Akshaya Patra CEO and Ayurveda Aficionado Vandana Tilak Talks About Giving Back on Chai With Manju

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Manju Sheth and Vandana Tilak

WALTHAM, MA—As Akshaya Patra USA gets ready to host its annual fundraising Boston gala, its multi-faceted social entrepreneur visited Boston from California last month and talked about giving back and her own journey on Chai With Manju.

Ms. Tilak, who traveled throughout India with her mother as a child, worked with her uncle with tribal people and children in rural Maharashtra and credits Ayurveda for her healthy diet and lifestyle, was appointed CEO of Akshaya Patra USA in January.

Akshaya Patra currently serves mid-day meals to over 1.6 million children in 13,800 schools across 12 states in India, every day. Ms. Tilak’s goal is to feed more children and raise awareness in the United States about the services Akshaya Patra provides in India.

“You don’t really make these choices. They happen naturally,” said Ms. Tilak, talking about her own choices in life.

To watch the full interview with Ms. Tilak on Chai With Manju, please click here.

A trained classical singer who has delved into movie making and social entrepreneurship, Ms. Tilak is also an avid practitioner of traditional Indian medicine system of Ayurveda.

“You need to have some discipline in your life with diet and lifestyle,” said Ms. Tilak.

Ms. Tilak, who assumed her Akshaya Patra USA CEO position on January 1st, has been actively involved with the non-profit organization since 2012, starting the Los Angeles chapter in 2014 and serving as a board member since 2015.

Vandana Tilak

Under Ms. Tilak’s leadership, the Los Angeles Akshaya Patra chapter has consistently surpassed its annual fundraising goals, and successfully raised over $1 Million in 2017 with a team of dedicated volunteers and a hands-on advisory board. Ms. Tilak also serves on the boards of Almex USA and Almex Advanced Materials Corporation.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA has been steadily growing 20% every year with new donors and corporate CSR inflows.

As CEO, Ms. Tilak plans on galvanizing the organization by leveraging creative fundraising ideas, integrating TAPF India’s marketing strategy, improving technology and Akshaya Patra USA’s presence on social media. She is excited about working with chapters and youth ambassadors across the US while building a good support structure for increasing large and small donations.

Akshaya Patra’s 2018 Boston Benefit Gala will be held on Sunday, April 15th, at the Marriott Newton in Newton, MA.  Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s and founder of Daily Table and Conscious Capitalism, Inc., will be the keynote speaker at the gala.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a public private partnership that currently serves mid-day meals to over 1.6 million children in 13,800 schools across 12 States in India, every day. Since inception, the foundation has scaled from serving 1,500 meals to operating 34 kitchens, cooking and transporting 1.6 million meals to government school children every day as a part of the government mid-day meal program. It takes only $15.00 to feed a child for an entire school year.

The US Foundation is a registered 501 (c) 3 with the highest 4-star charity navigator rating. The Akshaya Patra Foundation India is a registered not for profit secular organization.

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