From January 1st 2020, Akshaya Patra Foundation, a nonprofit based in Bengaluru, will begin new kitchen operations in three areas of Delhi—Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area, Jahangir Puri and Samaypur Badli—for feeding midday meal to 64,179 children across 134 schools in the national capital through these three kitchens. While Mohan Cooperative kitchen will feed 21,133 children, Jahangir Puri kitchen funded by Franklin Templeton Investments will feed 21,110 children and Samaypur Badli kitchen funded by SBI Capital and United Way of Delhi will feed 21,936 children. Initially, it will serve over 21,000 children of 24 Government schools from Mohan Cooperative kitchen.
According to a statement from the foundation, all the new kitchens set up in Delhi are powered by green fuel, including solar power for heating water, natural gas for powering infrared burners, etc. 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. The dal cooker also has a capacity of 450 litres and can cook dal for over 2500 meals in under 2 hours. The kitchens are also equipped with a semi-automated puri machine which can fry about 6000 puris per hour.
The state-of-the-art kitchen in Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area, New Delhi will follow the highest standards of hygiene, food safety, and quality to ensure that nutritious food is cooked and delivered to children. Continuing with the practice of serving food in accordance to the local palate, the Foundation’s menu for Delhi will include aata poori, besan poori, aaloo curry, chole, rice, sambhar, dal, and kadi. All the gravy items will have mashed vegetables added to them to enhance their nutritional value. Similarly, triple fortified salt and fortified oil will be used for cooking. With children’s acceptability in mind, a conscious effort made to make the meal flavoursome to add to improve food consumption.
The kitchen was inaugurated by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia, in presence of Ajay Dutt, MLA – Ambedkar Nagar, Sahi Ram, MLA – Tugalakabad, Sanjeev Arora, President – Motion Business, ABB India Ltd, and Chef Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent Restaurants. Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice-Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation presided over the ceremony.
Sisodia highlighted the importance of wholesome meals for all-rounded growth of children. He mentioned that they were happy with the standards maintained at Akshaya Patra kitchens, therefore decided to partner with the organisation.
“ABB has been deeply engaged with community development activities over several years positively impacting more than one lakh lives across the country. One of the CSR focal areas for ABB India is “Education and Skill development”. Our partnership with Akshaya Patra aligns well with our key theme in social impact projects,” said Sanjeev Arora, President, Motion Business, ABB India.
Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman – The Akshaya Patra Foundation, expressed his gratitude to the Government of Delhi and Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal for this opportunity to serve the children of Delhi. He also thanked the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the Government of India for their continued support to the Foundation’s feeding initiative over the last 19 years.