A team of the Chandigarh Education Department will visit the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Temple in Gurgaon to meet representatives of the ISKCON Akshya Patra kitchen, which provides mid-day meal to thousands of schoolchildren.
According to sources, officials of the department are planning to study the model of the Akshya Patra kitchen during their visit to understand its working and chalk out a plan for providing mid-day meal to government school students in Chandigarh accordingly.
Notably, a proposal to provide mid-day meal to city’s government schools from the Akshaya Patra kitchen of the ISKCON Temple, Sector 36, has been sent to the department. A meeting between the department and representatives of the ISKCON Temple is scheduled for August 29, in which the department is expected to give nod to the proposal.
“The team will visit Gurgaon after the meeting,” informed an official of the department.
There are nearly 42,000 students studying at 111 government schools of the city. While seven schools provide mid-day meal to their students from their own kitchens, others get it from CITCO and the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management.
Significantly, the Akshaya Patra Foundation works in partnership with the union and various state governments to provide mid-day meal to children in government and government-aided schools. The vision statement of the Akshaya Patra states, “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.”
The Akshaya Patra, started in 2010, is currently operating at 19 locations across nine states of India, reaching out to more than 1.3 million children every day and runs the world’s largest NGO-run mid-day meal programme. The mission is to reach 5 million children by 2020.
The foundation runs its operations through two kitchen models-centralised one that is suitable for urban and semi-urban locations and mostly mechanised and employ innovative technology to cook meals for thousands of children within a few hours and decentralised kitchens, which are set up in the areas that are not easily accessible and employ women of the area for the cooking purposes.