The Debt: Getting up for School at 0350 in the morning

Who gets up for school at 0350 on a Saturday – especially after a long long week of work? Me and a load of school kids. This morning I will visit the kitchens of Akshaya Patra in Bangalore that feed children in schools in India who cannot otherwise get the meals they need for a full stomach. Which will otherwise lead them choiceless and probably child labourers. After all, otherwise a child that cannot feed itself, has to earn the money to feed itself when poverty is destitution.

I was lucky, God shone his grace upon me and I was born into a family that gave me an education – the best in the world. But my fellow Indians are not so lucky. So I owe them a debt of honour. And this morning seeing the kitchens in full swing, I will redeem that promise made long long ago to myself aged 12 – that I shall never be less deserving in my studies than all those left behind.

Coming top of my class, top (eventually) in every single exam, and winning prizes, was done because of the sacrifices of others. To repay a debt to them. Was done for all those left behind.

If you have a child who does not study, does not appreciate all they have. Bring them here. Show them this. I’ve been privileged to host auctions to raise funds for this charity.

This whole week I’ve posted on Facebook and Twitter about the endless meetings with Indian companies to help them grow from a UK base but keeping their Indian roots and Indianess. It’s not done for economic reasons of UK and Indian growth alone. GDP alone does not feed the soul. It’s done because the entrepreneurs I meet know their social responsibilities. But do they? Yes, I don’t help those that don’t. Simple. Do I check. Hell yes. It’s done, because one day, India will again not have malnourished children, not have child labourers, and not need foreign aid. We will do it ourselves.

www.akshayapatra.com

About Alpesh B Patel

www.alpeshpatel.com

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