Friday, July 28, 2017

ISKCON Akshaya Patra Foundation May End Mid Day Meal Contract

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) reportedly decided to terminate the mid-meal contract as the state government gave instructions to supply eggs to students as part of the menu.

It may be stated here that the ISKCON has been providing mid-day meal to students of government schools with a service motive for the last few years. According to official information, the ISKCON is supplying mid-day meal for 46,725 students of 464 schools in 11 mandals. 

They are Tirupati (Urban), Tirupati (Rural), Renigunta, Vadamalapet, Ramachandrapuram, Puttur, Piler, Kalikiri, Chinnagottigallu, Yerravanipalem, and Yerpedu. The religious institution believes that egg is a non-vegetarian food. Even though, it is mandatory for the ISKCON to supply eggs to the students in the midday meal as per the prescribed menu. But, it has been offering fruits in place of eggs.

 The ISKCON had made it clear that it won’t provide eggs in the midday meal due to their religious belief. But, the state government instructed the ISKCON to provide eggs to the students as per the recommendation of the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN). As a result, the ISKCON reportedly decided to terminate mid-day meal contract.

 It may be recalled that voluntary organisations, student unions and the Left parties were demanding that the government should cancel the contract with the ISKCON as the religious body failed to provide eggs to the students. Two days ago, the NIN said that egg is mandatory in the mid-day meal and alternative food should not be supplemented.

 District Collector P S Pradyumna has instructed the DEO to follow the instructions of the NIN and hand over mid-day meal contract to another agency. 

Speaking to The Hans India here on Wednesday, DEO Samuel said that egg must be provided in midday meal for students. “We are exploring possibilities of providing three eggs per week as part of midday meal scheme through other agency,” he added. The DEO stated that the implementation of the scheme will be entrusted to DWCRA groups if the ISKCON decides to quit the contract.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ISKCON told to include eggs in menu

Students of ZP High School in Ibrahimpatnam in Krishna district having their mid-day meal
TheHansIndia: Amaravati: Taking serious note of non-implementation of prescribed menu of mid-day meal scheme in several schools, the government has decided to make it a mandatory on providing three eggs per week for each student studying in government-run schools across the state as part of providing nutritious food for the children. 

Considering the report of National Institute of Nutrition(NIN) the government has directed the DEOs to strictly implement the prescribed menu in the mid-day meal and has also decided not to exempt any agency or institution like Akshaya Patra Foundation, ISKCON etc on providing eggs to the students in the guise of religious traditions.

At present, the government is implementing mid-day meal in 45,528 schools across the state which includes municipal, aided, ZP, MPP and government schools. The schools run by tribal welfare and social welfare department will not come under the control of the Commissioner of School Education on implementing mid-day meal. 

While the government has given the cooking responsibility of midday meal to DWACRA women self-groups in several districts, Akshaya Patra, ISKCON and some other religious organisations are providing food to the students, establishing huge kitchens with their own expenditure. Akshaya Patra Foundation is supplying mid-day meal to some of the government schools located in Guntur, East Godavari districts while the proposal to supply in Visakhapatnam, Krishna, Chittoor, Nellore districts is pending with the government. 

Speaking to The Hans India, B Vijaya Rao, Assistant Director, Office of Commissioner School Education and in-charge of Mid-day Meal department said that all the DEOs have been instructed to strictly implement the prescribed menu for a midday meal in all the schools without compromising on providing eggs. 

“We have attached the report of NIN which says that there is no compensatory supplement to the egg. As part of providing nutritious food to the children, the government is providing three eggs per week for each children studying in State-run schools,’’ he said.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Deities worth over a lakh stolen from Iskcon temple in Greater Noida

HINDUSTANTIMES: The twin idols of Gaura and Nitai, valued around Rs 1.5 lakh, were been stolen from Iskcon preaching centre in Greater Noida. The idols are worshipped as avatars of lord Krishna and Balram.
According to the police, the thieves entered through the window and decamped with two idols of deities made up of Astadhatu (an alloy consisting eight metals including gold, silver, copper lead, tin, zinc, iron and mercury) and a donation box kept in the preaching centre.
“The theft must have been carried out between 12 midnight and 2 am when the devotees were sleeping on the first floor of the preaching centre in Delta – 2 Sector in Greater Noida. The idols were kept on the ground floor of the building,” said Manish Saxena, the station house officer of Surajpur police station.
The thieves apparently used screw drivers to remove screws of window grill and gain entry into the temple, Saxena said.
Shri Chaitanya Das, a youth preacher at the centre said the idols of Gaura and Nitai were missing from the sanctum when the devotees woke up in the morning.
Das said, “Generally all the devotees sleep on the first floor of the building and the ground floor, where the idols were kept, is left empty during the night. Our days generally start a bit early around 3 am. On Saturday morning, when one of the devotees woke up and went to the ground floor he found that the idols were missing from the preaching hall,” he said.
The twin idols, each about 1.5 feet tall, were missing along the donation box, which contained about Rs 20,000 – Rs 25,000, Das said. The hall was not fitted with CCTV cameras, he added.
Surajpur police have registered a case against the unidentified persons and investigating further into the matter.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Ujjain: High Court decision on legal status of allotted land puts ISKCON in trouble

Ujjain: The Urban development and housing department have issued orders to UDA to cancel allotments of plot number 33,34,35,36 and 37, which had been allotted to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
 The orders were issued after the high court decision was taken, on a petition filed by the Society for advocacy and reform, challenging the legality of the allotment of land to ISKCON, which has constructed the temple, administrative block, guest house and 6 storied building worth crores of rupees on the allotted land. Apparently, the land was allotted against rules and was not being used by ISKCON for the stated purposes.
The department also directed Ujjain Development Authority (UDA) to take back the land and arrange a resale. Chief executive officer of UDA, Abhishek Dubey said: “the order received is lengthy and before taking possession of the land we shall study it and seek legal advice from expert lawyers.”

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Pakistani Living In ISKCON Temple Detained With Fake Identity Card

ISKCON TRUTH EXPOSE: A Pakistani national living as a Sadhu in Iskcon temple in the Delhi-Haryana border town of Bahadurgarh was taken into police custody on Thursday evening.
Sources said the police have recovered a Pakistani passport from him in which his name has been mentioned as Raja, a resident of Hindu Colony in Larkana, Pakistan. He had come to Indian in 2013, and his visa has expired. He has allegedly been living in the temple from past few months.
The police said they have recovered an Aadhar card and a PAN (permanent account number) card from him in which he has a different date of birth from his passport, and his name is changed to Raasraj Das Rajput. Jhajjar SP Satheesh Balan said the Indian documents proofs are original, but they are probing how he managed to get them.
While being taken away, the man told the local media that he’s a Hindu who wants to continue living in India.
The SP said the further investigation was being conducted by the Intelligence Bureau. “No case has been registered. The investigation is going on,” he said.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

ISKCON Bangalore ordered to return marriage hall booking money

BANGALORE MIRROR: The State Consumer Commission has directed ISKCON Bangalore to refund the amount it collected for the booking of its wedding hall. The consumer had cancelled the booking but was refused repayment. The district Consumer Forum had ruled in favour of the consumer after ISKCON failed to provide any proof that the hall had not been used by others on the same date. ISKCON approached the Commission with an appeal and produced documentary proof. The Commission not only upheld the Forum’s order but slapped a fine of Rs 2,000 on ISKCON for trying to introduce new proof after the Forum’s order.

BB Muthu Raju, a resident of Bharat Nagar had booked the Dwarakavaasa Kalyana Mantapa belonging to ISKCON for his daughter’s wedding. The wedding was to take place on March 11 and 12, 2015. He had paid Rs 1,65,150 for the use of the wedding hall. His daughter’s marriage was cancelled on that date and therefore he sought for cancellation of the booking and return of the money paid by him from ISKCON.

He claimed that he was orally told that the amount would be returned after deduction of 10 per cent of the deposit amount. But he was never paid.

He approached the Consumer Forum stating that he was a middle-class person without a regular income and if he is not refunded the amount he would be in financial crisis. ISKCON admitted that the wedding hall was booked by Muthu Raju and he had paid the deposit.

The Forum directed ISKCON to pay back the amount to Muthu Raju with interest. The Commission, however, pointed out that though the complaint was filed in 2015 and disposed of in 2016 by the Forum, ISKCON had failed to produce the “statement of account, the luxury tax details and occupancy details” before it. It was only in the Appeal before the Commission that these were submitted.

Along with the dismissal, a fine of Rs 2,000 was also imposed. The amount payable to Muthu Raju was ordered to be released to him.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Haryana: Snake found in mid-day meal, ISKCON under scanner

ibtimes: In an appalling incident, a snakelet was found in the mid-day meal served to students of a government school in Faridabad on Thursday. The ISKCON foundation, which is responsible for supplying food to the school, has come under the scanner following the incident.

The incident took place in Rajkeeya Girls Senior Secondary School. A few students started vomiting as soon as they had eaten the meal. When the principal and other faculty members found the snakelet when they checked the food. The authorities immediately asked students to stop eating the meals. Two teachers and six students, who felt nauseous, were rushed to a hospital but were discharged later.School principal Braj Bala informed the matter to the district administration, which alerted other schools in the region.

The food sample is sent for testing in Chandigarh lab.

According to the Hindu, the Deputy Commissioner Sameer Pal Srow of Faridabad has tasked a five-member committee to conduct an examination of the kitchen and submit a report by the evening. The committee is headed by the Faridabad Tehsildar. A separate committee will investigate the incident under the leadership of Additional Deputy Commissioner.

ISKCON said the school did not show them the snake found in the food.

"Our food is cooked in 120 degrees Celsius temperature. There is no chance that even an insect can enter our kitchens, forget a snake ", said Dhananjay Krishna Das, the vice chairman of ISKCON.

Mid-day meals are served in 371 schools in the Faridabad district.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Boy drowns in swimming pool of ISKCON-run school, Mathura

Indian Express: A 13-year-old boy drowned in the swimming pool of a boarding school run by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), police said Tuesday.
The incident took place yesterday when Kartik, a 7th class student in Delhi, was taking a bath in the pool of the Bhakti Vedanta Gurukul and International School (BGIS), Vrindavan station in charge Uday Pratap Singh said.
The victim’s friends alerted the school staff when they spotted him struggling in the waters, he said, adding the boy was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
“Prima facie it is a case of negligence on part of the school management as no trainer was deployed near the pool at the time of the incident. Only, the school vice principal, who is not a trained swimmer, was present at the spot,” Singh said.
The body has been sent for postmortem, he said. The police added that no FIR has been registered in the case so far as no one has come forward with a complaint. Meanwhile, ISKCON PRO Ravilochan said the school management has ordered a probe into the incident.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Whiff of Iskcon food at Namma Canteens?

Times Of India: BENGALURU: The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) will, in all probability, be the sole supplier of food for the newly proposed 198 Namma Canteens in Bengaluru city. Food from Iskcon kitchen fills thousands of tummies every day at schools across the state under the midday meal scheme.

Sources in the government said the idea to rope in Iskcon came from the food and civil supplies department earlier last year. The idea of Namma Canteens was floated by C M Ibrahim, state planning board deputy chairman, three years ago. Ibrahim had suggested Aiyya Canteens, on the lines of Tamil Nadu's much-lauded Amma Canteens. However, due to cost considerations, the idea was shelved in 2016.

The Karnataka government had then hit upon the idea of targeting the migrant population and the homeless in urban areas by having night-food shelters or night wheels. However, with assembly elections approaching, the CM decided to revive the TN canteen model to supply food for all. According to the budget announcement, these canteens will offer breakfast at Rs 5 and lunch at Rs 10. The government is seeking to execute the project with a centralised kitchen so as to ensure quality food and consistent taste.

"Iskcon appeared to be the best possible option as it has the capacity to execute such bulk orders," said a senior government official. The government is believed to have had two rounds of talks with Iskcon for the project, and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) is likely to be inked soon. The project is estimated to cost Rs 100 crore.

According to sources in the urban development department (UDD), while Iskcon will be charging a higher rate for each plate of breakfast and lunch, the government will subsidise the same at the promised rates.
The food and civil supplies department, which was to be the nodal agency, has now decided to hand over the scheme's execution to the BBMP. The Palike has to identify the locations for the canteens in the 198 wards. These will effectively work as distribution centres for food coming from Iskcon.

A spokesperson for Iskcon confirmed that they were in talks with the government for the project and that negotiations are on. "We have the capacity to manage both midday meals and Namma Canteens. The procurement process will be separate from both the projects and Iskcon is ready to supply bulk orders for Namma Canteens," the spokesperson said.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

HC refuses to quash FIR against members of ISKCON Mumbai

Bangalore Mirror: One more case in the ongoing legal tussle between ISKCON Bengaluru and ISKCON Mumbai reached the High Court. This time, three trustees and members of ISKCON Mumbai approached the HC seeking to quash a FIR registered against them by the Ulsoor police after a complaint by ISKCON Bengaluru. The HC has, however, dismissed the petition, saying it is for the trial court to decide the matter before it.

An original suit had been filed by ISKCON Bengaluru trust in 2001 claiming exclusive management of the Bengaluru properties. ISKCON Mumbai was contending that the Bengaluru institutions were its branch. ISKCON Mumbai had filed 32 volumes of documents in the case and one of it was the bone of contention now. That case has reached the Supreme Court and is still pending.

In July 2012, Dayaram Das, Varadakrishna Das and Krishna bhajan Das of ISKCON Mumbai are said to have held a press conference and issued a press release claiming ISKCON Bengaluru was its branch. They are said to have released an 11-page document said to be an exhibit in the original suit between Bengaluru and Mumbai.

ISKCON Bengaluru filed a complaint before the magistrate court claiming that the document had an additional page and therefore was a forged and fabricated one. The three ISKCON Mumbai members approached the HC seeking to quash the FIR ordered by the lower court. They also sought to make the Registrar General of the HC as a party to the case and to direct him to hold an enquiry into the allegation of the allegedly forged 11th page.

Dismissing the petition, the HC said that the complaint was not that a forged document was filed before the court in the case but a concocted page was inserted as being part of the court document. Secondly, the allegation that the investigation officer of Ulsoor police had a nexus with ISKCON Bengaluru was also dismissed as the said officer was no longer in the same station and another police officer was handling the case. As to the contention that the Ulsoor police did not have jurisdiction, the HC said that it was only a procedural aspect which can be brought to the notice of the lower court.

The HC said that as the lower court had ordered an enquiry, “it would not be prudent for his court to quash the proceedings at this juncture.” The HC also dismissed the request for an inquiry by the Registrar General as it was the subject matter of the criminal case. The court dismissed the petition, saying it had no merit.

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