Akshay Patra – Bottomless Bowl

Thousands of children, either orphaned or with a single parent, find it extremely difficult to pay their school fees. In principle, schools have no other option but to send such children back home. RCP (Mid-Town) launched a fund “Akshay Patra” to address this problem. The purpose of this fund would be to provide school fees for such students who are generally on the verge of being rusticated for non-payment of fees.

RCP (Mid-Town) soon formed a team to short list schools that could be helped through this fund. The passion and sincerity of the team raising the funds were infectious and within a few months, the team raised USD 10,000! After having selected specific schools, the team spoke to each principal to assess the need for such a funding. The principals were then asked to submit an eligibility list for such students. The response was phenomenal and 2000+ children were recommended. The team finally chose approx. 800 students from this list in order to distribute the collected funds.

Today, the fees are being directly paid to the respective school authorities thereby avoiding any potential misuse. This project still continues with a prayer that the “Akshay Patra” should never dry up and the deserving children continue to benefit.

Chetak’s Value Addition

Vikram was one of the first contributors to this fund, donating approx. USD 150. He visited various schools to identify and evaluate those that merit such a grant. In order to avoid any potential bias, another Rotarian independently assessed this list as well. After mutually agreeing on the selected schools, Vikram and a fellow team member talked to the principals of these schools to get the eligible students’ lists. Moreover, after the funding was approved and disbursed, Vikram spoke with various children to ensure that the funds reached them. In addition, he put in place an informal mechanism to assess the performance of these children.