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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Akshaya USA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Philanthropy, Public Foundations

Mission: The mission of akshaya usa is to serve humanitarian needs of mentally ill disabled men and women.

Programs: The mission of akshaya usa is to serve humanitarian needs of mentally disabled men and women.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 1

In 2014 a case was filed against Akshaya trust alleging human right violations because an inmate from the home escaped alleging rape. The home was asked to submit monthly reports on their operations. Here is the list of human right abuses that occured at the Akshaya home. Akshaya has engaged in several unethical practices. I sincerely hope they clean up their act and learn to be more transparent about their fund raising and operations.

http://humanrightsfoundation.org.in/new/?p=146
These are the findings from the report:
Findings:

Many inmates speak clearly, coherently and with a clear statement that they were lifted forcibly and detained against their wishes, demand that they should be allowed to go.
The Trust Management has brandished several inmates as mentally ill, without any medical examination by qualified doctors.
Akshaya Trust Home does not have any records to mention any claim made by the relatives of any dead persons for performing of the funeral rites.
Akshaya Trust Home is not in touch with the family members of any of the inmates. There is no intimation given to the family members of the inmates after they were admitted to the Home or after their death or after their alleged escape from the Home. 63 inmates have allegedly escaped from Akshaya Trust Home. The particulars of the people who are brought inside the home is not provided to anyone including their family or any public body.
Akshaya Trust Home is registered under section 52 of Persons with disabilities Act 1995 and under the Tamil Nadu Registration of Psychiatric Rehabilitation of Mentally ill persons Rules 2002
The Akshaya Trust Home should admit only treated mentally ill persons who are disabled as per the Disability Evaluation and Assessment Scale (IDEAS) duly certified by a Psychiatrist.
The Tamil Nadu Registration of Psychiatric Rehabilitation of Mentally ill Persons Rules 2002, provides for the procedure for admissions and discharge of mentally ill person in Chapter II, Rule 15 to 18 and the Infrastructural Facilities and services to be provided in psychiatric rehabilitation centres in Chapter IV, Rules 19 to 22, the Organization and Conduct of Rehabilitation Work is described in Chapter V, Rules 23 to 28.
Rule 15 states that all admissions into and discharges from a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre of mentally ill persons, should be voluntary and made on the advice of psychiatrist. The Psychiatrist should certify that the person referred is a mentally ill person who requires only maintenance, medication and rehabilitation measures. There is no such certification for any of the mentally ill person as per this rule in Akshaya Trust Home.
Women and Men are not segregated. They live in separate rooms next to each other. There are HIV positive patients, T.B. patients, patients with tumors and mentally ill and disordered patients among the inmates. But they are not segregated according to their diseases.
The Akshaya Trust is not at all registered with the Social Welfare Department. They have just intimated the Social Welfare Department about their existence. The Social Welfare Department Authorities very well know that Akshaya trust is housing elderly people and destitute, who come in to Social Welfare Department’s purview. But the Social Welfare Department Authorities did not send any show cause notice till date to the Akshaya trust insisting registration.
The Akshaya trust home was inaugurated on 9th May 2013. Since then 118 inmates has died. Akshaya trust home claims that all these deaths are nature deaths. They have also got death certificates from the doctors saying that all the deaths are due to cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest.
But the standard death certificate format issued by the Government clearly says that Cardiac arrest or Respiratory arrest cannot be mentioned as the reason for the death. This creates suspicious about the death of Akshaya trust home inmates.
The inmates of the home are physically abused and tortured by the employees. The inmates who wanted to go out were denied permission. It means that inmates brought in to the home were not allowed to go out at any cost. In other words most of the inmates are confined withinAkshaya home premises against their wish, which is against every individual’s liberty to be free.
The V.A.O. and Nagamalai Pudukkottai Police Station officials were informed about the death of the inmates. But none of these officials questioned the trust authorities about the huge number of deaths. Both of these authorities simply accepted all the documents submitted by the trust officials.
The owning’s of the inmates removed from them during admission were not accounted and was also not returned back to them.
Most of the inmates were under sedation and behave like robots.
From January 2014 onwards 57 inmates have died.
The Akshaya home management does not have any procedure or methodology for branding or identifying a person to be a destitute or mentally ill.
The dormitories were locked outside after sending the inmates into their respective dormitories.
Akshaya Trust Home took custody of so called destitutes without obtaining orders from the concerned Judicial Magistrate as required under the Mental Health Act. In few cases the police themselves have picked and handed over nearly 30 inmates to Akshaya Trust home without obtaining orders from the concerned Judicial Magistrate as required under the Mental Health Act.
Till date all the admissions / rescues made by Akshaya Trust are illegal.

Previous Stories
6

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Follow-up: To what the board member has published.
Akshaya has been asked to submit monthly reports to the high court about their operations. Akshaya on the law enforcement radar !!! The exhumed body was in a highly decomposed state so nothing conclusive could be made.
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/madras-high-court-orders-monitoring-of-akshaya-trust/article6407384.ece

Obviously the board members and founder have vested interests because of the huge influx of money flowing into the organization. Great non profits does not need us to review with our real names !! Duh...Common sense. Contact me directly and I can prove to you how I was defrauded by Akshaya. There are several organization serving the mentally ill far less controversial then Akshaya.

===============
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

Read more
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The user Guna fails to mention the fact that after 100 days of intense scrutiny and investigation by all branches of intelligence in India - the high court has cleared Akshaya Trust of all allegations - Please read the latest article regarding the verdict . If you would like a copy of the verdict please email akshaya.usa@gmail.com or you can contact the high courts in India directly.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/madurai/Court-says-no-sufficient-proof-against-Akshaya-trust-closes-PIL/articleshow/42392080.cms

No person by the name of Guna volunteered for the orgnaization.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Folks
We have an ex-volunteer who writes reviews about the organization and its transparency. Kindly email me and I will provide you with all supporting documentation you may need to show you that we have a clean financial record. I have also personally spoke to CNN and they cleared Akshaya of any mishandling of money even before the award ceremony in 2010. We have refunded this donors money in good faith. No charity is required to refund a donors money. We have proof of the refunds and an apology letter to the donor when a check bounced due to clerical error. Mistakes do happen but the greater good is learning to forgive and move on. The mistake we as an organization did was to not get a letter from her that she would move on after she got her refund. It is sad that in this day while not wanting to do anything constructive we have people focusing their energies in doing wrong.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Biswajit J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Manjula I.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Shan S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Ed DiTomas

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first became aware of Akshaya Trust and Krishnan while surfing the net and seeing an item about them being recognized for their efforts. It was an old item from 2008. I was very impressed by the efforts of a small group of volunteers and wanted to know more about them so I contacted my friend Sandeep in New Delhi. Sandeep visited Madurai and spent a couple of days following the volunteers on their daily rounds, photographing their every task.

Sandeep sent me the photos and over a period of a few months and MANY email to the Akshaya volunteers I wrote a small booklet called Helping the Helpless (http://blueorbimages.com/Akshaya/Helping_The_Helpless_V1-2/Helping_The_Helpless_V1-2.pdf).

In November 2010 Krishnan was awarded CNN's 2010 Top 10 Hero award at a tribute in Los Angeles. I had the great good fortune to meet Krishnan and his senior volunteer at the tribute - an experience I will never forget.

I have continued on to help Akshaya in a number of ways based on the skills I have to offer and in the process have become a board member of Akshaya USA. I have not received a single dollar for my efforts - in fact I've made personal financial donations - BUT I have been rewarded with the wonderful knowledge that Krishnan's efforts with the help of all the volunteers has given selfless help and caring to the helpless homeless of Madurai.

To date my knowledge of Akshaya was gained from the feedback of my friend Sandeep, my many emails and phone calls with the Akshaya volunteers, my meeting with them in Los Angeles and my duties on the Akshaya USA board. Next month I am visiting Madurai for the sole purpose of learning more about Akshaya first hand and help them in any way I can to make the transition from a local charity to a charity that is recognized worldwide. This trip will not be a junket paid for by donors but fully financed by me - that is the strength of my belief in what Krishnan and Akshaya are doing. This is my third career (construction engineer for 38 years, self-employeed consulting engineer for 10 years and now an Akshaya volunteer for 1 year) and at 73 I have found the career that is most rewarding.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I saw CNN's video of Naynayan Krishnan's work for his nomination of 2011 CNN's Hero, I was a goner! He brought me to tears because of his selflessness, soul & heart. Immediately I contacted his organization, Akshaya Trust, to help in any way that I can. His organization deserves more than what it receives.

Review from Guidestar

Ram G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Akshaya feeds & cleans the poor, destitute & homeless people on Indian streets. Its easy to donate one time, and imagine the problem goes way, but Mr.Narayan has devoted his life towards this goal. Starting with all his personal savings he started feeding people - cooking their food, giving them a shave, bathing them and restoring their dignity. In India, where cast system still exist, it is unimaginable that anyone would even touch the 'untouchable' class, it is even astonishing that Mr.Narayan who is born in the most upper crust of caste society, chose to do this sacrifice selflessly.
There is no other person I can think of than Mr.Narayan who could use this gift.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had first read about Akshaya in an Indian magazine. My husband and I were deeply touched by the kindness of Mr. Narayanan Krishnan. We were almost in tears and wanted to help out atleast in a small way. What a selfless human being! Bless his heart, it needs more than a kind heart to do what he does everyday taking care of those helpless people on the streets.