Ep 6. Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, CEO The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK: The Indian disrupter tackling food poverty in schools

By Dhivya O'Connor

“We are all born geniuses and the purpose of human life is to find an interface for that genius... and food can truly be the catalyst for that interface.” 3.5 BILLION meals and counting... Bhawani Singh Shekhawat is the Chief Executive of The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK. The Foundation started 20 years ago in India, to tackle the dual issues of classroom hunger and access to education for disadvantaged children. The Foundation’s guiding vision is that no child should be deprived of an education because of hunger. This is the remarkable story of how The Akshaya Patra Foundation grew from serving meals to 1,500 students, to serving over 3.5 billion meals to date, through the creation of an internationally award-winning Food for Education Programme. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is today, highly acclaimed as the world’s largest non-profit run Mid-day Meal Programme, serving about 2 million meals daily. Its work has been recognised by the World Economic Forum, it has been formulated as a Case Study at Harvard Business School and in 2019 the Foundation received the BBC Global Food Champion Award. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is now expanding its work in the UK, serving free, nutritious food to the homeless and to children vulnerable to food poverty, during school holidays. In this episode Bhawani talks about the importance of food and how it plays a key role in creating a better society. He demonstrates how through the power of great questions, organisations and individuals can access more of their genius. And he highlights powerful lessons in leadership along the way.

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