Cycling from Turin to Monte Carlo for Children Who Cannot Afford Food

by Chikashi

Akshaya Patra

From Wednesday, 4 to Sunday, 8 September 2013, I will be taking part in the Turin – Monte Carlo cycling challenge to support the Akshaya Patra Foundation, the international charity for children in India who cannot afford food in order to continue education.

The cycling challenge will cover 470 km (292 miles) of distance and 11,700 m (38,400 ft) of climbs encompassing some of the most challenging mountain passes featured in previous Giro d’Italia routes. I am aiming to raise £20,000 / $30,000 / €24,000 for Akshaya Patra.

Too many of India’s children are forced to choose food over education. Rather than attend school, many children must earn money to bring food to the family, focusing on short-term goals and not longer-term opportunities. The result is poor health and educational outcomes that only traps them in the cycle of poverty. The Akshaya Patra Foundation provides food to children who would otherwise need to forego education for income by entering child labour and consequently be entrapped in poverty and misery.  Akshaya Patra was founded on the vision that “No child in India should be deprived of education because of hunger” and implements Mid-Day Meal programmes in 19 locations across 9 states in India.

By providing free nutritious meals, the Foundation encourages families to send their children to school and allows pupils to concentrate better when they are in class. Attendance at schools with free meals increases and the enrolment of girls at school is also improved. By increasing the opportunity for education, families will then have the chance to pull themselves out of poverty. Their mission is to feed five million children by 2020.

Supporting the Akshaya Patra Foundation is very important to me because no child should be forced to choose between income and basic education. My primary charitable cause is children, and my personal as well as professional association with the country of India for almost thirty years have led me to Akshaya Patra’s cause. Witnessing poverty-stricken children on the streets every time I visit the country after which my daughter is named is heart wrenching. The only way to have an enduring impact on generations to come is to enable these children to be educated. The Turin – Monte Carlo route includes extremely demanding climbs, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge and raising money for Akshaya Patra.

Basic Facts & Figures:

  • 1 in 3 malnourished children live in India.
  • 26 million primary school aged children are not enroled in school.
  • 40% drop out before reaching the 5th grade.
  • The Akshaya Patra Foundation helps underprivileged children by providing them with a healthy, balanced meal for which they would otherwise have to work, cf., www.akshayapatra.org. The meal is an incentive for them to continue their education. It helps reduce the dropout rate to an enormous extent and increases classroom attendance. More information on Akshaya Patra’s US affiliate is available at www.foodforeducation.org, and that of the UK affiliate at www.akshayapatra.co.uk.
  • Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy) is an annual stage professional bicycle race held primarily in Italy since 1909. Along with the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, the Giro makes up cycling’s prestigious three-week-long Grand Tours. The Giro is usually held during late May and early June. While the route changes each year, the format of the race stays the same, with the appearance of at least two time trials, the passage through the mountains of the Alps, including the Dolomites. Like the other Grand Tours, the modern editions of the Giro d’Italia is normally 3 weeks long, 23 days including 2 rest days.

Please dig deep and donate now.

WAYS TO DONATE TO AKSHAYA PATRA

The options listed below are available so that you may receive tax benefit in your country. If you are not too fussed about tax benefits and would like to donate as quickly as possible, then please go to my primary fundraising page:
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

If your tax residence is in:

India, click here;

the US, click here;

the UK, click here;

any other country, click here.

If you want to give cold cashI am happy to accept cash donations by hand delivery. I will then consolidate all cash donations and send them on to Akshaya Patra UK on your behalf.

This fundraising ride is being made possible in substantial part through the kind generosity of Rosy Blue.  The remainder of the cost is being borne by me.

Rosy Blue

Thank you very much for your support. Please visit my homepage for fundraising updates.

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