News Update/Press Release
Mid-Day Meals for Improving the Nutritional Status of Children
18 August 2021, Mumbai: The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s 58th kitchen, sponsored by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), was inaugurated by Shri R. Madhavan, the Chairman and Managing Director of HAL, in Jalahalli in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The new kitchen is sponsored by HAL as a part of its CSR project. Through this kitchen, Akshaya Patra will reach out mid-day meals to 7,500 children every day.
The Chief Guest for the event was Shri R. Madhavan – Chairman and Managing Director, HAL and it was presided by Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa – Vice Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation.
The Guests of Honour were:
- Shri C.B. Ananthakrishnan – Director (Finance), HAL
- Shri Alok Verma – Director (HR), HAL and
- Shri M.S. Velpari, Director (Operations), HAL
Other dignitaries in attendance were Shri Shridhar Venkat – CEO, Akshaya Patra, and Shri Sundeep Talwar – CMO, Akshaya Patra.
The dignitaries present at the inauguration expressed their support and encouragement for this initiative to serve the children. They were unanimous in commending Akshaya Patra and HAL for their collaborative efforts. The launch event was followed by a ceremonial serving of lunch and distribution of Happiness Kits to MDM beneficiaries.
“Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of HAL. HAL has been taking CSR initiatives as a ‘call from within’ even before it was officially mandated. The CSR activities of HAL are tuned towards improving the quality of life of the socially & economically backwards groups and marginalized & weaker sections of the Society, in the vicinity of its operational areas. HAL has always been striving to meet the needs of the people through its various community development activities.
Contributing towards establishment of the Guniagrahara Kitchen of the Akshaya Patra Foundation, is yet another step taken by HAL in giving back to the Society. The above Kitchen, designed to serve nutritious food to the School going children, will not only eradicate hunger but will also go a long way in ensuring students’ attendance. With this, I extend my heartiest compliments to the teams from the Akshaya Patra Foundation and HAL, instrumental in establishing the Kitchen and wish all the very best for its future operations”, said Shri R. Madhavan, the Chairman and Managing Director of HAL.
Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa – Vice Chairman, Akshaya Patra, said, “We are immensely grateful to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for partnering with us to start this kitchen which will help us serve more than 7,500 children in Bengaluru. I extend my sincere thanks to Shri R. Madhavan and his team for their valuable support in our endeavour. It is our firm belief that such partnerships are crucial for the sustainability that is integral to any endeavour that seeks to create social impact. I am glad that HAL shares this belief with us. This is the belief that has helped us touch the lives of millions of children in the country. We will continue to offer our humble services and assistance in implementing welfare programmes to support children and communities.” He reiterated the Foundation’s commitment to reach out to more children with tasty, hygienic, and nutritious food, and also thanked the Ministry of Education (formerly the Ministry of Human Resource Development – MHRD), Government of India, and the Government of Karnataka for their continued support to the programme.
Akshaya Patra currently feeds nearly 4 lakh beneficiaries in Karnataka through its three kitchens in Bengaluru and one kitchen each in Ballari, Hubballi, Mangaluru and Mysuru. The Jalahalli kitchen will be the Foundation’s seventh kitchen in the state and the fourth kitchen in Bengaluru. It is equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure with the capacity to cook over 7,500 meals every day with due adherence to international standards of food safety and hygiene.
The new kitchen is a first-of-its-kind to cook bulk meals powered by LPG. It has the capacity to cook 7,500 meals in two hours. Cooking is done in customised gas-operated rectangular brat pans/cauldrons, one of the innovations from Akshaya Patra’s R&D to cater to the bulk operations. It houses all the elements of a large centralised kitchen, including the Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP), RO Plant, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), steam sterilisation for vessels and lids, etc. Solar is harnessed and synchroanised to heat pumps to pre-heat water to the required temperature thereby reducing the cooking cycle time. Through this kitchen, mid-day meals will be delivered to schools in the vicinity of 5-6 km.