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September 2, 2014

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1 previous review
April 12, 2011

I began volunteering for Akshaya after reading the CNN report. Initially I was also very impressed with the touching videos and pictures. But I was in for a nasty surprise. In a few months, I realized... more

September 2, 2014

Finally the truth about Akshaya Trust comes out !!! Swindling money from foreign donors to supposedly help destitute women in need. But this is what really happens behind the walls. All this within just a year of opening doors !! Holding inmates against their wishes, sedating them, raping them, beating them up !!

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/inmates-of-home-have-an-animal-existence-lawyer/article6144578.ece

I had a harrowing experience volunteering for Akshaya in 2010. Narayanan Krishnan is a con man. I blew the whistle at the right time in 2010 and I was able to get back most of the money I donated. Please don't go just by the visuals that this organization puts up on their Facebook page, the PR work their core group does or the media visuals. There is much more to this organization and Krishnan then what is projected. Talk to people in Madurai and do you research well before you support this org. They have a poor reputation with the local population in Madurai. Please read the review I posted in 2011 if you need to know more.

Here are the news reports.

http://www.thenewsminute.com/news_sections/410
http://www.rediff.com/news/report/inmates-rape-allegation-casts-shadow-over-akshaya-trust/20140707.htm

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 12, 2011
14 people found this review helpful

I began volunteering for Akshaya after reading the CNN report. Initially I was also very impressed with the touching videos and pictures. But I was in for a nasty surprise. In a few months, I realized that the organization was not really as transparent as it claimed. There were several inconsistencies in what was said and done in the organization. I saw a lot of lies and misrepresentations.

Narayanan Krishnan had been using his personal ICICI account (account #601601504494) to collect the donations. The account details were on his website until Nov 2010. Not all the money sent to that account is not shown in the books. A donation of $10,000 I had sent to that account was written off as "cash purchases". A registered non-profit with IT exemption must not be using a personal account for donation collection. After I pointed this out to this to Narayanan Krishnan, he removed the account details from his website in Nov 2010 right before the CNN program. However he has collected a substantial amount of money as donation on this personal account and he does NOT issue receipts for the all money received on his personal account. I was refused a receipt for the donation. Fortunately I have an email correspondence from their senior volunteer Mr R.Parthasarathy to prove my claim.

Earlier the Akshaya trust website would mention that there were zero administrative expenses. But the truth was that they have
always had salaried employees. The information was put on their website merely to mislead donors. They removed the misleading statement after I questioned them on that. Here is another interesting discrepancy. The CNN report published last year mentions the cost of his daily operations is $327.
Source:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/04/01/cnnheroes.krishnan.hunger/

But when you check out his website today (4/12/2011) he reports his daily operation expenses to be $450 per day.
Source: http://www.akshayatrust.or/donation_foreign_currencies.php
I know the cost of food prices has risen but an increase of
$123 PER DAY in just a year sounds far too fishy !!!

I discovered several other discrepancies in this organization and lost my complete faith in this "CNN hero". I had contributed $62,000 to the Akshaya home shelter. My donations were supposed to be used to sponsor the 5th block of the shelter. I did not receive even a single third party vendor receipt to show me how the money was spent. I received occasional pictures on the progress of the construction. There was absolutely no visibility. I got a rude response when I asked N.Krishnan to be more accountable. His behavior and attitude was most unprofessional and unethical.

I got in touch with several donor families in Madurai and realized that several families had been fleeced. With great difficulty I managed to get my donation money refunded. I wrote to CNN just before the CNN hero's program. They threatened to sue me for defamation and I threatened to sue their US office for financial misappropriation and they refunded my money slowly. They promised to refund all the money before the CNN program. But right after the CNN hero's program was over one of the checks they had sent to me for $45,000 bounced. I can prove all that I have written with my bank audit trail and email correspondences with Akshaya.

It was one of the most painful experiences in my life. A lesson well learned indeed !!! In addition to donating a large amount of money I spent a lot of time volunteering for them only to discover the truth was far different from the reality. Please do your homework before you fall for the media reports and touching story. There is much more to this organization than the rosy media reports.

If you dig a little more deeper you will find out that Narayanan Krishnan and his family live in an opulent home in Madurai and own several properties in India. In India where corruption and tax evasion is rampant property can be acquired far below the market value under the aegis of a charitable trust. I came to know that many more families in Madurai have been misled by this organization. Please, please do your homework before you fall for the rosy reports. I learned it the hard way. Krishnan must have started the organization with a good intention. But all the fame and fortune at such a young age corrupted him. Please contact families in Madurai and get to know the organization and its founder better before you donate to this organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Yes.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make them financially more accountable and transparent.

February 23, 2011

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February 23, 2011

I am very impressed with what you do for the women and young girls in the third world especially where women are treated as subservient to men. It's very unfortunate the way parents sell their children for money knowing that the kids have no other way out of this dilemma. You are are a savior to them and give them hope in life.
I like the idea of being hands on and not much of the money being wasted in administrative costs as with many of the large charities.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The testament of the victims on TV that were rescused by the Akshaya organization and their gratitude says it all.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

To the best of my knowledge you seem to be doing a wonderful job. I have never seen your financials to determine how the funds are allocated . To create credibility and encourage others to contribute it might be a good idea to share this info with the public.

February 21, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 21, 2011

I came across a article on rediff.com way back in 2007/2008 which described about Krishnan. I am so moved by his story that I forwarded the link to couple of my friends. Not each one of can dedicate our lives to someone else. Its takes a great deal of courage to go this route and this man has doen it and shown it to all of us. Every day we see charities which to different causes. Of course each one of them are noble and worthy. However "helping the helpless" is unique. If the most vital organ of our body is dysfunctional, nothing else matters. And Krishnan understands that more than anyone of us. God bless.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen pictures and stories about this organization. I personally have been involved with the organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing.

February 20, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 20, 2011

I first came to know about Akshaya in January of 2010. I was very impressed with the work Mr. Krishnan was doing and first spoke to him in May 2010. A very humble, honestl individual, Mr. Krishnan is a role model for all youngsters.
I had the previlige of meeting and hosting Krishnan during
his visit to the US in 2010. A well deserved nomination to the top 10 CNN heroes list gave several of us the opportunity to meet this remarkable young man.
I have made a few modest donations in the past year and I was always given receipts in a timely manner.
I am planning a trip to India this summer just to see Mr. Krishnan in action. Growing up in India where 40% of the homeless are also mentally ill, I know about the difficulties these people go through. To take the initiative to feed and help such mentally challenged individuals is a class conscious society is an amazing feat and Krishnan does that with ease.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being a voulunteer.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none.

February 20, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 20, 2011

I have known about this charity for 3 plus years and amzed by the cause to take care of the destitue ignored by the society, and inspired by the dedication of Akshaya team and Mr. Krishnan, my children arranged for a fund raising dinner.

This is an updated from my recent visit to
Akshaya....

The highlight of my India visit this time is visiting Akshaya team and spending a whole morning with them. I noticed that since my last visit about 3 years ago, certain things remained as is: The clean kitchen, fresh vegetables, neatly arranged groceries, menu board, and most important the dedication in serving by the small Akshaya team who remain still shy and modest despite all the spotlights and attention lately. The office has changed from a room in the residence to a two room/, small kitchen dedicated office, and the team has expanded to few more enthusiastic volunteers. Check out the link at the bottom for more photos.

My niece (in-law) and I followed the Akshaya team in distributing lunch. Menu that day was a delicious combination: Vegetable Briyani, Kurma, and Kesari (dessert). I was always curious about the logistics of serving 400 or so homeless mentally ill across the city three times a day and the mystery was solved when I saw this in action. Team knew who they were feeding so intimately and was quickly distributing a really wholesome and liberal helping of the lunch with a tall bottle of clean water and moving on quickly through the busy roads of Madurai. While to most of us passing through these busy streets these people are invisible, but not for Akshaya team who pays special attention and treats them with a kindness to recognize their wandering patterns and have affectionately named them too. We had the pleasure of handing over the food to some: The lady with the comb refused to look at us, but took the food, some had a puzzled look at us, and one refused and cursed me (team assured he would get his dinner and that happens once a while). We separated after a while so we do not slow down the distribution. Later Mr.Narayanan (Krishnan's dad) recounted stories of the mentally ill throwing food on the face, slapping and hitting Mr. Krishnan and his supporters when he just began this charity, and over the period the destitute have bonded and developed a trust with Mr. Krishnan. Dedication and unconditional love would always win.


Later we visited the home Akshaya is building. It is all in the locations. Surrounded by fields and hills the peaceful location will definitely bring soothing recovery to the occupants. Just like Mr.Krishnan chooses high quality ingredients for the food he serves, he is choosing high quality materials be it the marble floors or the wood for the cabinets at this home. All blocks have good views, and the plan includes semi-covered corridors that would link the blocks. An ICU corner, a doctor's clinic and isolation rooms for aggressive patients are in the plan. The single occupant rooms have a very unique design: while they separate the violent patients, the rooms will have a view to a central small garden on one side and the scenic outdoors on the other side. If you were wondering how much of thoughts would have gone in the design, the chief engineer/contractor is a 'stapati' builder of temples and he said he is building this as one other temple itself. With all the recent contributions from patrons, work is progressing with great momentum and I hope more contributions pour in so that this home will be completed soon and provide a safe place for the mentally ill which not only provides them shelter and food, but also medical attention, and some to a road of recovery.

For pictures from this visit, check out:
https://picasaweb.google.com/ManjulaIbrahim/AkshayaVisitFeb2011#

Previous Experiences......
Most of their friends and some of ours supported the event and we raised a modest amount of funds. Mr. Krishnan promptly sent the receipts for individual donors, and instead of just looking at the numbers beside the dollars he noticed children had given away their meager allowances (the lowes was $2.50 received all in quarters). He instead appreciated the spirit of giving.

I have personally seen the charity in action at Madurai and I bet this is one of a kind, and every dollar directly goes to feeding the mentally ill.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have visited Akshaya at Madurai. I have seen the kitchen, the cleanliness, professionalism, and the fresh ingradients that go into the delicious meals. I have followed the Akshaya van and watched how the team spots wandering mentally ill with ease, know intimately about each, and also the trust that the mentally ill show for them. This does not come easily from the mentally ill, and it says volume of the regular and sincere work by the team in genuinely caring for them.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would change nothing. They have a well defined focus, and are striving day in and out caring for the homeless mentally ill at Madurai. I wish organic growth of this organization, spreading the mission to other cities, at appropriate time.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I found volunteers with the same spirit. I hope I continue their friendship.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Very satisfied in being part of, despite very small, a very good cause.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 19, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 19, 2011

First time I heard about N. Krishnan was back in 2010 via CNN Heros. I liked what he did but unfortunately didn't do anything to help his cause. Earlier this year (2011) I again saw Krishnan's video and decided to do some investigation about the man and his organization. After reading some articles and watching few more video's online I was truly impressed and inspired by this selfless man and his cause. Majority of us try to help others in some or the other way but Krishnan devoted his entire life for others. This is truly amazing. God bless Krishnan and his cause. In today's day and age people don't have time for their loved ones and Akshaya is dedicated on helping people who have no one else in the world. Krishnan sees everyone as humans first and that is what I like about him and his organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In the smiles (faces) of those people who are getting help.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it more result driven so that more funds can be generated. Need to be more aggressive. Partner with all the NRI foundations like Sankara Eye, etc.

February 18, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 18, 2011

I recently saw the CNN video of Narayanan Krishnan's work in Madurai. It touched me very deeply and moved me to tears. Always in the back of my mind, as I've gone on with daily life, I've felt deeply distressed about the terrible imbalance between the haves and have nots in this world which only seems to grow worse with time. That there are so many millions of human beings literally starving to death on this planet is a crime against humanity. How can any of us truly be happy when this is the state of the world? The world has been starving for more great souls like Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Theresa. Narayanan Krishna is one of those Mahatmas who feeds all of our souls with his great compassion. He is a man who can inspire many to action. May we all be inspired to give and to love and to restore balance in the world. When I contacted Akshaya USA to see how I could help, they responded very promptly and courteously with concrete action items which was very helpful to me. I look forward to helping them in whatever ways I can.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I haven't personally experienced the results...only in that knowing that this work is being done and that I can in some small way be a part of it has elevated my spirit.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would want it to spread like an epidemic of caring around the world, so that no one in this world has to starve to death.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

February 11, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

I run a non profit organization out of Atlanta (Third Eye Dancers Inc) and we worked with Akshaya USA in 2010. Through dance performances we raised funds for Akshaya in 2010.

Throughout our interaction with Akshaya USA was very professional and transparent in nature. We were motivated by
their commitment to the cause and drive to make a difference.

Our event was a great success in December 2010 thanks to the leadership team from Akshaya USA. They had laid out clear objectives and they have kept us informed even after the event go over.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Raising funds for Akshaya USA

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Akshaya USA is a growing organization and they would need to adapt to the growth to make changes as needed. Currently, I don't have any outher suggestion.

February 11, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

From my bottom of the heart... Excellent organization for a noble cause. Purely for the suffering and left alone people. Great service to Man-kind. Especially a person, leaving an attractive job that he was about to pursue and jumping to help others who are in deep trouble and left alone is simply extra-ordinary. Many people are dreaming about doing something like this but Mr. Narayanan Krishnan has done it for real with great dedication and is still moving forward with it. AWESOME! The Real Hero for a great organization! My Prayers will be with Akshaya Trust always!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

by getting to watch in CNN program

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

simply give the control to Mr.

February 9, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 9, 2011

I came to know about AKSHAYA trust thru Facebook viral videos, it was a CNN Heros, Video, Literally me and my wife had tears in our eyes. What a great job Krishnan is doing. It a lesson to all of us as well as a kind reminder to " Being Human".

Great Job, may god bless you.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am in touch with Akshaya thru Facebook and following their development on their newly in process construction for peple in need.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change nothing for this organisation, but for sure I will try to gather more and more resources , financially for them.

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