Infosys Foundation and Tata Group donate to Akshaya Patra
The philanthropic wings of Infosys and the Tata Group are together donating over Rs. 200 crore to The Akshaya Patra Foundation. This generous donation will be used to expand Akshaya Patra's reach across India, and equip the kitchens with the latest cooking technology to produce quality food faster, and with less expense.
The Infosys Foundation (the philanthropic arm of Infosys) will contribute Rs. 127 crore to Akshaya Patra to help the Foundation build and operate three modern kitchens, along with an additional Rs. 20 crore for the corpus. To help the Foundation procure the latest technology and continue to improve in the area of food safety, the Jamsetji Tata Trust (the philanthropic arm of the Tata Group) will make a donation of Rs. 55 crore.
The grant received from Infosys will be utilised to construct a kitchen at Jodhpur, capable of feeding 50,000 children a day, and one at Hyderabad to feed 100,000 children a day. In addition to this the Infosys Foundation will cover the costs of operations in the Jodhpur, Hyderabad and Mysore kitchens, as well as the costs of the meals and drinking water for 1.5 lakh children in Rajasthan.
The Infosys grant has also enabled Akshaya Patra to adopt the closed-vessel cooking technology to help retain the aroma of the food during cooking. Speaking on this Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice Chairman of Akshaya Patra said, "We are importing the Tetra Pak technology from Sweden, and have placed orders for six machines, each of which can prepare 7,200 meals in 20 minutes."
Sudha Murty, head of the Infosys Foundation said, "We have supported the mid-day meal programme wherever Infosys has its presence. That explains why we want to do more in Rajasthan, where food and water are a big issue. We believe it is our moral duty to pay back to the society especially in places where we have a presence."
The Tata Trust will cover the costs of hiring qualified food safety inspectors to be employed across the 23 kitchens in India, as well as the upcoming food labs in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar and Lucknow. The food labs will be used to undertake chemical analysis and other tests to make sure that the food cooked meets with the required standards of quality. The Foundation has formed a technology partnership with the Central Food Technological Research Laboratory in Mysore.
The food lab in Ahmedabad is estimated to be ready in February 2015, Lucknow's in May, while the one at Bangalore will be ready in 2016, and Bhubaneswar in 2017.