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Monday 23 October 2017
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Bill Clinton visited Jaipur Akshaya Patra Kitchen

Former US President Bill Clinton visited Akshaya Patra’s kitchen in Jaipur on 16 July 2014.  The Akshaya Patra’s Jaipur kitchen, which is part of Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action, was built in 2004 and currently serves mid-day meals to over 1,06,000 underprivileged students in more than 1,400 schools every day. It is one of 22 such kitchens that Akshaya Patra operates across India.

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At a government school where the mid-day meals are served, former President Clinton stated: “This CGI commitment is a very important program. The lunches served are not only healthy meals for kids, they are also tools that help to get more children into the classroom.”

Visibly impressed by the efforts to provide meals to thousands of students, Clinton said: “I want to emphasize on the midday meal programme which is part of our Clinton Global Initiative. We have business people all over the world supporting this initiative.”

He also mentioned that food being served to students was clean and healthy and said that this helps in bringing down school drop-out rates.

“It is providing clean healthy food which tastes good,” he said while speaking to reporters.

To make this occasion memorable, Clinton and his delegates served chapattis and sabji (mid-day meal prepared at kitchen) to 250 students for 20 minutes. Interestingly, most of the students could identify him only as ‘America Ka Pradhan Mantri’ and greeted him and his team passionately.

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The former US President also referred to a donation of 2 million USD made to Akshaya Patra by a US based company to set up a similar kitchen in Lucknow.

“Akshaya Patra combines the execution excellence of a for-profit with the compassion of a non-profit,” said Akshaya Patra’s USA Chairman Desh Deshpande to Clinton and the delegates at the kitchen tour. “If we all come together and bring our skills, our passion and our resources to bear,“ he continued, “we can help this organization meet and surpass its goal of  feeding 5 million children daily by 2020.”

Dipika Khaitan, Executive Director of The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK stated: “Over the last 14 years, Akshaya Patra has developed and utilized technology to prepare and deliver hot, nutritious midday meals to 1.39 million children daily for just 6 pence per meal. As part of a unique public-private partnership, the Government of India contributes half the cost of the meals.  So for only £10 a year, a donor here in the UK can support a child who is Hungry for School and eager to make it in this world.”

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Harin Thaker, Chairman of The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK concluded: “We are honored that our organization has been one of the few projects on the selected list of CGI’s visit. The visit will help us in highlighting our work to an international audience whose support can help us in reaching our goal of feeding 5 million children by 2020.’’




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