Bhumi Puja of Akshaya Patra’s Centralised Kitchen in Chennai by the Hon’ble Governor and the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Chennai, 15 February 2020: The bhumi puja of The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s centralised kitchen for its breakfast feeding programme was held at Greams Road on Saturday, 15 February with the support of the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC). The ceremony was conducted in the presence of the Governor of Tamil Nadu, His Excellency Thiru Banwarilal Purohit and the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Thiru Edappadi K. Palaniswami. This kitchen will be the Foundation’s second kitchen in Chennai. The Hon’ble Governor has granted an amount of ₹5 Crore to set up the kitchen facility in Greams Road from the Governor’s discretionary fund. It will feed healthy, nutritious and sumptuous breakfast to 12,000 children of 35 corporation schools in the city.
Also present at the ceremony were Thiru O. Paneerselvam, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu; Thiru K.A. Sengottaiyan, Hon’ble Minister for School Education, Tamil Nadu; Thiru S.P. Velumani, Hon’ble Minister for Municipal Administration and Water Supply and Sewage, Tamil Nadu; Thiru D.Jayakumar, Hon’ble Minister for Fisheries, Administrative and Personnel Reforms, Tamil Nadu; and Tmt Dr V. Soraja, Hon’ble Minister for Social Welfare, Tamil Nadu. The ceremony was presided by Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman, Akshaya Patra and Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice-Chairman, Akshaya Patra.
Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman, Akshaya Patra, said, “We are grateful to His Excellency the Governor for his support to this endeavour. We are also thankful to the Hon’ble CM and the Hon’ble Deputy CM for gracing the occasion and showing their support. A breakfast programme to complement the lunch programme is in the best interest of children. Considering that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, this initiative will play a crucial role in our campaign against classroom hunger. In addition to addressing hunger among school-going children, it will also aid in improving their concentration levels.”
Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice-Chairman, Akshaya Patra, said, “Tamil Nadu has been the pioneer of the school lunch programme in India. We are glad to become a part of the state’s important welfare initiative through this breakfast initiative in partnership with the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC). We are thankful to the Government of Tamil Nadu and the GCC for this opportunity.”
In partnership with the GCC, Akshaya Patra is currently feeding 5,090 children from 16 schools in the city through its kitchen in Thiruvanmiyur. The menu comprises of a variety of dishes, such as upma, idlis, poha, kichri, and pongal, served with sambar every school day.
The GCC has leased land for two kitchens – the one at Greams Road (near Mount Road) with the capacity to prepare meals for 12,000 children and another in Perambur Barracks (near Central Railway Station) with the capacity to feed 15,000 children, which will take the total feeding to over 30,000 children.
About The Akshaya Patra Foundation
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Bengaluru, India, which strives to address issues like hunger and malnutrition in the country. By implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in Government and Government-aided schools, Akshaya Patra aims to fight hunger and at the same time, bring children to school. Since 2000, Akshaya Patra has worked towards reaching out to children with wholesome food on every single school day. The Foundation is continuously leveraging technology to cater to millions of children. Its state-of-the-art kitchens have become a subject of study and attract curious visitors from around the world.
In partnership with the Government of India and various State Governments and the inestimable support of many philanthropic donors and well-wishers, Akshaya Patra has grown from humble beginnings serving just 1,500 school children across five schools to becoming the world’s largest (not-for-profit run) mid-day meal programme, serving wholesome food to over 1.8 million children from 16,856 schools across 12 states and two union territories in India.
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