Akshaya Patra’s Magical Evening Celebrating the Dreams of Beneficiary Children
Mumbai, 167 April, 2018: An event showcasing the beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra’s “Giving Every Dream a Chance”—a special initiative to nurture children with unique dreams was held at Taj Yeshwantpur, Bangalore. The Foundation started this initiative with the conviction that every child has a dream; each dream is valid - for their dreams, thoughts, and aspirations make these children what they are. It is the Foundation’s humble attempt to identify children with special dreams and give them the opportunity to realise these dreams.
The eventalso marked the launch of the mascot of “Swachh Vidyarthi, Swachh Vidyalaya,Swachh Gruha” - an initiative by Akshaya Patra to achieve Swachh Bharat. Themascot is named ‘Sunny’ and the two child characters associated with thecampaign are named Bhoomi and Akash.The event was graced by Padma Shri Honoree Shri D. R. Kaarthikeyan, Advisor-Law Human Rights – Corporate Affairs and former Director General of NationalHuman Rights Commission, Director of CBI, Special Director General CRPF as theChief Guest.
Other guestsof honour at the event in support of the initiative were Mr Roberto Narain -Head of Drumjam, Mrs Vasundhara Das - Singer, Actress, Composer, lyricist,Entrepreneur and Environmental Activist, Mrs Mayuri Upadhya –Co-Founder and Director of Nritarutya Dance, Arjun Halappa – former captain ofthe Indian Hockey Team, and a galaxy of stars from the film andentertainment industry namely Suraj Gowda, Meghna Gaonkar, Dhananjay,Shruti Hariharan, Samyukta Hornad, Vashista N Simha, Sonu Gowda, RaginiDwivedi, Navdeep, Naveen, Arun Sagar, and Rajshri Ponnappa.
The eventwas presided by Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa – Chairman, The Akshaya PatraFoundation in the presence of Shri Chanchalapati Dasa - Vice Chairman, TheAkshaya Patra Foundation, and the unit presidents of Akshaya Patra kitchensacross the country.
Startingwith three children, ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance’ as an initiative has scaledup to mentor more than 300 children from 15 Government Schools in Bengaluru,Hubballi, Hyderabad, and Vrindavan. Taking due note of their passion, AkshayaPatra supported these children with mentorship programs, wherein they werecoached, groomed, and guided by the experts of their respective fields. Thesechildren were provided training in various fields, including Dance, Theatre,Origami, Math, Science, English, and Football.
On theoccasion, Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa said, “We are grateful to the Chief Guest andthe Guests of Honour for gracing the event as a sign of support to theinitiative. Giving Every Dream a Chance took shape in 2016 asa pilot project with three children. The success of the pilot encouraged us toexpand the initiative to 4 locations where we provided mentorship to over 300children in areas of their interest. This occasion is to join hands to supportthese children to continue and pursue their dreams till they achieve it. Thisis also an occasion to say it is just a step forward - there are million moredreams to be given a chance. I would like to thank the Ministry of Human ResourceDevelopment, Government of India, The Government of Karnataka, and all StateGovernments for supporting and encouraging us in our every endeavour.”
ShriChanchalapathi Dasa expressed, “The Akshaya Patra Foundation harbours on theprinciple to nurture dreams of its beneficiary children and provide the rightpath to accomplish anything they aspire. To implement this resolution, in2015-16, the Foundation took a step beyond the mid-day meals and started theproject, ‘Giving Every Dream a Chance’ - our attempt to identify children withspecial dreams and give them the opportunity to realise it. Starting with justthree children, the initiative has grown to provide mentorship to more than 300children and we plan to scale it up to 5000 children in 2018-19. We are truly gratefulto Chef Ramasamy Selvarju and Priya Vishwanathan of Taj Yeshwantpur forsupporting the initiative from the beginning.”
Guestspresent at the event appreciated the initiative and encouraged the Foundationto strive forward and support children pursue their dreams.
The audiencewere enthralled by the performances of Vaishnav Girish – Participant of Sa ReGa Ma Pa Lil Champs and Indian Idol Junior, and Anjana Padmanabhan – FirstIndian Idol Junior Winner.
The eventwas supported by Radio One 94.3FM as Radio Partner.
As a part ofthe Giving Every Dream a Chance initiative, children with unique dreams wereidentified and mentored by experts from various fields. This unique programmewas launched on June 11, 2016, at the Vivanta by Taj by Chief Guest, Mrs SudhaMurty - Chairperson, Infosys Foundation, a benevolent supporter of AkshayaPatra. The event was presided by Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa - Chairman of TheAkshaya Patra Foundation, in the presence of Mohandas Pai who also serves as anindependent trustee of the Foundation. In its first year, three beneficiarieswere given necessary mentorship and training through professionals in the fieldof their choice.