Our Story

Akshaya Patra has been changing lives since the turn of the millennium.

Our Origins

One day, while looking out of his window in the village of Mayapur near Kolkata, Srila Prabhupada – the founder of the Hare Krishna movement – witnessed a group of children fighting with stray dogs over scraps of food. Deeply moved by this heartbreaking scene, he resolved that nobody within a ten-mile radius of his centre would ever go hungry again.

This conviction – that no-one, especially children, should endure a day without a meal – became a powerful exhortation for Prabhupada’s followers everywhere, including in Bengaluru where The Akshaya Patra Foundation was born.

In the year 2000, under the wise leadership of our founders Madhu Pandit Dasa and Chanchalapathi Dasa, Akshaya Patra began by feeding 1,500 children at five schools in Bengaluru, Karnataka.


Today, Akshaya Patra runs the largest mid-day school meals programme in the world, providing more than 2 million schoolchildren with a healthy vegetarian meal across 24,000 Indian schools, prepared from more than 70 cutting-edge kitchens. Our emphasis on efficiency, our focus on creating economies of scale, and our commitment to good stewardship means it costs just £15 to feed an Indian child for an entire year.

Akshaya Patra’s hot and tasty meals not only meet a child’s immediate need for nutrition, but also attracts them into the classroom where they can better concentrate on their studies and make the most of their education. An educated, well-fed child stands the best chance of growing up to realise a bright future free from the anguish of poverty and hunger for them and their loved ones.

When one child is deprived of education, it sets back progress for their family by a few decades as they sit in wait for the next generation to go to school. Akshaya Patra’s mission is, therefore, a promise to the children of India which must be urgently fulfilled.


The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK was first established in 2007 to invite and accept the incredible generosity of British donors for our work in India. In 2020, Akshaya Patra UK inaugurated our movement’s first international kitchen in North London to respond to the growing problem of food poverty in the UK, from which 700,000 meals have since been served.

‘Akshaya Patra’ (pronounced Ak·shy·uh Pa·truh) is a beautiful Sanskrit phrase drawn from the Vedic scriptures which means ‘inexhaustible vessel’ or ‘limitless pot of food’. In the years ahead, Akshaya Patra UK is dedicated to ensuring that many thousands more hungry children can depend on the nutritious food and access to education which flows from our inexhaustible vessel – across India, the UK, and perhaps beyond.