The Hans India: The Akshaya Patra Foundation is set to launch eleven new kitchens in in partnership with the Government of Uttar Pradesh. The Honourable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Akhilesh Yadav announced the setting up of eleven new kitchens with the ‘Shilanyas’ (Ground Breaking Ceremony) on 26 December, 2016 at Lok Bhavan, New Secretariat – Lucknow. These kitchens will start providing mid-day meals to children in the next academic year and increase the reach to over 1 lakh children per kitchen every day in due course.
There were a host of dignitaries present at the occasion including Shri Ahmad Hasan–Cabinet Minister for Basic Education, Shri Kailash Chourasiya – Minister for Women & Child Welfare, Shri Wasim Ahmed – Minister for Child Development & Nutrition, Primary Education and Energy, Shri Rajendra Choudhury – Cabinet Minister for Political Pension, Shri Ram Govind Choudhury – Minister for Panchayat Raj, Shri Pradeep Mathur – MLA, Mathura constituency, Shri Alok Ranjan – Chief Advisor to Shri Akhilesh Yadav, Shri Rahul Bhatnagar – Chief Secretary, Shri Ajay Kumar Singh – Secretary, Basic Education, Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice Chairman – The Akshaya Patra Foundation and Shri Suvyakta NarasimhaDasa – President, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, UP.
Akshaya Patra is currently feeding 1,05,000 children from its Vrindavan kitchen and 66,000 children from the Lucknow kitchen (which was inaugurated by Shri AkhileshYadav on 15th March, 2015), totalling to 1,71,000 children across 3021 schools in Uttar Pradesh. With the introduction of these new 11 kitchens, the reach will be expanded to serving more than 13 lakh or 1.3 million beneficiaries per day, which makes this the Foundation’s largest intervention in India.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa said, “We are humbled and honoured with confidence reposed on us by the Honourable Chief Minister Shri Akhilesh Yadav and the Government of Uttar Pradeshfor sponsoring the land and the kitchen facilities as a step to end class room hunger in the region. It is due to this unflinching support that Akshaya Patra is poised to feed more than 1.3 million children in Uttar Pradesh on a daily basis, which is a shining example of a successful Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the field of nutrition, education and child welfare not only in India but across the world. We are deeply committed to work with the Government to construct Akshaya Patra kitchens and provide healthy and nutritious mid-day meals to children.”
The districts where the eleven new kitchens will be constructed are Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, Etawah, Kannauj, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Rampur and Ballia. It was a landmark event in which the ground breaking ceremony for establishing all the eleven centralised kitchens was observed simultaneously, signalling the delivery of better nutrition, better education and a better future for the beneficiaries.
Acknowledging this momentous event, Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman – The Akshaya Patra Foundation, said, “I sincerely thank the Honourable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Akhilesh Yadav, a dynamic and visionary leader whose progressive policies have been instrumental in the all–round development of the state.This encouragement and support will help the Foundation take greater strides towards its mission of feeding 5 million children every day by 2020.”