Surya partners with Indian school feeding program
Carole Sloan -- Casual Living, June 29, 2012
Surya, a manufacturer of area rugs and home accessories, announced its partnership with The Akshaya Patra Foundation, one of the world's largest non-governmental organization-run school feeding programs.
Surya has made a five year commitment to help build this program of highest relevance for children in India by offering their time, expertise and financial support. Surya's financial contribution will feed 3,333 students each year for the next five years.
Surya was founded in rural North India and is very conscious of the health and educational challenges in rural areas. Akshaya Patra's mission that no child shall be deprived of education because of hunger had a special meaning for Satya Tiwari, president of Surya, who spent his childhood in a village outside of Banaras, India and continues to rely on weavers from these communities.
"Surya is very committed to improving the welfare of communities it works with", said Tiwari. "Access to quality education is critical for the sustenance of these communities and without adequate food, it is difficult for students to stay in school and learn. Surya wants to be part of that solution."
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a public-private partnership, currently serves mid-day meals to more than 1.3 million children daily in more than 9,000 schools throughout 10 states of India. It costs Akshaya Patra only $15 to feed a child for an entire year. This meal gives these children an incentive to come to school, stay in school and provides them with the necessary nutrients they need to develop their cognitive abilities to focus on learning. In a short time, the foundation has grown to become the largest school lunch program in the world.
"We are delighted to forge this partnership with Surya," said Madhu Sridhar, president and CEO of Akshaya Patra USA. "As Akshaya Patra strives to become a role model for other NGOs, we look forward to engaging Surya and other strategic partners in meaningful ways so that Akshaya Patra can reach its next goal of feeding 5 million children by 2020."