The Akshaya Patra Foundation have been awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for their contribution in providing mid-day meals to millions of school children in India.
For the first time since 2014, the Government of India awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2015-18. Named after Mahatma Gandhi, ‘the annual award is given to individuals and institutions for their contribution towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods.’
Akshaya Patra Started in 2000, and the pilot program served 1,500 children daily in five schools. Today, the organisation feeds 1.76 million school children daily in 14,702 schools across 12 states.
Prime Minister Modi applauded the dedicated work of Akshaya Patra in saying, ‘The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s determined efforts ensure nutritious meals for many. Their outstanding work has also ensured more children go to school. I congratulate them for the Gandhi Peace Prize, 2016.’
The awardees were selected by a jury comprising of Prime Minister Modi, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, and BJP veteran L K Advan. The award was instituted in 1995 during the commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 125th birth anniversary and carries an award of Rs 1 crore (approximately £100,000).
Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman of The Akshaya Patra Foundation,said, ‘Thank you Prime Minister Modiji for the Gandhi Peace Prize. Your constant patronage for Akshaya Patra’s mission from beginning days as Chief Minister of Gujarat and as Prime Minister has been a big strength.’