All life-force on the planet is sustained by that vital element of nature – water. Water scarcity and lack of potable water have become grave concerns, thanks primarily to exploding human population and climate change. The problem is even more severe in the summer season, as heat scorches the earth. The need to conserve, recycle and reuse water should sit at the top of the list of priorities of governments, organisations and individuals, if this life-sustaining force is to be available to one and all. At Akshaya Patra, we have numerous processes in place to ensure that the water we use is clean and that we use it efficiently.
Feeding over 1.6 million children across India is a formidable task and we ensure that we make the most economical use of water. The activities in our kitchens that make use of water are preprocessing foodgrains, vegetables and pulses; cooking, packing and distribution of food; cleaning of vessels and equipment; cleaning vehicles and cleaning and maintaining a hygienic environment inside the kitchen. The technologies we employ to ensure safe water are:
- Chlorine dosing – For chlorination of water to purify it
- Multi-grade filters – Where water is purified by passing it through numerous layers of filter media
- Micron filers – Where water is filtered using screens that have microscopic holes in them
- Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems – They purify water by making use of a semipermeable membrane, employing the principle of reverse osmosis to remove molecules, ions and larger particles
- Ultraviolet (UV) treatment – Where ultraviolet light is used to disinfect water and eliminate harm-causing waterborne microorganisms
- Ion exchange water treatment for steam production – Which gets rid of undesirable ionic contaminants in water
Water consumption in our kitchens too is reduced with the help of vegetable washing machines, rice washers, steam cooking, high-pressure jets for equipment and vehicle cleaning, vessel cleaning machines and vessel cleaning showers with tanks.
We also conduct regular training and awareness programmes for our employees to create awareness about water management and conservation. Wastewater generated in our kitchens is recycled. This recycled water is reused for gardening. Our kitchens, besides using renewable energy such as solar energy and biogas, also harvest rainwater. Thus, ensure that we minimise wastage and usage of water in our kitchens and grow in a sustainable manner. We will continue making intensive efforts to conserve, recycle and reuse water in the future to ensure sustainable development.