Bengaluru: A journey that began in Bengaluru by serving lunch to 1,500 schoolchildren back in 2000, now covers over 1.6 million students across 12 states in India. The wheel has turned full circle now. A fortnight ago, Akshaya Patra Foundation, UK—primarily a fund-raising unit for the India operations—began serving about 2,000 meals daily to students, homeless and seniors across five places in London.

“There are close to two million children from low-income groups in UK who go to school hungry that Akshaya Patra can help. There is enough of the first world in Bombay (Mumbai) and enough of the third world in London,” Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, chief executive officer, UK and Europe operations, said on telephone.

The foundation carried out a pilot for six weeks last year, where they fed about a 100 students in a holiday club—a care facility for students when school is not in session. Students get lunch during school days, but for about 175 days in a year, when schools are shut, children may go hungry, Shekhawat said.

Currently, the food stations serve vegetable stew, brown rice, porridge, salad, pasta, spaghetti and cake.

The foundation is looking to partner with the government, as well as borough councils and local communities to try and emulate the Indian model.

Source: livemint        Dated: March 15, 2018