala

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(Clockwise) Srivatsan Rajan, Sumant Sinha, and Jamshyd Godrej at the Sept. 19, 2020 virtual gala of Akshay Patra Foundation. Photo: Courtesy Akshay Patra Fdn.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation held its ‘Families for Change’ virtual gala this September 19.

According to organizers, the total funds raised of $500,000 at the event will provide COVID relief to migrant workers, including cooked meals, ration boxes for families, and Happiness Kits containing 30 days’ worth of food, hygiene products, and educational supplies to mid-day meal beneficiaries as well as support mid-day meals for schoolchildren when schools reopen for the 2020-2021 school year.

More than 400 attendees took part in the virtual fundraiser, from medical professionals, and businesses, to nonprofit and philanthropic leaders worldwide, a press release from the organization said.

Srivatsan Rajan, partner at Bain & Company, hosted the evening where speakers included, Chairman & Managing Director of Godrej and Boyce, Jamshyd Godrej; and, Founder, Chairman & Managing Director of ReNew Power, Sumant Sinha, as well as actress Raveena Tandon.

“The concept of family is built on the foundation of Seva—unconditional, selfless acts of service. It defines what Akshaya Patra is about; and how our combined efforts as individuals and as an organization grant us the opportunity to provide unlimited food for our children.” Vandana Tilak, CEO of Akshaya Patra Foundation, is quoted saying at the event. “We are so proud of everyone coming together to ensure we continue to support our India team in providing aid and relief to families.”

From left, Akshaya Patra Foundation CEO Vandana Malik and Bollywood actress and philanthropist Raveena Tandon at the Sept. 19, 2020 virtual gala to raise money for migrant workers and students in India. (Photo: courtesy Akshay Patra Fdn)

Godrej shared his views on how education and skill-building are vital for children to be prepared in the real world. Sinha, a sustainability expert, lauded Akshaya Patra’s efforts to provide meals and discussed that education played a significant role in his life and for students to continue to learn and work sincerely to achieve academic success.

Tandon shared her experience of housing 30 displaced orphans in her home and sheltering them for over a year.

Singer couple – Samir Date and Dipalee Somaiya– performed old and new Bollywood favorites throughout the event, celebrating the beneficiaries, volunteers, and chapter teams from Tampa, and Miami, South Florida.

Established in 2000, Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest NGO school meal program, providing hot, nutritious school lunches to more than 1.8 million children in over 19,257 schools through 55 kitchens in 12 states and 2 Union Territories in India. It costs only $20 to feed a child for an entire school year, the organization estimates.

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