CEO of Akshaya Patra, Vandana Tilak, speaks at the Akshaya Patra Donor Appreciation Luncheon on April 6. (All Photos: Vansh A. Gupta)

It’s a lovely Saturday afternoon in the lush valley of Hillsborough, a city nestled within the heart of Silicon Valley. There is a long line of cars outside the residence of Sumir Chadha: a prevalent business leader within the American Indian community (Co-Founder, WestBridge Capital) and a philanthropist at heart.

Sumir graciously hosted an annual Donor Appreciation luncheon on April 6 for the largest NGO in the world, Akshaya Patra (AP), responsible for feeding 1.76M children a day in India. The event was attended by numerous altruistic luminaries who were keen on ultimately giving back to a wonderful cause, with the vision of “no child will be deprived of education because of hunger”. The attendees were also joined by their board team such as BV Jagadeesh (venture capitalist) and PK Kalaverchala (KPMG Partner).

Host Sumir Chadha speaks at the Akshaya Patra Donor Appreciation Luncheon on April 6.

In reference to his company’s sole sponsorship of one of the largest kitchens in India, Sumir could not be more satisfied with the partnership stating, “Akshaya Patra is the type of organization that corporations want to partner with. With a mission to solve some of our time’s greatest challenges – nutritious food and access to education in India – they have a proven track record of meeting goals through efficient and best-practice operations, quality assurance and innovative partnerships. We are proud to give back to the community through our partnership with Akshaya Patra.”

Donors, Members, and Volunteers at the Akshaya Patra Donor Appreciation Luncheon on April 6.

Vandana Tilak, CEO of Akshaya Patra USA, kicked off the event outlining some of the major accomplishments recently, such as the organization winning the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize and PM Narendra Modi serving the 3 billionth meal at the commemoration in holy Indian town of Vrindavan. She spoke about the commitment of AP’s leadership team to adapt to new expansion challenges in 13+ states, to implement progressive ideas by evolving meal models in order to keep the children happy with diversity/variety (as the joke goes, the Gujarati kids wanted idlis), and to strengthen the target of serving 5B meals.

Within the U.S, Vandana announced the launch of the Buffalo, Austin, Long Island and New York chapters, which are in addition to the existing 23 chapters with 400+ volunteers on the ground. She spoke about expanding the U.S team to 10 full time highly qualified team members, from MBAs to engineers to executives, focusing efforts on reaching a new fundraising annual goal of $10M+; while preserving the authenticity in grassroots approach. The team was excited to have launched 36 events within the last year, and continuing its focus on local awareness initiatives such as independence day parades, school dances, conventions, TiEcon, etc.

Vandana Tilak introduces Medha Rishi, as the new U.S Advisory Board member, at the Akshaya Patra Donor Appreciation Luncheon on April 6.

Medha Rishi was also introduced at the luncheon as the new U.S Advisory Board member. Medha is the CEO of, and until recently, was a HR Executive at some of the Silicon Valley based multinationals. She took on a pledge last year to break away from “golden handcuffs and launch a NRI youth movement to giving back to the motherland”. Medha is currently supporting the West Coast development efforts as well, implementing some new initiatives such as the first Young Professionals network for the organization.


The Akshaya Patra Foundation is the world’s largest NGO-run school meal program and serves 1.7 million under-served school children in 13,839 government schools from 34 kitchen facilities in 12 states across India. Akshaya Patra USA is the US branch of Akshaya Patra and raises funds and awareness for the school meal program in India.

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