#GoodNews: Indian Charity Offers Free Meals to The Needy in London
“It is the responsibility of the state but there is a lack of funding,” says CEO of Akshaya Patra Foundation.
Indian non-profit Akshaya Patra Foundation and the UK-based charity ‘Food For All' have joined hands in London to offer vegetarian meals to as many as 2,000 underprivileged school-goers, free of cost, every day, according to a Times of India report.
An estimated 70,000 schoolchildren from low-income groups in London go hungry. In the UK overall, there are 2 million of them.
Akshaya Patra’s temporary kitchen is located in a building in Holborn, on the outskirts of the city, with feeding points at different locations in London, including Kentish Town, Kings Cross and SOAS University.
In India, the non-profit works in partnership with the Centre’s Mid Day Meal Scheme – and feeds an estimated 1.6 million schoolchildren. It runs 34 of its own kitchens across 12 states in India, according to a Livemint report.
About their decision to start operations in the UK, Akshaya Patra Foundation CEO Bhawani Singh told Livemint,
“There is enough of the first world in Mumbai, and enough of the third world in London.”
‘It’s the Responsibility of the State’
Shekhawat told TOI that the foundation is doing what the state authorities are supposed to do.
There are families of six living on a food budget of £80 a month, and they cannot afford to feed their children. Many working parents send their children to these holiday clubs with a bag of crisps. The last meal they had was at 6 pm the night before. It is the responsibility of the state but there is a lack of funding.Bhawani Singh Shekhawat to TOI
After their initiative in London, organisations in Spain and Italy are approaching him to help initiate similar programmes, Shekhawat added. In the UK, the Akshaya Patra is looking to tie up with the government to replicate India's midday scheme.
(With inputs from TOI and Livemint)
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