The Akshaya Patra Foundation in association with GT Foundation & Diya Systems Pvt.Ltd announced the foundation stone laying ceremony to build a mega kitchen in Mangaluru. This kitchen will serve mid-day meals to over 50,000 children from the year 2019. The announcement was made during a press conference on 21 December, 2017, chaired by Shri Karunya Sagar Dasa – President, Mangaluru, Mrs Vandana Tilak – CEO - USA, Mr Sundeep Talwar – CMO, The Akshaya Patra Foundation and Shri Dr V Ravichandran – CEO Diya Systems, Mangalore Pvt. Ltd.
A ‘Bhoomi Puja’ was held on 22 December, 2017 along with the lighting of the lamp ceremony to usher an auspicious start to the undertaking. The ceremony was organised by The Akshaya Patra Foundation at the new kitchen premises in Kodman village, Benjanapadavu (behind Canara Engineering College).
Among the eminent dignitaries present at the event were Shri Shri Vidyadheesha Threertha Swamiji - Srimad Jagadguru Madwacharya Mahasamsthanam, Sri Palimaru Matha Udupi, Shri Shri Ishapriya Theertha Swamiji – Junior Seer of Shri Adamaru Matha, Udupi, Rev. Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza - Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese, Bishop’s House, Kodialbail, Mangaluru, Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa - Vice-Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Mr Shridhar Venkat – CEO, The Akshaya Patra Foundation.
The event was also graced by prominent personalities namely Shri Ramanath Rai - Hon. Minister for Environment and Forests and Hon. District In-charge Minister, Government of Karnataka, Shri. Nalin Kumar Kateel - Hon. MP, DK Constituency, Government of Karnataka, Shri U. T. Khader - Hon. Minister for Food and Public Distribution, Government of Karnataka, Shri H. Kumar - Managing Director, MRPL, Mangaluru, Dr N Vinaya Hegde - Chancellor of NITTE Deemed University, Mangaluru, Shri Yenepoya Abdulla Kunhi - Hon. Chancellor, Yenepoya University, Mangaluru, Smt Meenakshi Shantigodu - President, Zilla Panchayat, Capt. Ganesh Karnik- MLC and Opposition Chief Whip,Karnataka Legislative Council, Shri J. R. Lobo - MLA, Mangaluru South Constituency, Shri B.A. Mohiuddin Bava - MLA, Mangaluru North Constituency, Shri Vinay Kumar Sorake- Ex. Minister for Urban Development, GoK, Shri K Chandrahasa Karkera – President, Taluk Panchayat, Bantawala Taluk, D.K. Smt Kavitha Sanil - Mayor, Mangaluru, Shri Sasikanth Senthil S - IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Mangaluru, Shri Ganesh Suvarna - Taluk Panchayat Member – Thumbe Grama, Shri Ravindra Kambli – Zilla Panchayat Member – Pudu Kshetra, Shri Sathish Naiga Kodman Kodi – President - Mera Majalu Grama Panchayat.
The dignitaries present expressed their happiness for being a part of an initiative which is addressing the National issue to eradicate the classroom hunger in India. They congratulated The Akshaya Patra Foundation for successfully completing 17 years of implementing the school lunch programme and also appreciated GT Foundation, Diya Systems Pvt. Ltd. for partnering with the foundation to boost and promote education with delicious, healthy meals across government schools in Dakshina Kannada district.
Speaking at the ceremony Shri Dr V Ravichandran expressed “My dream of building an automated kitchen facility to nourish 50,000 underprivileged school children from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi region on a daily basis through Akshaya Patra Foundation has finally turned into a reality almost after 5 years. I cannot express in words how happy my family and I are and we thank God almighty for his blessings upon us. We dedicate ourselves with passion, commitment, determination and perseverance to complete this project and nurture 50,000 school children and become instrumental in eradicating malnutrition and provide an opportunity for the children to continue their education and make them greater citizens and leaders of tomorrow. “
At the occasion, Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa - Vice-Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, while expressing his gratitude to GT Foundation and Diya Systems Pvt.Ltd, said, “We are empowered by community participation and this is a remarkable example of what we can do when we all join hands for a common cause. It has always been our endeavour to reach more children while ensuring sustainability for our kitchens. Food security is one of the major concerns of our country and I am glad we are able to come together to address this persistent impediment. It is important that we, as conscious individuals do whatever is necessary for the children, the community and our society.”
Shri Karunya Sagar Dasa, President, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Mangaluru, said, “We are immensely grateful to GT Foundation and Diya Systems Pvt.Ltd for supporting us and joining us in furthering the cause of serving children with nutritious school meals. Currently, Akshaya Patra is serving 14,000 children in 135 schools in Mangaluru and with this partnership we will be able to reach out to 50,000 school children. We are thankful for empowering us to reach out to more children. We are also extremely thankful for the Centre and Government of Karnataka for extending a great support in this meal programme by being our major stake holders. As we know, hunger and malnutrition are two critical concerns of the nation which have to be addressed before it affects our children; the proposed kitchen set up is our humble attempt to make sure children get the necessary nutrition as well as a good education.”
The upcoming mega kitchen will be set up with adherence to all good manufacturing practices, use of technology and innovation.
For more information, visit: https://www.akshayapatra.org/