NEW DELHI: The Akshaya Patra Foundation which provides meals to nearly 18 lakh school children in 12 states and two Union Territories through the Mid Day Meal Scheme on Tuesday made a foray into the national capital. The NGO attached with Iskcon, Bengaluru — launched its first kitchen in New Delhi’s Badarpur area which will cater to nearly 21,000 school children in 24 government schools in surrounding areas.
The kitchen has been built with support from the ABB Foundation.
Two more kitchens of the foundation will be functional by next week in the city taking the total children served to over 64,000 and covering 134 schools.
“It was our strong desire to be able to provide quality and hygienic food in the capital and we are happy to see this wish fructified,” said the foundation’s vice-president Chanchalapathi Dasa on the sideline of the event that saw the inauguration of the kitchen by Delhi’s deputy CM Manish Sisodia.
The NGO which had stirred controversy recently over insisting on providing food without onion-garlic in schools due to religious reasons in Karnataka and elsewhere will follow the same rule in Delhi as well. “Our food is nutritious, safe and hygienic,” Dasa stressed.
He also said that while governments — Centre and state put together and pay Rs 7-8 per meal to the foundation, it adds around Rs 6 per plate on its own. A statement by the foundation said that all the new kitchens set up in Delhi are powered by green fuel.
“A hybrid solar water pump provides the water for cooking, with a capacity to heat 15,000 litres of water to 80°C through the year. Bratt pans are used for cooking rice, dal, and vegetables. The Bratt pans have a capacity of 450 litres and can cook rice for 2000 meals in 30 minutes and vegetables for 5000 meals in 1 hour,” said the statement.