Two years ago, when i first learn about Akshayapatra , who were running an automated kitchen to feed almost 1 lakh kids every day, i had lot of questions in my mind as in What does an automated kitchen mean ? Is the food prepared by a machine or a human ? To feed 1 lakh kids on a daily basis, one needs to be fully organized with meticulous planning , i didn’t think this was possible.
But as i spent more time reading about it, talking to the people involved it, i was really impressed and also motivated to pitch in wherever or however i could. So i started with my daughter’s 3rd birthday.
I asked all my friends to donate money instead of giving presents to my daughter ( i shall apologize to my daughter when she is grown up ) . Thanks to all those donations, we raised about $1000 , enough to provide lunch for 75 kids ( spread across 2 government schools in Patancheru, Hyderabad ) for a whole year.
During my recent trip to India, I visited the automated kitchen in Patancheru , Hyderabad. I should admit it was a great learning experience. They were very meticulous , very organized , very prudent and most importantly very loyal to the cause. Some of the striking aspects of the kitchen and it’s operations are
- Akshayaptra works with the government and participates in the government sponsored Mid Day Meal Program.
- The government allocates Rs2 per kid per meal. Akshayapatra raises another Rs4 and makes it a Rs6 per kid per meal.
- The food is prepared as per the standards set by the government.
- Akshayapatra kitchens receive the rice grains from the government. It then hires local villagers to clean the rice.
- The preparations for food for any given day starts @ around 3:00am. The preparations includes cleaning the kitchen, the cooking vessels, then the vegetables, preparing the rice etc.
- The food is prepared by 6:30 and with in 30 – 45 minutes is loaded into the delivery trucks.
- The kitchen in hyderabad serves 30,000 students every single day.
Also sharing some of the pictures that i took during my trip : http://picasaweb.google.com/suresh.e/ATripToAkshayapatraPatancheruHyd