How using our product puts food in the mouths of needy children

As a user of Solo Expenses you’re giving back to society, because part of the money you invest in our technology is given to deserving causes. One of them is Akshaya Patra, an Indian organisation which provides a staggering 1.7m children with a meal every day. Solo Expenses founder Sunita Nigam has been to see work of the organisation in Sangareddy, north west of Hyderabad. This is what she discovered…

Rain fell constantly when I visited a school at Sangareddy to see for myself just how our giving back commitment works for the Akshaya Patra organisation. But somehow it didn’t seem to matter; the children had brought their own sunshine, and glowed with happiness as, stomachs full with a nutritious lunch and faces wreathed with smiles, they carried on playing, impervious to the rain.

This is what our giving back initiative is all about; providing regular support to people who have been dealt a poorer hand than us in the game of life; people who can achieve, if they are but given a chance.

With your help, as a user of our online expense management software, we give regularly to a range of causes, because no matter how hard we work as change makers, the need never seems to go away.

Appeasing a cruel master
The work of Akshaya Patra is a particularly fine example of this, since it works to fight the cruellest of all masters, hunger. Appease it today, and that’s fine for today. But tomorrow it will be back. And the day after. And the day after that.

Without food in their stomachs children’s ability to learn is compromised. They’re unable to focus effectively on the task in hand. And that’s why the work of Akshaya Patra is so important. Working with a network of suppliers and supporters it cooks, delivers and serves meals in schools throughout the country. What’s more, it has ambitions to reach even more children. Early next year it expects to open a new kitchen in Varanasi, from which it will prepare and send out another 100,000.

This is mass catering on an epic scale, organised and planned like a military operation, providing first world solutions to third world problems. Even the delivery vehicles are electronically tracked.

A real eye opener
But don’t think this is a problem happening somewhere else in the world. It’s happening on our doorsteps.  Akshaya Patra also works in London, supporting 2,000 rough sleepers and children who would otherwise go hungry in the school holidays.

The organisation raises its funds around the world, from people like us, and from people like you. Its latest fundraising chapter has been established to cover the Benelux countries, and its work will help drive this largest of ‘school dinner’ organisations to its target of five million daily meals by 2020.

Organisation on a mission
Akshaya Patra’s mission is to end child malnutrition; to make food insecurity a thing of the past, and to give dreams a chance to be realised. It seems a lofty ambition, especially that last part. But is that any reason not to try? Why shouldn’t it be possible? Enough will, determination and belief can make it happen.

Perhaps one of the children I saw at Sangareddy will one day become a doctor. Perhaps he or she will come and treat patients here. Perhaps you’ll be one of them. Think about that the next time you record an expense. That your investment in business technology helped a child not only to learn, but set them on a career path in medicine, is surely one of the most worthwhile things you could do to help others – because you’ve not only helped the child, but helped all their patients too. What a legacy…