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The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Rajamahendravaram branch has clarified that it has been running the mid-day meal scheme for school children only with service motive and is ready to stop it if the government so desired.

The organisation is providing food to 10,000 children studying in 60 schools in and around Rajamahendravaram.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Swami Syamanga Srinivasa Das, local vice-president of ISKCON, said that it was reported in a section of media that the Legislative Committee on Assurances, in its recent visit to East Godavari district, had asked the Collector to discontinue the services of ISKCON for the mid-day meal scheme as the nutrition value of the food being provided by it was low and that he had also made some other comments.

Swami Syamanga said that the quality of the rice being supplied by the government for the mid-day meal was low and the per child allocation was a mere Rs.5.76 and Rs.3.86 respectively for high school and elementary school children. “How can any agency give quality and quantitative food at these rates? But the fact that still we are doing so only indicates that we are doing it as a service,” he said.

“ISKCON is an internationally reputed organisation and it is not doing any business with the mid-day meal. If the government writes to us to stop the mid-day meal, we are ready to stop it from the next day,” he said.

Krishnastami celebrations

Swami Syamanga Das has said that Sri Krishna Janmastami celebrations will begin on August 18 with Baladeva-Subhadra Jayanthi and daily one `vahana seva’ will be held from 18 to 25. President of Andhra ISKCON Santh Gopinath Das will oversee the arrangements for the Janmastami day events on August 25 as part of which `Vutti Mahotsav’ would be held in front of the ISKCON temple at 3 p.m.

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of ISKCON, Rajamahendravaram, temple darshan will be open for devotees from 7.30 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.