In a strategic development between the Government of Uttar Pradesh and The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh recently laid the foundation stone of the Akshaya Patra’s kitchen in Lucknow. Several members of the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet, senior bureaucrats, officials of the Mid Day Meal (MDM) Scheme including the Minister of Basic Education attended the function.
With the inclusion of this kitchen Akshaya Patra will be operating a total of 20 kitchens across 9 states in India. This kitchen is proposed to be a Centralized kitchen and is expected to become operational by June 2013. It will have the capacity to feed 100000 children in Lucknow and its nearby areas.
Apart from allotting the land for the kitchen the state will also bear the cost of the meals as per the guidelines of the Mid day Meal Scheme. Akhilesh Yadav at the occasion strongly emphasized that Akshaya Patra had been identified for this initiative due to the credibility and the ability to implement the Mid Day Meal Programme.
He also went on to say that he was very impressed by the operational efficiency he witnessed during his visit to the kitchen in Vrindavan in September 2012. He said that the state government would provide all support to the Foundation to help extend its services to other districts of Uttar Pradesh like Kannauj, Varanasi, Kanpur and Agra.
Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, Jawed Usmani 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." He further added that it is a perfect example of Public-Private Partnership.
This kitchen will bring Akshaya Patra a step closer to its mission of feeding 5 million children by 2020
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