Play to raise funds for poor kids in India


AKSHAY-webCHICAGO: Art, Entertainment and Charity will pull together in Naperville on June 5 for a noble cause – render help to the disadvantaged children in India.

The Chicago Chapter of Akshaya Patra is sponsoring the performance of very popular and critically acclaimed Gujarati play – Welcome Zindagi. All proceeds net of expenses and all contributions raised will go to Akshaya Patra USA. The performance will be at 8 pm at Christian Community Church located in Naperville.

Akshaya Patra’s mission is to fight hunger and malnutrition in India, with a focus on children. In partnership with the Central and State governments, it provides freshly prepared, nutritious and hygienically sound mid-day meals to 1.4 million children in ten States. This includes 400,000 children in Gujarat.

Midday meal program was started by Akshaya Patra Foundation in June 2000 with the vision that “no child in India will be deprived of education because of hunger”. It started with serving mid day meals to 1500 children in Bangalore in 2000 and has grown to feeding 1.4 million children in almost 11000 schools in 10 states.

Akshaya Patra USA raised $3,6 million in 2014 and its fund raising and management cost was 11%. Akshaya Patra India’s fund raising and overhead cost is only 4% of the money raised.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of Akshaya Patra is focus on use of technology and modern management principles. It has won several awards for Operational Excellence from Lean Six Sigma and Kaizen Institute in India.

Akshaya Patra also stands out for transparency in financial reporting. It has received Gold Shield Award for “Excellence in Financial Reporting” from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for five years in a row. It is one of only three organizations, and only non- profit organization to be inducted by ICAI into the Hall of Fame for “Excellence in Financial Reporting”.

“Welcome Zindagi” is written and directed by Saumya Joshi from Ahmedabad, hailed as a trailblazer in Gujarati theatre.

Himanshu Patel