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Children Going Hungry Is Injustice: Akshaya Patra US Head

Children Going Hungry Is Injustice: Akshaya Patra US Head

Children going hungry is injustice, the US head of an Indian non-governmental organisation (NGO) that serves 18 lakh vegetarian meals every day to students in India has said. "Children who have to go hungry is injustice," Vandana Tilak, CEO of Akshaya Patra USA, said in her keynote address on "Seva -- the First and Last Frontier", organised this week virtually to mark the 50th anniversary celebrations of the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA).

Jha Washington: Children going hungry is injustice, the US head of an Indian non-governmental organisation (NGO) that serves 18 lakh vegetarian meals every day to students in India has said. “Children who have to go hungry is injustice,” Vandana Tilak, CEO of Akshaya Patra USA, said in her keynote address on “Seva — the First and Last Frontier”, organised this week virtually to mark the 50th anniversary celebrations of the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA).

Dwelling on her philosophy of looking beyond oneself and her service through a leading non-profit organisation — Akshaya Patra — Tilak said the NGO serves 18 lakh vegetarian meals in 19,500 government schools in 15 states of India every single day. It has also served 82 lakh meals to date to stranded migrant workers since a nationwide lockdown was clamped in India on March 26. “This is an opportunity for us, not the beneficiaries. More importantly, seva does not tolerate an ego. The minute you put yourself on a pedestal, the universe will find a way to bring you down to earth,” she said.

About 3,200 people registered and participated in the virtual conference on September 19 and 20, a media release said. Vyomesh Joshi, CEO, 3D Systems, spoke on “Authentic Leadership” and how Hindu scriptures guided him in leading global companies as well as dealing with triumphs and setbacks. Citing a Gallup poll, he noted that followers look for four attributes in a leader — trust, compassion, stability and hope.

In his remarks, Benny Tillman, the first African American president of the Vedic Friends Association, said the society is confused about the real purpose of life, which according to Vedic teachings should focus on self-realisation as well as material development. While living in this world, we must learn to connect these two and that is yoga. Contrary to popular belief, yoga is not just a form of exercise, it is much deeper than that, Tillman said.

“2020 is a landmark year for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America. Established in 1970, we have completed 50 years of leading and serving the Hindu community,” said Abhaya Asthana, president, VHPA. Siddhesh Shevade, national executive director of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, congratulated all VHPA workers for 50 years of tireless efforts. “Reflections@50: Walking in Dharma” represented a confluence of prominent Hindu thought leaders to do a “manthan” of the history of Hindu Americans in the last half-a-century and chart its course for the next half-a-century and beyond, according to Jai Bansal, the conference convener.

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