Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, has been honoured with the highly prestigious Padma Shri Award. This long standing award is a tremendous recognition for service in one's area of experience and involvement. Every year, on the eve of India’s Republic Day, the Indian Government honours a very select set of individuals for an outstanding contribution in their field. Madhu Pandita Dasa was chosen in recognition of the distinguished service that he has provided through The Akshaya Patra Foundation for children across the country. Akshaya Patra works closely with the Government of India and the State Governments in one of the most admired public-private partnerships globally in the spheres of education and child welfare.
Thanking the Government for this recognition, Madhu Pandit Dasa said:
“I dedicate this award to the founder of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada - a true visionary who wanted to see a hunger free world. This award will give immense encouragement to the Akshaya Patra team to reach even greater heights with our service. This award recognises our humble work championing access to education for all children in government schools by implementing our Food for Education Programme. Our aim and inspiration is to be able to reach out to and support many more hungry children in India with our work. Quality food and quality education for these children will in turn create citizens of great character. Our children are the real asset of our nation".
Madhu Pandit Dasa designed the first centralised kitchen for The Akshaya Patra Foundation in 2000, allowing us to provide school lunches to 1,500 underprivileged children in Bangalore. Under his inspiring leadership and impeccable commitment our organisation has grown from strength to strength.