Visit to Akshay Patra

Drawing by Avani

Visit to Akshay Patra was to understand how cooking happens at mass scale. Many in the group heard the name Akshay Patra for the first time. When they were briefed on site about the purpose of the organisation, they were mesmerized with numbers - hundreds of schools, thousands of children, tonnes of rice and so on. Some of them got busy calculating proportionate grocery used at campus. It looked minuscule. The process of steaming was new for us. Something which caught our attention was detailing of even how to wash rice, and the commitment to the quality food displayed prominently. The trip was small, some went around surprised with numbers and watched the process.

BUT

Learning from outdoor visit to Akshaya patra began when a child started finalising the place.....first understanding from mail, responding, understanding what all can be done, writing script to talk, calling and understanding about the place, direction to reach place and again communicating through mails and phone. This was not all....needed to clarify to the group. Scheduling travel, finding out who all coming and arranging for food for all.

It was still not over...finding about trains and organizing travel changed the whole plan because of the train schedule. Again connecting back with Akshaya Patra for change of timings.

Ah! It was still not over.... coordinating with some parents and kids travelling from Bangalore to reach venue while we ourselves were trying to get the exact place to reach and in the middle of many calls here and there searching for place to eat, organizing food order in restaurant and paying bills.

This was still not over...as we reached the place we needed to understand needs of the place. Visit to the place was not more than an hour....but it was worth for all the hidden learning agenda and live experiences.

This child, 13yrs old had his own journey of knowing, not knowing, apprehensions and achieving.

One child every week works on organizing outdoor...what looks like just a visit- carries many hidden learning experiences.  For us the journey is no different...each week with each child it's different, each week we learn more about that child and facilitation. As each week it's different.

Its much easier to write a mail and get the permission to visit any place than staring from scratch with each child and wondering....so what all information we need, what all to write, how to plan travel, what all question we need to ask to visit...it takes much longer than we adults arranging by self. Longer process is worth the live experience it creates and active learning it generates.