The Akshaya Patra Baran kitchen is the NGO’s first decentralised kitchen unit. It was started way back in 2005 after a survey of the district revealed presence of considerably large number of malnourished children. These children also had to forgo education as they belonged to low income nomadic tribal families who were in a constant move from one place to another in search of employment. This critical situation of the district indeed demanded for a provision of nutritious meal for children.
Looking into the terrain of the region and improper road connectivity it was impossible to construct centralised kitchen unit and that led Akshaya Patra to initiate the decentralised model. Thus, set forth the beginning of Akshaya Patra Baran kitchen. With the support from local Village Head, Akshaya Patra hired and trained women of Self-Help Groups to cook nutritious meals by following standard hygiene and cleanliness practices. This initiative not only benefitted the children of the area but also proved to be beneficial in terms of permanent employment for the women folk. This also relieved them from living a nomadic life.
The NGO blog reveals that currently there are 215 women employees in the Akshaya Patra Bran kitchen and they provide mid-day meal to 9,855 children of 101 schools in the region. They also support nutritional requirement of 1,695 infants across 48 Anganwadi centres. Read more on Akshaya Patra Baran kitchen in the NGO blog Celebrating 10 Years at the Baran Kitchen!