Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and Founder of Grameen Bank, visited our Hubli kitchen on 7th February 2016. He was accompanied by Anousheh Ansari, Co-Founder, Chairwoman and CEO of Prodea Systems and Dr. “Desh” Deshpande of the Deshpande Foundation, along with others.
The dignitaries were warmly received by Shridhar Venkat, CEO of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, along with other members of the organisation. Professor Yunus and his party took an hour long trip around our kitchen to see how it caters to students in and around Hubli, during which he was briefed about our operations by Shridhar Venkat.
Visibly impressed by the efforts of the Foundation to provide school lunches to thousands of students, Professor Yunus said; “This has been a great visit, and it is wonderful to see how Akshaya Patra is reaching out to children in a huge way and addressing malnutrition for India’s children".
Professor Yunus pointed out that malnutrition is a global problem which affects the physical and mental growth of children, and if this issue is not tackled seriously it can affect an entire generation. He said; “Akshaya Patra is dealing with this critical issue in a manner so beautifully that nobody can beat it, and it should further scale up so that more children can receive Akshaya Patra’s meals and become physically fit and mentally ready to absorb things”.
Anousheh Ansari said; “I was completely blown away looking at the kitchen operation, the attention given to every step of the process and quality control. I walked into the kitchen and the aroma was so appetising, which clearly indicates the great quality of the meals. I cannot think of a better purpose one can dedicate their lives to than serving food to children. The dedication with which the team functions is amazing, working on weekends to make sure that hot meals are served to children is a validation of the wonderful job that you guys are doing. Congratulations!”
Later that day, Shridhar Venkat was presented with an award for Akshaya Patra’s commendable service by Professor Muhammad Yunus and Dr. “Desh” Deshpande at The Development Dialogue 2016, held at the Deshpande Foundation. The Development Dialogue is an annual conference which brings together local leaders, entrepreneur and innovators who can focus on and develop solutions to local issues.