Tuesday, December 14, 2010

SKIP A MEAL FOR SOMEONE WHO NEEDS ONE

This is not a post. It is a call, a plea to those who have begun to read. It has been triggered by an email from IndiBlogger.

There are millions of charitable organisations working for the poor all over the world. Many of them are doing outstanding work, thanks to the many donors, big and small, who make it possible for those working in them to do their bit to the best of their abilities. Compassion, selflessness and honesty set such organisations apart from others. Where these are not the drivers, we have structures whose administrative costs make them functionally little different from commercial ventures even though their motive is not to generate profit.

Given a choice, all of us would like to do our bit by helping only those organisations that pass on the most of what we contribute to those for whom we do.

The Akshay Patra Foundation (TAPF) is on such institution. Its vision is as simple as it is profound: “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.” Its implementation, providing free mid-day meals to children in schools, is equally simple and effective. It is due to this single-point focus, coupled with core values of transparency and pursuit of excellence, that most of what you and I contribute reaches the hungry mouths it is meant to, and helps towards fulfillment of their dreams.

Some of us might be turned off by the fact that TAPF is essentially a Hindu religious organisation started and run by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness(ISKCON). But, don’t let this make you hit the ‘close’ button. TAPF is completely secular; it neither discriminates on the basis of religion nor does it pursue, covertly or overtly, any agenda to influence the minds of the children it feeds to embrace ISKCON or Hinduism at large.

Unconditional compassion is the motor that has powered TAPF from a humble beginning in 2000 to where it is now. From giving mid day meals to 500 children in five Bangalore schools to feeding 1.25 million children in 18 locations across eight states every day in 10 years is as dramatic a transformation of a vision into reality as can be. This itself bears testimony to the fact that the soul of the mission is in the right place. TAPF aims to reach 10 million children by 2020. No wonder then that it has attracted some of India’s most respected and honest business leaders to be on its Board of Trustees and advisory board.

Do you want to feed a hungry child? A contribution of just Rs 525 will feed one child for a whole year. Click to donate to TAPF online. Don’t hesitate. Sacrifice no more than one meal in your favourite restaurant. You will not go hungry, but you will fill the stomach of a few who otherwise will have to.