“No matter what happens, we have to deliver food to all schools on time. No matter what,” says Someshekara. Though it is no easy task serving freshly cooked food to more than 17,000* children everyday, he helps Akshaya Patra’s Mangalore kitchen meets its high standards through constant supervision and strict adherence to a timeline.
Highly energetic and diligent, there is very little that passes by in the kitchen without Someshekara’s notice. From making sure that every employee is wearing his or her hairnet and gloves, to ensuring that all the vessels are thoroughly cleaned, he attends to the smallest details of kitchen operations. He receives feedback from the inspection head to make sure that the right amount of food reaches all schools.
With two years of experience in the Bangalore kitchen and another two in Mangalore, Someshekara is well versed in the dynamics of managing people and running operations on a day to day basis. He has very strong belief on the type of employees who meet the Foundation’s criteria.
“What we want above all at Akshaya Patra,” he says, “are people who are dedicated. And then, neatness. Neatness is very important.”
His work gives him a great sense of satisfaction, he says. “Many people in our Mangalore kitchen, especially the ladies, are here simply because we serve children. They’re not here out of necessity. We all work very hard. Everyone has to contribute and help everyone else out. That’s very important,” he says with pride.
“Safety and hygiene is very important,” he says. “They insist on it at Akshaya Patra. We work with steam at very high temperatures. And that is risky. We have to be very diligent.”
*As of March 2011