Annapurna Mahaprasadam : Why !

It would not be a surprise if we state the fact that even in the present day India, there are families who are not able to afford a hearty meal after a day full of labor. One cannot expect the elders of the family to send their young ones off to school when earning a meal has become their primary task for the day. Neither can you expect children to concentrate in school when hunger keeps bothering them. It can be safely derived, that the growth and the progress of such children and in turn their families, is essentially hampered. Many present in the above category have become weak, mentally and physically, to the extent that they cannot gather themselves to ask for help.

Annapurna Mahaprasadam - Aniruddha Foundation

Annapurna Mahaprasadam : How!

It is in such scenarios, that stepping up, contributing and donating is a worthy approach. Making an attempt to fulfill the personal and social requirements of the ones in need has been the underlying sacred philosophy of the term we all know as “Daan” or Donation. Additionally, Dr. Aniruddha Joshi (Aniruddha Bapu), has also continued to clearly emphasize the importance of donation in “ShrimadpurusharthaGrantharaj” along with the statement that “AnnaDaan” or Donating Food has been considered as the greatest and the most virtuous among the good deeds.

Students are the future of any nation. Having said that, school going children, especially the ones belonging to the poor and the tribal families should receive a nutritious and a hearty meal. Despite the tireless day long efforts put in by the elders, these families have to make do with only one meal a day. An empty stomach vouches neither complete concentration nor does it help in building up a child’s health. And therefore, growth and development of the current generation has stunted and stopped, in turn affecting the path of progress on which our country should be.

If the students are provided with good food and nutrition they will not only attend the school but will show continuous improvements in every field. It is with this thought process, that the Aniruddha Upasana Foundation and its related establishments commenced the Annapurna Mahaprasadam program in the year of 2007.

What does Annapurna Mahaprasadam mean?

Carrying utmost love in the heart for their Sadguru, a Shraddhavan donates food and with the same love and reverence, another one cooks and feeds the students in the schools. With this selfless service and devotion, the meal is transformed into “Prasad”. And hence,  Sadguru Shri Aniruddha Bapu has given it the name of “Prasadam”.  The ultimate provider and supplier of food, Goddess Annapurna, is always satiated with such an  act of devotion and service. The entire act, being considered to be enriched with the blessings of the all-provider Goddess Annapurna is hence termed Annapurna Mahaprasadam meaning the Prasad given to all by the Goddess herself.

The Concept:

Under this program, a shraddhavan can donate grains, oil and other food essentials contributing for a nutritious meal. All the donations are then carried across to the schools where the underprivileged children study. The same shraddhavans can then cook the donated food with their own hands and feed the students so that the students avail a clean, tasteful and healthy afternoon meal. By making an effort in such a way, a shraddhavan not only performs the good deed of donating food, but also the shraddhavans offering the service of cooking food seek the blessings of their Sadguru which in turn wipes their destiny of the most difficult obstacles.On the other hand, the students achieve mental and physical strength, thus enabling them to study better and create a better India in the future.

The Aim:

Provide a balanced and a nutritious diet to the students of the school. This acts as a dual target achiever of eradicating hunger as well as educating the youth. With the understanding that their children will get better food and nutrition in school, parents will be indirectly tempted to send their children to school, all the while also accomplishing the literacy factor, thus in turn helping to create a better and brighter India.

Distribution and Management:

The Aniruddha Upasana Foundation accepts food donations in the form of grains, pulses, oil, spices and other raw materials required to cook a meal at Shree Aniruddha Gurukshetram, Khar (West), Mumbai. Also, donations are welcome at any other Foundation approved Upasana Kendra. Furthermore, food donations are also accepted on Thursdays at Shree Harigurugram, New English School,Bandra (East), Mumbai.

Post collection, all the donations are transported to the remote village settlements of Virar, Thane. The people settled here are mostly poor but an honest, hardworking crowd, in great need of help. Shraddhavans living in the same or nearby locality travel to the local school to cook food for the children willing to study there, thus providing daily fresh meals to the students, cooked with love by the shraddhavans. As the meal ends, the shraddhavans make every effort to clean the kitchen area and the cooking vessels, thus maintaining a neat and habitable school premises.

Current Scenario:

Under the Annapurna Mahaprasadam program, services are offered to more than 35 different schools by the Aniruddha Upasana Foundation. Around 250-300 students avail the services delivered with love by the Foundation at Vidya Vaibhav Vidyalaya located at Kelve Road. The students hail from families that have a tribal background or are daily wage laborers. Shraddhavans from the Upasana Kendras of Virar, Safale and Maykhop actively participate in a collective effort to provide services at this school. We serve daily lunch meals to students consisting of daal (lentils), rice and tasty pulses or peas curry.

For schools running in two different time slots, our shraddhavan sevaks prepare and serve food within the duration where the two slots are separated, i.e. 11:30AM to 02:00PM, thus making every effort to provide every student with freshly prepared warm meals. Till date, over 700-800 shraddhavans offer their services via Aniruddha Upasana Foundation and similarly aligned establishments. Despite having their days busy with individual jobs or business, all shraddhavans actively and lovingly take part in this program.

Kolhapur Medical and Healthcare Camp: 

Annapurna Prasadam-Kolhapur Medical Camp

Almost 9000 students from 100 different schools visits this annual camp. We organize this annual camp in the village of Pendakhale, Kolhapur. Besides enjoying and relishing the food provided as part of the Annapurna Mahaprasadam” program, the students are humble enough to wash their own plates and cutlery after every lunch. We teach students to chant and remember the name of the Almighty before beginning the lunch. Also, to thank God for his loving grace in the form of food that resides right in front of them.

Conclusion:

The Annapurna Mahaprasadam program does not run only to feed people and eradicate hunger. What makes it furthermore interesting and important is the fact that it contains multiple facets of making the young and all the future generations mentally, physically and spiritually strong and complete.

Blog Link : http://aniruddhabapu-annapoornaprasadam.blogspot.in

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