ngo kitchens

It was another big and memorable day for us at Akshaya Patra on 7 July 2022!

We launched our 62nd kitchen in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh which will serve meals to over 1,00,000 children in 282 schools through the Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN Abhiyaan) [formerly called the Mid-Day Meal Scheme]

Our humble beginnings started by feeding 1,500 children in Government schools of Bengaluru. It started with only a selfless thought and an improvised Akshaya Patra kitchen. What we have become today shows that anything is possible if the intent is noble.

Over the decades, we may have heard discussions only on problems within Indian societies.
But don’t you think discussions can be more fruitful if they are about solutions to the prevailing problems instead?

For instance, we all know that hunger and education have been India’s two most pressing challenges since its independence from colonial rule. However, little was being done about it.

One of the reasons might be that we often tend to leave everything to the government authorities, blaming them if our expectations are not met. However, little do we understand that we, as citizens of India, also bear responsibilities towards our country that provides resources for us to live and grow amidst comfortable surroundings.

Hence, we must also lend a hand in helping our fellow citizens who are lesser privileged than us but deserve an equal share in the nation’s resources.

Role of Akshaya Patra, an NGO in India
Acknowledging the need of the hour, our activities at Akshaya Patra began with a pledge that no child shall be deprived of education because of food. Soon our small NGO in India became a hub for billions of responsible citizens to contribute through online donations towards the mid-day meal programme in Government and Government-aided schools.

Today, we feel proud to mention that the support of our donors has grown to such an extent that our kitchens are being built with great speed all over the country, where each kitchen holds the capacity of feeding lakhs of children in hundreds of schools while maintaining high cooking standards.

Our newly-built 62nd kitchen in Varanasi is one such facility that deploys a roti machine with 40,000 rotis/hr capacity, a rice cauldron with 700-ltr capacity, a dal cauldron with 1,200-ltr capacity and an RO plant for water purification. Moving further towards sustainability, we will also use solar panels to produce electricity and solar water heater to boil water during the cooking process.

The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Varanasi kitchen in the presence of the Governor, Smt Anandiben Patel, and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath. With its launch, we wrote another chapter of our association with the Uttar Pradesh Government as this is the fifth facility after the centralized kitchens in Lucknow, Vrindavan, Gorakhpur and Mant.

The inauguration event was followed by a tour of the new Akshaya Patra kitchen facility and the dignitaries pledged their support for our endeavours. It clearly demonstrated the Government’s appreciation for the efforts of our Foundation and billions of our kind donors who are ready to give selflessly for the nation.

Tackling two problems with a single initiative
Our ideology at Akshaya Patra is unique in its own way. Through the successful implementation of the Government’s PM POSHAN Abhiyaan, we not only nourish the minds and bodies of underprivileged children but also help them focus on education.

And there is a bonus!
It solves a major concern of parents not sending their children to school. When schools serve meals, it gives the parents from low-income backgrounds an incentive to send their children to school as they would not have to worry about their nutrition. And when it is supplemented with free education, these parents readily agree.

Final Thoughts
When you think long-term, any amount from the pockets of millions of compassionate donors can make a huge difference in how India will look in a decade. Bright minds and healthy bodies will be leading a developed India whose faces will shine and inspire internationally.

Also, when these mid-day meal beneficiaries grow up into successful and brilliant personalities, they will remember the value of selfless contributions made by people and work diligently to return the kindness by impacting the lives of those who lack access to resources.

Tags : Akshaya Patra's 62nd Kitchen InaugurationDonate to Feed the ChildrenPM Poshan Abhiyaan

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