Rhea & Rohan Bansal

795 Million…That’s the number of malnourished kids in the world. Approximately 40 %of those kids live in India. 287 million is the number of illiterate people in India. Both of those numbers are extremely concerning, and we wanted to do something.

While visiting the Bay area in the summer of 2014, our mom came across an article on Akshaya Patra USA’s Youth Ambassador program. She encouraged us to join, and we are very proud to now be a part of the Akshaya Patra Youth Team.

Just over a year back, Akshaya Patra’s mission of simultaneously addressing childhood hunger and promoting education for underserved children in India was not well known in our hometown: Jacksonville, FL. One year later, we have raised over $6,000 towards the cause through collaboration with over 50 volunteers varying in age from 6 to 60. What started as an endeavor of two turned into an effort of many.

Our goal is to raise funds and awareness of the cause we love by doing things we love! Between the two of us we enjoy playing tennis, dancing, driving, practicing yoga,and of course consuming and cooking food. Some events we have conducted so far include Yoga on the Beach, a House Holiday Party, a Valentine’s Day Dance, a Hot Cocoa stand, an Eat2feed event, and a Car Wash.

The two highlight events of this school year have been the Car Wash we hosted in partnership with the Hindu Society of Northeast Florida Ripples Youth Committee, and the Eat2Feed event held during the Hindu festival of Navratri. The Car wash was a thorough success, with over 35 youth and 7 adult volunteers. We danced, sang, and laughed for over 4 hours… Somewhere along the way we washed around 60 cars and raised over $1300!  For the Eat2Feed event, we worked with our father and his friends to make and sell Indian fast food at the Hindu Temple. Between the food cooked by volunteers and food donated by a local restaurant, we raised $450.

Our next event, which is still in the planning process, is a charity tennis tournament! Advantage Akshaya Patra!