The IIT student who had ever attempted suicide then started a new life by embracing Krishna’s devotion and spiritual path. He laid the foundation by becoming the doer of ISKCON, Bangalore. Renewable Of. Akshaya Patra is a movement through which about 18 lakh school students are provided free food in 19000 schools in 12 states of the country.
The person who took the initiative to provide food to millions of poor children is Mr. Madhu Pandit Das. Born in Nagercoil, Panditji’s life was spent in Bangalore. He received a civil engineering degree from IIT Mumbai in 1980. Then, inspired by Srila Prabhupada’s books, he started practising Krishna consciousness. In 1983, he joined ISKCON in Bangalore and also took the responsibility of the presidency of Trivandrum Temple.
One day Srila Prabhupada peeping through the window of his house in Kolkata’s Mayapur, he saw a heart-wrenching scene of a terrible drag going on in children and dogs for a piece of food. Driven by this incident, he decided to start a mission that would provide free food to every hungry 10 miles from the ISKCON temple. This small effort of his created a big history today. And thus began the process of providing food to the children from the ISKCON temple.
According to the instructions of Srila Prabhupada, no one should be hungry in the range of 15 to 20 kilometers from the ISKCON temple. Inspired by this, the Akshayapatra Foundation was established.
And this process went on continuously. The children used to come to the temple before the time of eating. Then Panditji started to feel that the children either do not go to school or leave school in the midst of food and come to the temple. In March 2000, two good Manas came to meet Panditji. One of them was Mohandas Pai, CFO of Infosys. Were. Mohandas’s advice was to provide food to children by taking them to a nearby school. Following his advice, Panditji himself went to school and started providing food to the children.
Sometimes, despite the selfless motive of the person, somewhere there is a desire for name and fame in the mind. When this desire is removed from the mind, then God chooses it as a tool of some great work.
Panditji understood the importance of his work when the principal of other schools wrote that ISKCON should provide food to children in their schools too. Children from schools different from ISKCON had left their schools and started migrating to nutritious schools only to eat. Hunger was undoubtedly an avoidable issue.
In 2000, with the financial support of Shri Narayana Murthy, Sudha Murthy and Panditji, Akshayapatra Institute officially started. The plan for the country’s first centralized and mechanized kitchen was the brainchild of Madhu ji. The cost of making food and transporting to school in Akshayapatra was only Rs. 5.50. Initially the institution used to bear all the expenses, but later government assistance also started, when on 28 November 2001, the Supreme Court made the mid-day meal mandatory in government and non-government schools. Starting with a gas stove and a few brass utensils, today Akshaypatra is providing free food to about 1.2 million school students in 6500 schools in 7 states of the country with the help of 18 centralized modern kitchens.
Arrangement of one day meal for children may not seem to be a great purpose to listen to, but its far-reaching shape is truly enormous. This organization is working on two most important challenges of the country – hunger and education. By giving unlimited nutritious food, she is also attracting children to go to school and emphasizing on their all-round development.
Shri Madhu Pandit Ji has not only changed the lives of children but has also raised the image of temples.
Think about how bad the existence of any big temple seems to be without any social concern. If more temples are included in this mission, then above all, how confident will God is in heaven and this world will also be so captivating.