The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA's Chicago chapter raised over $41,000 to educate poor children in India during its annual Food for Education benefit at Waterford Banquets in Elmhurst, May 1.
Guests included India's Consul General in Chicago Ashok Attri; founder of the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad Dr Gullapalli N Rao; CEO of Akshaya Patra Foundation USA Madhu Sridhar; and Chairman Dr Gururaj 'Desh' Deshpande.
Attri lauded Akshaya Patra's efforts and wished further success in future goals. He described the history of the mid-day meal scheme designed by the Indian government and said the program worked only because of the government effectively working with the foundation's technology.
Rao commended Akshaya Patra and encouraged Dr Deshpande to consider feeding 20 million children instead of the foundation's proposed number of 5 million by 2020.
A group of high school students led by Varun Nath vowed to raise $25,000 by next summer as part of the Chicago chapter's endeavor to feed the hungry.
Deshpande gave a captivating account of Akshaya Patra's vision. Akshaya Patra-style meals were served to the guests. The night ended with a dance, with Funkadesi providing the music.