When Akshaya Patra, an NGO, started functioning 10 years ago, it provided free mid-day meals to 1,500 children in five schools in Bangalore. Today, it feeds 12 lakh children across India.
On Saturday, the NGO won the LeapVault Award for Social Change Leadership in Education at a function held at a city hotel. LeapVault, a management consultancy firm, commended Akshaya Patra for its “positive, voluntary action [which] gives many children their only proper meal every day.”
The LeapVault Change Leadership Awards started this year to appreciate individuals and organisations bringing about change or adapting to changing circumstances.
“These leaders have all been changing their perceptions and interpretations without changing their core philosophy,” said chief guest Salman Khurshid, former minister of state for external affairs. Khurshid gave trophies designed by Rahul Patil, a 15-year-old student at the Akanksha Foundation.
The Aravind Eyecare System won the other award, meant for advances in healthcare. Aravind Eyecare, which has grown into the world’s largest eye-care facility, runs five hospitals in Tamil Nadu and takes free medical facilities into rural areas.
They conduct around 1,800 camps every year through their own hospitals and through hospitals they help manage in Gujarat and West Bengal.
During the function, there was a screening of Who Moved My Cheese? a film based on Spencer Johnson’s book. “Let’s imagine a better world. Let’s have the courage to plan for it,” said Curtis Bateman, president of the Spencer Johnson Foundation, Who Moved My Cheese?, a partner with LeapVault.