Written By Aarushi Mahesh (Grade 8)
This is not a normal book review. Rashmi Bansal’s book God’s Own Kitchen is an eye-opening read and I found it remarkable. I would always think of it normal for everyone to have two loving parents, a house, three meals a day and education, for that is how I was brought up. We have all been taught that this is the norm but it is not! I eventually realised I am extremely fortunate; So are you if you’re reading this.
I admit I was originally forced to read this book by my father. Reluctant as ever, I flipped the pages until I learnt about the galvanizing story of Akshaya Patra. Madhu Pandit, an IIT student, was the ‘CEO’ of ISKON. People always asked him why he would leave IIT and the luxurious life ahead of him to work in a temple. God’s Own Kitchen by Rashmi Bansal is a captivating book illustrating the story behind the world’s largest NGO led mid-day meal program feeding more than a 1.8 million school children. Rashmi Bansal fills the book with anecdotes and vivid details on how Akshaya Patra came to be.
Feeding government school children for almost 20 years now, Akshaya Patra is a non-profit organisation which began in Bangalore and grew to 52 kitchens across 12 states. The solutions they came up with for the multiple challenges they faced only seem simple in hindsight but the love behind this is what still carries this organisation. The book firmly entrenches the fact that education which cannot deliver back to society is meaningless.
The intricate plotting of the story and the ideas these simple-hearted monks came up with is what makes this story so inspiring. No matter what background you come from, it is a MUST
read for everyone of all ages. –
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