Prime Minister Modi inaugurates Akshaya Patra Foundation USA supported kitchen in Varanasi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugutrating the new kitchen being opened by Akshaya Patra Foundation USA help. Photo: courtesy Akshaya Patra Foundation USA

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Akshaya Patra Foundation’s newest kitchen at the LT College in Varanasi, Thursday, July 7, 2022.

Also present at the ceremony were Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, according to a press release from the Los Angeles headquarters of Akshaya Patra Foundation USA.

Madhu Pandit Dasa, chairman and Chanchalapathi Dasa, vice-chairman of the Akshaya Patra Foundation presided over the event Co-Founder & MD of WestBridge Capital, India . Sandeep Singhal, along with his team also visited the kitchen on the day of the inauguration.

Tweet from PM Narendra Modi regarding visit to Akshaya Patra’s new kitchen in Varanasi. Photo Twitter @narendramodi
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After the inauguration, the Prime Minister inspected the facility where meals are served to the children.  The guests commended Akshaya Patra’s efforts to address hunger & malnutrition in the country and pledged their support for the organization’s endeavours.

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi ji for taking time off from his busy schedule to inaugurate our new kitchen in Varanasi,” Madhu Pandit Dasa is quoted saying in the press release from Akshaya Patra. He also thanked Gov. Patel and Chief Minister Adityanath for their presence, adding, “Today, we write yet another chapter in our association with the Government of Uttar Pradesh.”

He also thanked West Bridge Capital and its team for sponsoring this kitchen and supporting Akshaya Patra’s  efforts to address classroom hunger. “Such collaborative efforts by all the stakeholders will surely take us closer to our mission to ensure a world where children do not have to choose between education and food.”

WestBridge Capital is an India-focused investment firm managing more than $7 billion of capital. Over the last two decades the company has identified and invested in multiple high-quality businesses across public and private markets and developed deep expertise and broad networks in Indian business markets, the press release noted. Apart from Akshaya Patra, WestBridge Capital has engaged with varied philanthropic projects on an ongoing basis across education, health and environment sectors.

The new Varanasi kitchen covers an area of 3 acres and marks Akshaya Patra’s 62nd kitchen expected to serve 100,000 students in the district.  Akshaya Patra has been an implementing partner of the Government of Uttar Pradesh for the school lunch program, the press release said.

Established in 2000, Akshaya Patra Foundation USA is the world’s largest school meal program, providing hot, nutritious school lunches to over 1.8 million children in over 20,000 schools through 61 kitchens in 14 states and two Union Territories in India.

According to the Foundation, it costs only $20 to feed a child for an entire school year.  In 2006, the Akshaya Patra Foundation USA was formed as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The foundation is headquartered in Los Angeles, California and supports the Akshaya Patra mission by raising funds and awareness in the United States.

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