Former US President Bill Clinton visits Jaipur

Former US President Bill Clinton visited The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s Kitchen in Jaipur on 16 July 2014. The Jaipur kitchen, which is part of Akshaya Patra’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action, was built in 2004 and currently serves free school meals to over 106,000 underprivileged students in more than 1,400 schools every day. It is one of 20 such kitchens that Akshaya Patra operates across India, home to 1 in 3 of the world’s malnourished children.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a secular charity, which in partnership with the Indian government, runs the world’s largest NGO managed school meal programme. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organisation headquartered in Bangalore, South India. Every day they feed 1.39 million children who may otherwise be forced into child labour to supplement the family income. The Akshaya Patra school meal acts as an incentive for underprivileged children to come to school and stay in school, whilst tackling the crisis of malnutrition. For many it will be the only meal they received that day.

Bill Clintons meets students in Jaipur. Copyright Akshaya Patra Foundati...

Bill Clintons meets students in Jaipur. Copyright Akshaya Patra Foundati…

Dipika Khaitan, Executive Director of The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK states:

“Over the last 14 years, Akshaya Patra has developed and utilised technology to prepare and deliver hot, nutritious midday meals to 1.39 million children daily for just 6 pence per meal. As part of a unique public-private partnership, the government of India contributes half the cost of the meals. So for only £10 a year, a donor here in the UK can support a child who is Hungry for School and eager to make it in this world.”

The kitchen is part of Akshaya Patra’s commitment to the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). President Clinton toured Akshaya Patra’s kitchen facility before meeting with beneficiary students, parents and teachers from a local school. Akshaya Patra is one of the organizations in Asia that President Clinton will be visiting this week to focus on critical issues, including global health, improved access to medicines, climate change and economic development.

Bill Clintons visits Akshaya Patra kitchen in Jaipur. Copyright Akshaya ...

Bill Clintons visits Akshaya Patra kitchen in Jaipur. Copyright Akshaya …

Former US President Bill Clinton stated on his visit to a government school where Akshaya Patra serves its mid-day meal:

“This CGI commitment is a very important program,” said President Clinton. “The lunches served are not only healthy meals for kids, they are also tools that help to get more children into the classroom.”

President Clinton adds, “This is a remarkable partnership between the government, the private sector, the business community and this wonderful non-governmental organisation.”

The Clinton Global Initiative has brought greater visibility to Akshaya Patra’s school meal program and its International offices here in UK and USA. The UK office of Akshaya Patra has contributed almost £1 million to the cause in India in just its third year of active fundraising. That’s enough to feed 100,000 children for a year.

Harin Thaker, Chairman of The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK concludes:

We are honoured that our organisation has been one of the few projects on the selected list of CGI’s visit. The visit will help us in highlighting our work to an international audience whose support can help us in reaching our goal of feeding 5 million children by 2020’’

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