Vijayawada

Akshaya Patra to feed 25,000 schoolchildren

Large mechanised kitchen to be constructed near Autonager Gate

Very soon, around 25,000 children in Government-run schools in and around Vijayawada will be served steaming hot mid-day meal by the local chapter of Akshaya Patra.

Besides, there is also a plan to extend the free distribution of meal scheme to the economically poor in-patients in the Government General hospitals. A separate menu will be designed for them.

A group of volunteers, with the support of a few local people’s representatives and Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani, have initiated the free-meal scheme by collaborating with Bangalore-based Akshaya Patra Foundation.

“A large highly mechanised kitchen will be constructed in an area of 3,500 sq. yards near Autonager Gate at a cost of Rs. 3.5 crore where food will be cooked for distribution of mid-day meal in schools, to patients in the hospital and to the two proposed Anna Canteens—at Thullur and in Autonagar,” said TDP urban affiliated organisations’ in charge K. Pattabhiram.

Keeping in view the large labour population in Autonagar, the first Anna canteen was proposed here but Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is said to have insisted that the first unit be opened in Thullur, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.

A lot of homework has gone into the project. A team comprising MP Nani, Mr. Pattabhiram and a few others, visited Bengaluru to meet people actively engaged in running the Akshaya Patra kitchens and the successful mode of cooking, transporting and distribution of food on such a large scale.

“The mechanised kitchens dishing out tons of food will open your senses to the remarkable dedication of the people providing food for education,” said Mr. Pattabhiram.

“We need donors to sustain the scheme,” he emphasised. Initially, the Akshaya Patra Foundation that feeds 15 lakh school children daily in about 10 States across the country, will fund the programme. Under State-sponsored mid-day scheme, the Government sanctions Rs. 4.50 rupees while the actual cost comes to around Rs. 8 for each student. The remaining cost will be borne by the Akshaya Patra Foundation.

“For now, we have acquired a vacant space on lease to set up a centralised kitchen. But Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has promised to allocate land in a couple of years for setting up a permanent kitchen for the purpose.”

The humble beginnings of the Akshaya Patra Foundation started with serving of the mid-day meals to 1,500 children across five Government schools in Bengaluru.

The programme embraced the vision that no child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.

Today, through the partnership with the Government of India and various State governments, as well as philanthropic donors, the organisation runs the world’s largest mid-day meal programme.

Built on a public-private partnership, Akshaya Patra combines good management, innovative technology and smart engineering to deliver a nutritious and hygienic school lunch.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 10:54:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/akshaya-patra-to-feed-25000-schoolchildren/article8665468.ece

Next Story