We, at The Akshaya Patra Foundation, have been working tirelessly for the past two decades to fight hunger in children and support their education across India by providing them with the nourishment they deserve as part of the Indian Government’s PM Poshan Abhiyaan.
One of our most recent achievements in this direction is launching our 66th kitchen in Bhopal.
It is our first kitchen in Madhya Pradesh and the largest of our cooking facilities so far!
The construction of the new facility is spread over an area of 1 acre, supported by Hindustan Electro Graphite Limited. It was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the presence of Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman – Akshaya Patra, and Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa, the Vice-Chairman – Akshaya Patra.
Enabling us to serve mid-day meals to thousands of additional children through the new kitchen is another significant milestone for us towards Zero Hunger. The semi-automated Bhopal kitchen can undertake large-scale feeding, typically up to 50,000 meals a day while adhering to Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) to ensure safe handling, preparation and delivery of the food. It is equipped with
- the latest technology and automated machinery
- cauldrons and trolleys
- roti and poori-making machines with the capacity to prepare 20,000 rotis and 10,000 pooris per hour
- 500-litre sabji/vegetable cauldrons
- 1200-litre dal cauldrons
- 125-kg rice cauldrons with a hydraulic system
- an RO plant for water purification
- ETP and LoT Gasbank
- cutting boards, knives and other similar equipment
The steam-based machines and tools guarantee that they do not come into any direct contact with fire. They are sanitised before every cooking cycle to ensure that the food is prepared hygienically and efficiently. The kitchen is also equipped with a sophisticated water treatment system that purifies the water used for cooking and cleaning.
What will the school children in Bhopal receive?
The cooking processes in the 66th kitchen will continue to follow the Government’s Mid-Day Meal Guidelines and a designated mid-day meal menu, like our other cooking facilities across the country. It is designed to prepare a variety of dishes that are nutritious, enjoyable and suited to the taste preferences of the region.
The children will be served roti, poori, sabji, thepla, matar paneer, wheat cake, mixed veg soya masala, chole masala, rajma masala, jeera rice, plain rice, veg pulao, masala bhaji pulao, kheer and fruit on a weekly-rotational basis. The Bhopal kitchen will strictly adhere to the recipes to consistently maintain taste and quality, thus improving the consumption of school meals among children.
Heading closer to our mission
PM Poshan Abhiyaan (earlier called the Mid-Day Meal Programme) has been instrumental in increasing the enrolment of children in Government schools. It has also helped in reducing the dropout rate, especially among girl students. The programme has also aided in improving the nutritional status of children, which led to better health and cognitive development in them.
The opening of the 66th kitchen in Bhopal is a testament to our commitment to our mission. In partnership with the Government of India, various State Governments, many philanthropic donors and well-wishers, we have grown from humble beginnings of serving just 1,500 school children across five schools to executing the world’s largest NGO-run mid-day meal programme. We now serve wholesome food to over 2 million children daily from 22,367 schools across 15 states and 2 union territories in India.
Our state-of-the-art kitchens have become a subject of study and attract curious visitors from around the world. Using these highly mechanised units of centralised kitchens, we have been able to achieve the highest levels of hygiene by reducing human contact with food.
Our new kitchens have now begun to source their raw materials locally which will provide employment opportunities to the local community. This will significantly help in boosting the local economy.
Support children with your tax-exempted donations
When you donate to Akshaya Patra, you can also claim tax exemption in India under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act as our NGO is registered under Section 12A (a) of the Act.
All your online donations above INR 500 towards our feeding initiatives are eligible for a 50% tax exemption under Section 80G and you will receive a tax exemption certificate as proof.
Thus, you can triple your benefits with your donation to our NGO by nourishing children in need and supporting their education while gaining tax exemption in India.
So, help us expand further to nourish more school children from underprivileged backgrounds and secure their health and futures.