Narendra Modi inaugurated a new kitchen run by the Akshaya Patra Foundation in Varanasi on Monday, marking the launch of the world’s largest school feeding program. In partnership with the Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman scheme, the foundation plans to feed over one lakh schoolchildren daily. The aim of this program is to ensure that the poorest children can attend school and complete their education.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates new kitchen
The Honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, has inaugurated the Akshaya Patra Foundation’s 62nd kitchen, which will cater to over 100,000 primary school children in the district. The project is part of the government’s larger effort to make schools more inclusive, while ensuring healthy meals for all children. Prime Minister Modi was present for the inauguration ceremony on 7 July 2022.
Guests of honor included Governor Anandiben Patel and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The event was presided over by Madhu Pandit Dasa and included a tour of the kitchen facility. PM Modi was also on hand to serve a symbolic meal to school children. The dignitaries applauded Akshaya Patra’s work to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in India.
Program’s 62 kitchens
The construction of 62 kitchens in Varanasi by the Akshaya Patra Foundation is a significant achievement for the organization. These units are decentralised, thereby improving access to quality food and ensuring better safety standards for the food prepared. The kitchens will prepare nutritious midday meals for children in the region and follow best manufacturing practices. They will use world-class equipment, including a rotis machine with a capacity of 40k rotis per hour, a 700-litre rice cauldron with a hydraulic system, automatic motors, and solar panels for electricity. In addition to this, they will use a heat pump to boil water.
The new kitchens are spread across three acres of land, and will serve an estimated 100,000 schoolchildren in the area. The foundation is implementing the programme in partnership with the government of Uttar Pradesh, which is funding the project. More than 1.8 million meals will be cooked in the kitchens each day. They will also host a variety of other events, such as cultural programs, so that locals can experience how the kitchens work.
The name Akshaya Patra is taken from the story of Shri Krishna’s inexhaustible pot. He promised to feed every stomach until Draupadi had finished eating. Founded in Bengaluru, the foundation aims to eliminate classroom hunger by implementing a midday meal scheme. Its mission is to eradicate hunger in India. To this end, the organization has partnered with the Government of Uttar Pradesh to implement a mid-day meal programme.
The Akshaya Patra midday meal kitchen opened in Varanasi, where the Prime Minister has visited. The foundation runs one of the largest school feeding programmes in the world, in collaboration with the Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman scheme. In the next few years, the Foundation plans to feed more than a million children. With the money generated through this effort, the government is ensuring a quality education for all children.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a Bengaluru-based nonprofit organization, is the operator of the largest school meals project in India. The Akshaya Patra Foundation has received the Mahatma Award for COVID-19 Humanitarian Effort. The award ceremony was attended by Dr. Kiran Bedi, the Honorable Chief Guest, Mr. Amit Sachdeva, the Award Founder, and Shri Bharatarshabha Dasa.
The organization works with the Government of India to provide nutritious meals to children and schoolchildren. Currently, Akshaya Patra is operating in 62 kitchens across 14 states and two union territories in India. They work with 19-thousand schools throughout the country, and they plan to expand the program across the country. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a joint effort between the Government of India and other local non-government organizations to help alleviate poverty.
The foundation’s Cyclic Menu is vegetarian, and all the ingredients come from local farms. The food includes a variety of traditional dishes, including chhole masala, rajma masala, and mixed veg soya curry. The restaurant will also serve ghee rice. The spices are made especially for the Foundation. Both are incredibly nutritious, and a child’s body needs all the vitamins and minerals they can get.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation Varansi kitchen is spread over three acres and will feed more than 100,000 school children within the district. The nonprofit was selected by the Government of Uttar Pradesh to implement the school lunch program. The Foundation has been serving hot, nutritious meals to over 1.8 million school children since 2000, in more than 20,000 schools across India and the USA. The foundation operates 61 kitchens in fourteen states and two union territories across the country.