Entries by Hector

Rhea & Rohan Bansal

“795 Million…That’s the number of malnourished kids in the world. Approximately 40 %of those kids live in India. 287 million is the number of illiterate people in India. Both of those numbers are extremely concerning, and we wanted to do something.
While visiting the Bay area in the summer of 2014, our mom came across an article on Akshaya Patra USA’s Youth Ambassador program. She encouraged us to join, and we are very proud to now be a part of the Akshaya Patra Youth Team.
Just over a year back, Akshaya Patra’s mission of simultaneously addressing childhood hunger and promoting education for underserved children in India was not well known in our hometown: Jacksonville, FL. One year later, we have raised over $6,000 towards the cause through collaboration with over 50 volunteers varying in age from 6 to 60. What started as an endeavor of two turned into an effort of many.”

Vijeeth Guggilla

“I find it appalling that hunger prevents millions of bright and eager children from attending school and achieving their full potential. When I first heard about Akshaya Patra, I was hooked. I wanted to become a part of this wonderful cause, and help out in every way possible. When I learned about the Youth Ambassador program, I knew it was perfect for me. Here was a way where I could help feed hungry children, and inspire others to help as well. I immediately applied to become an ambassador and was thrilled when accepted. With a goal of raising $1800 in my mind and heart, I set forth. However, raising money wasn’t the only goal I had in mind. I knew raising awareness was just as important, so that’s precisely what I did. I told people about Akshaya Patra. I sent emails to friends and family, spoke up at parties, gave speeches in extracurricular classes, informed teachers, cousins, and friends, and did whatever it took to reach my two goals. And $1834 later, I was happy. I had not only met my monetary goal, but also caused more people to learn of Akshaya Patra. Being a Youth Ambassador has been a great experience so far, and I hope to do my best as one for years to come”.

Ruple Jairath

“Life is full of problems, and one Tri-State student loves to problem solve. “There are multiple ways to approach a problem — that’s just life in general. You can approach and solve problems in so many ways,” said Ruple Jairath, a 16-year-old Castle High School junior…Her family visits India often, she said. Through her travels, she’s always wanted to help, so she became a youth ambassador for the Akshaya Patra Foundation — a nonprofit geared toward feeding and educating students in India. She’s raised more than $1,000, which will feed 67 children a school lunch and give them enough for education for the school year, she said.”

Anusha Kulkarni

“Feeding millions of children everyday seems like an impossible task, but when you break it down, and work together, it’s possible. I was able to get five Power of One($15 monthly recurring) members by writing individual handwritten letters. What is exciting for me is that all these donors are new to Akshaya Patra. I also intend to organize and perform in another music concert to raise more funds for Akshaya Patra. When I visit Hubli this summer to see my family, I want to visit the kitchen there and also the schools and know that I played a small part in this noble and heart warming cause.”

Eeshan Kumar

“In 10th grade, my perspective on things around the world changed after joining Akshaya Patra. I came to learn of this organization through multiple friends who were in it, and I was amazed by its mission, Unlimited food for education. For me, I had always taken the food that was served to me for granted; however, my outlook changed when I heard about many children in India who couldn’t go to school due to a lack of food.”

Sandhya Nori

“This chance to give back has given me amazing insight, and given me so much appreciation for all of the things in my life that I take for granted. It is incredibly empowering to be able to see how quickly people can come together, and what a huge difference we can make in the lives of others.”

Shikha Pandey

“Ever since I was young, bringing a smile to someone’s face and just somehow helping those in need has always been so important to me. I volunteer regularly at local soup kitchens and homeless shelters, but even then I felt that I as if I wasn’t doing enough. I knew I had the potential to make a bigger difference, and I am so fortunate that Akshaya Patra provided me with that oppurtunity I want to thank everyone who helped me reach my goal and donated to this noble cause that will help change the lives of millions of hungry children in India. Without the help of my donors, I wouldn’t have been able to reach this milestone and am very fortunate for the continued support, guidance, and blessings I have received from them throughout this journey. I have learned a lot in this process, and want to continue helping those less fortunate than I am around the globe. “One thing she wants everyone to know is “Often people think, I’m just one person, what difference can one person make? But one person can make every difference necessary! You DO have the power. You CAN change a life. Don’t ever underestimate yourself.”

Aditya Parekh

“Joining the Akshaya Patra youth program, I had my reservations. Most of them were irrational or simply absurd, like the fear of being ridiculed by friends. However, I also feared failing to meet my goal. Speaking to strangers to ask for money always seemed like an awkward thing to do for me, even when it’s for a good cause. Eventually, I accepted all of these things, and decided to focus on the positive things about the program. Working as a youth ambassador has helped me build important life skills, like fundraising and breaking out of my comfort zone. These skills would assist me not only in working for Akshaya Patra, but also in any endeavor I might take up later in life. In addition to fundraising, I’m looking forward to going to India and serving in the kitchen. This will be a hands on experience to see how the organization operates. And of course, I’ll be learning all of this while contributing towards a great cause”.

Prahasitha Ponaka

I became an Akshaya Patra Youth Ambassador in 2016 and I was given the challenge of raising $1800. I didn’t want to fundraise by hosting events or going door to door, those ways didn’t excite me. I wanted to do something different. One day, I realized I should start utilizing my talent and passion for making earrings and that was the day my fundraiser, Earrings For Philanthropy was created. It became a statement in my community that everywhere I went, I would see people from the Indian and non-Indian community would be wearing my earrings. It always brought me such joy to see how a pair of earrings could bring so much impact.
I hope to spread the mission of Akshaya Patra to as many people as possible and make sure every child in India has a nutritious meal and the equal opportunity for everyone to achieve their dreams. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this journey and Akshaya Patra for allowing me to be part of a such an amazing campaign!

Meghana Prakash

“After attending the Dallas Forum, I was able to experience the true impact of the Akshaya Patra Foundation, and the vast influence the organization has all over India. Just the thought of being able to make a difference in a society that is more than 8,000 miles from your own, is a rewarding experience. Knowing that you are helping children, that could very well be your own age, and giving them a chance at obtaining even a fraction of the privileges we are given on a daily basis, is a great motivator. It gives us a reason to keep moving forward, to continue with the work and service we have been providing, to make an impact, and helps us understand the value of changing a person’s life for the better. As a youth member of my community, I wanted to try my best to make a change in this world, and I was willing to put forth my efforts to make it a success. As a member of Akshaya Patra’s Youth Ambassadors this last year, I was able to do just that. The difference I was able to make, alongside the other youth members, in our community and the inspiration we provided to others to join our efforts was an experience I will take with me throughout my life”.