UP CM lays foundation stone of Akshaya Patra kitchen at Lucknow

Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh recently conducted the shilanyas’ ceremony (foundation stone laying ceremony) at his residence, 5 Kalidas Marg, for the new Centralized kitchen of Akshaya Patra in Lucknow. The kitchen is expected to become operational by June 2014 and will feed 100000 children in Lucknow and its catchment areas. This development is an exemplary of a perfect Public-Private Partnership. The state has allotted land for the kitchen and will be paying for the meal as per the guidelines of the mid-day meal scheme. The function was well attended by several members of the UP Cabinet including the Minister of Basic Education, and all the senior bureaucrats and officials of the MDM scheme.

Speaking on the occasion, Akhilesh Yadav strongly emphasized that Akshaya Patra had been identified for this important initiative given that it has credibility and the ability to implement efficiently. Referring to his visit to Vrindavan in September 2012, he expressed that he had been very impressed by the operational efficiency which was evident in that kitchen. He announced that the state government would provide all support to Akshaya Patra to help it extend its services to other districts like Kannauj, Varanasi, Kanpur and Agra.

UP Chief Secretary, Jawed Usmani said that this initiative was a perfect example of a public private partnership (PPP) model being adopted by the state. He added,"You have the government allotting land for kitchen and paying for part of the meal, while the rest is raised by the private agency from corporate houses under their corporate social responsibility."

With the inclusion of this kitchen Akshaya Patra will be operating a total of 20 kitchens across 9 states of India. This will also take the Foundation one step closer to its mission of feeding 5 million children by 2020. Akshaya Patra expresses its wholehearted gratitude to the Government of Uttar Pradesh.

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