Month: July 2013

Music for the Streets

July 2013Civil Society

The rains have started in Mumbai, leaving the ground wet, the air thick and the sky dim, but failing to slow the city’s relentless rhythm. At 9am on a Saturday, commuters still pour into Bandra railway station, just a few among the seven million passengers who ride the city’s local trains each day.

Geet Anand has arrived under the Victorian-gothic eaves of the station’s Heritage Hall with a black plastic tube slung over his shoulder; inside, he carries a set of bamboo flutes in a variety of sizes, which he empties onto the covered ground near his feet in front of a pair of signs reading National Streets for Performing Arts (NSPA), a Mumbai-based NGO working to reintroduce musicians to the city’s public spaces.  (more…)

Growing Up Quicker with Marico

July 2013 – Civil Society

It’s been 13 years since Akshaya Patra served its first meals to 1,500 students at five government schools across Bangalore. Since then, the organisation has become the world’s largest midday meal programme, providing nutritious lunches for 1.5 million students across nine states last year.

Though Akshaya Patra has not yet attained its ambitious founding vision that “no child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”, the organisation has demonstrated remarkable capacity for growth, increasing its reach 1,000 times in only 10 years. By 2020, Akshaya Patra hopes to reach fully 5 million children, and aspires to complete obsolescence by 2030 when, they hope, lack of food will no longer be an obstacle to education. Yet a simple question remains: how will they get there? (more…)