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Surya partners with foundation to feed Indian students

Calhoun, Ga. -- Surya, a vertically integrated manufacturer of area rugs and home accessories, has announced its partnership with The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-governmental organization that provides mid-day meal programs at schools across India.

Surya made a five-year commitment to support The Akshaya Patra Foundation with the company's financial contribution feeding 3,333 students each year for the next five years.

Surya was founded in 1976 in Ugapur, a small village in northeast India, by Surya Tiwari. Today, the company still has facilities in the region and relies on its weavers to create quality rugs.

"Surya is very committed to improving the welfare of communities it works with", said Satya Tiwari, president of the company and son of founder Surya Tiwari. "Access to quality education is critical for the sustenance of these communities and without adequate food, it is difficult for students to stay in school and learn. Surya wants to be part of that solution."

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a public-private partnership, currently serves mid-day meals to more than 1.3 million children daily in more than 9,000 schools throughout 10 states of India. It costs the foundation $15 to feed a child for an entire year.

Providing a free meal at school incentivizes education for both students and their parents, according to the foundation. This helps prevent instances of illegal child labor and increases education rates. It also improves child nutrition because for many students foundation-provided complete meals are the only they receive.

"We are delighted to forge this partnership with Surya," said Madhu Sridhar, president and ceo, Akshaya Patra USA. "As Akshaya Patra strives to become a role model for other NGOs, we look forward to engaging Surya and other strategic partners in meaningful ways so that Akshaya Patra can reach its next goal of feeding 5 million children by 2020."

Akshaya Patra Foundation USA facilitates relationships between the organization and the donor community in the United States, continues to develop a long-term plan for financial support, and globally expands awareness of the organization, its school meal model and the needs it addresses.

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