Akshaya Patra will now cover 25,000 children

Special Correspondent

Upgraded kitchen will be inaugurated today

MANGALORE: The Akshaya Patra mid-day meal scheme of the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) will be extended to 25,000 children in Dakshina Kannada in 29 schools.

Its base kitchen at Sulthan Bathery area in Mangalore has been upgraded to diesel-fired steam facility.

At a press conference here on Saturday, Co-ordinator of the Akshaya Patra Foundation Nama Nistha Das said that the boiler kitchen will be inaugurated by the Chairman of ONGC Subir Raha on Sunday. Managing Director of the Century Building Industries P. Dayananda Pai and Chairman of the Akshaya Patra Foundation Madhu Pandit Das will participate. The new kitchen will help extend mid-day meal facility to 25,000 children from the present 5,500.

He said the two huge Thermax boilers will enable cooking of 100 kg of boiled rice in just 10 minutes. Sambhar can be made for 6,000 children in 30 minutes. A 15 kv generator has also been added to the kitchen. Rice-cleaning machines, which can clean one tonne of rice in one hour, and vegetable cutting machine that can cut 900 kg of vegetables an hour have been installed.

Mr. Das stated that the ONGC-MRPL have contributed Rs. 11 lakhs to this upgraded kitchen. He said the foundation is now looking for donors of custom-built vehicles to carry meals to schools.