“If we can provide quality food to children under mid-day meal scheme, we can drastically decrease the drop out ratio,” said Gujarat Chief Minister Smt. Anandiben Patel, while inaugurating a fully-automated kitchen, built by The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF) at Bhadaj, Ahmedabad in Gujarat on August 3, 2014.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a non-profit organization in India working towards providing food for education and eliminating classroom hunger in the country.
Recently, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated a state-of-the-art centralized mid-day meal kitchen at Bamphakuda in Nayahat area on the outskirts of Cuttack (Odisha). The centralized kitchen housing rice-cleaning machine, cold storage, boilers, conveyor belt along with modern packaging and distribution systems would provide hygienic meals for nearly 45,000 students of 190 schools daily.
Within a month’s time, TAPF has inaugurated another state-of-the-art kitchen in Ahmedabad spread across 2 acres and is built at a cost of Rs.15 crore. Hailed as one of the biggest in the country, the new kitchen is equipped with a roti making machine that can churn out up to 60,000 rotis an hour, as well as boilers, rice cleaning machines, rice and dal silos, cold storage and more which makes it possible to produce up to 2,00,000 meals in five hours. The kitchen is also fitted with a full-scale bakery to produce wheat-based food for the school children.
The Gujarat CM takes a look at the automated kitchen equipment
On every school day, 4.5 tons of rice, 8 tons of vegetable and 3 tons of dal will be cooked and loaded into 44 custom designed meal distribution vehicles and delivered to 121,508 children in 666 schools across Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad districts. “Food prepared in this kitchen will be sent to numerous government-run schools and Anganwadis within the periphery of 100 kms as mid-day meal to school children,” TAPF Vice Chairman Sri Chanchalapathi Dasa said. The kitchen was set up with the generous contribution of The Hans Foundation (Principal Sponsor), Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (Co-sponsor) along with Chimanlal Agrawal & Family and Nandlal Agrawal & Family (Land Donor). Patel was accompanied by the Minister for Women and Child Development Smt. Vasuben Trivedi, Ahmedabad Mayor Minakshi Patel, Chairman of TAPF Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa among other dignitaries.