UOB (India) supports Akshaya Patra Foundation to address hunger and education in India
UOB( India) Country Head, Mr PV. Ananthakrishnan, handing the bank’s contribution of INR 2,777,531 (S$59,000) to CEO of Akshaya Patra foundation, Mr Shridhar Venkat.
For most people, an empty stomach is an occasional inconvenience. Yet, millions of children in India struggle to fill their stomachs every day. According to the World Bank, 60 million children in India are underweight and at risk of malnutrition.
Recently, UOB (India) donated INR 2,777,531 (S$59,000) - equivalent to 2% its annual profit - to Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO working to address this problem in India.
Founded in 2000, the Akshaya Patra Foundation runs the world’s largest mid-day meal programme. Akshaya Patra holds a firm vision that “no child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”. Children from impoverished families often forego education and engage in menial jobs to earn their food daily. For a child who chooses to attend school, hunger in the classroom impairs concentration. These factors reduce school enrolments and increase school drop-out rates, especially among girls.
The mid-day meal programme tackles the twin issues of hunger and education by providing filling, nutritious midday meals in schools. The mid-day meal programme acts as a huge incentive in bringing these children to school. It prevents them from working and instead encourages them to get educated.
To date, Akshaya Patra has partnered 10,845 schools in India to provide 1.5 million children with freshly cooked meals and, most important of all, education. UOB (India)’s contribution will allow 3,703 children to benefit from the programme this year.
PV. Ananthakrishnan, Country Head of UOB (India), said “We are happy to contribute to the development of healthy and educated children, who are the future of the country.”
With UOB (India)’s support, Akshaya Patra is a step closer to fulfilling its noble mission: to feed five million children by 2020.