Akshaya Patra on World Environment Day
Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest School lunch Programme feeding 1.3 million children daily by using technology extensively. Akshaya Patra believes in making efficient use of energy in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner to feed children at such a large scale. It not only helps in utilising resources in a cost effective manner, but also supports in creating better ecological balance.
On World Environment Day, Akshaya Patra reaffirms its pledge of practising environment friendly methods. Akshaya Patra has already adopted such methods. Kitchens at Bellary and Bangalore have replaced gas stoves with Oorja stoves which use biomass pellets as fuel. The biomass smokeless stove has a chamber for burning briquettes, a mini-fan powered by rechargeable batteries and controlled by a regulator which blows air to fan the flames. This initiative has helped in minimizing fuel cost by 50%. The stove is largely used to prepare seasoning for sambar.
LED lights have also been installed in some of the kitchens. LED (Light Emitting Diodes) are solid light bulbs which are extremely energy efficient.
Recycling of water is done to make efficient use of water using Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP). In order to address concerns of hygiene, everything that is procured is thoroughly washed. This includes rice, vegetables and lentils. The water used for washing contains nutrients and is used for bio-culture. Waste water is also used for washing vehicles used to transport the food.
Recently, with an intention to employ renewable sources of energy, Akshaya Patra has decided to install Bio Oorja. Once fully operational, the biogas plant is expected to produce about 40-50 kg of biogas and will consume about 1000 kg of waste. Akshaya Patra has opted for 'Bio Oorja' – a waste management technology that uses modified biogas plant to produce biogas to be used in Oorja stoves.
Support Akshaya Patra to take more such initiatives in preparing mid-day meal to feed school children.