New normal has just begun; slowly things are trying to get back to their old lifestyles with a few changes here and there. So is the case with Akshaya Patra, an NGO in India too. As schools have decided to start reopening with the guidelines given by the Central Government of India, the Foundation’s kitchens have also started gearing up. Here is the latest Akshaya Patra’s News – the NGO has inaugurated its centralised kitchens in Jamnagar, Gujarat and Guwahati, Assam.
More kitchens mean more places to serve mid-day meals to school children. So far in Gujarat, 6 kitchens were set up in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Surat, Kalol and Bhuj. The NGO kitchen in Jamnagar will be a centralised unit that will prepare, cook and deliver mid-day meals to children studying in Government and Government-aided schools of the city.
However, the kitchen in Guwahati has been relocated in a different location in the city itself and has been upgraded to feed more mid-day meal beneficiaries when compared to the earlier number of 20,000 school children.
Akshaya Patra’s kitchens in Jamnagar and Guwahati
The centralised kitchen in Jamnagar was inaugurated on 15th January 2021 by the Chief Minister of the state, Shri Vijay Rupani and in Guwahati on 20th January 2021 by the Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal. The kitchens are sponsored by The Reliance Foundation and Jamnagar Municipal Corporation and Airports Authority of India respectively that have the capacity to cook 50,000 meals each, every day. Here is a glimpse of the inauguration of each of these kitchens:
Inauguration of Jamnagar kitchen
Inauguration of Guwahati kitchen
Utmost care is taken to ensure that children’s health is not compromised. Stainless steel of 304 grade is used in the kitchens for the endurance of high levels of temperatures. These include rice chutes, rice cookers, dal cauldrons, vegetable cutters, roti making machine, etc.
Top-notch equipment used for hygienic preparation of food
A series of high-end equipment is used to ensure minimal human interaction while food is being prepared. This includes:
These rice cauldrons are a bigger version of the rice cookers used at home. However, these have a capacity of 500 litres. These cauldrons are easy to clean and handle with a steam jacket. Once the rice is cooked, the whole cauldron can be tilted to be packed into insulated vessels at a later stage of delivery.
Atta kneading and Roti making machine
Akshaya Patra caters to the local palate to avoid wastage of food. Since rotis are preferred more in the North States than in Southern India, to reduce time spent in kneading and rolling, a roti-making machine is installed in the Guwahati and Jamnagar kitchens. Each machine has the capacity of kneading 75 kilos of wheat flour per hour and making a whopping number of 10,000 rotis per hour.
Biogas and RO plants
Akshaya Patra has adopted biogas systems in its centralised kitchens to convert organic waste into heat energy. This plant has the capacity to convert 1,000 kilos into clean energy every single day. This energy is used for fire-based cooking like frying and seasoning.
The kitchens use a three-step purification technology called Reverse Osmosis. This method of purification is used to make drinking water more potable. This also ensures that children’s health is not affected.
The NGO kitchens in Jamnagar and Guwahati use high-end technology that will feed approximately one lakh children on a daily basis. This means that the NGO in India is one more step closer to achieving its mission of feeding 5 million children by 2025.
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