There are 25 million kids that go to bed hungry every day in India.
Desh Deshpande the very successful serial entrepreneur brought all of his innovative thinking and business skills to start Akshaya Patra and then roped in some heavy weights like Naryan Murthy etc. The supply chain and logistics aspect of this charity has been attracting international attention. Due to cost optimzation at every level each meal cost is around Rs 4 to 5 if I remember correctly. They now have operations in 12 states and in addition to mega kitchen have also started the concept of micro kitchen for hard to reach far off remote villages. They have also stuck a deal with govt of india to take over some of the mid day meals program that were run very poorly and are funded 50% by the Government. They are currently feeding over a million kids every day and goal is to reach 5 million kids.
Last year both Desh Deshpande and Narayan Murty made two or three fund raising stops including Houston where I live and people were so taken in by the worthy cause that close to million dollars were raised in one evening. The highlight of the evening for me and my wife was a 10 min personal conversation with Narayan Murty when he stopped by our table.
I have commited to donating every year to this worthy charity and have resolved to visit one of the kitchens in Jaipur Rajashtan on my next visit to India.
A great project indeed!
The kitchen from the outside - a three-storey building which uses Gravity Flow Mechanism developed in-house by our team. Each kitchen has the capacity to cook between 50 000 to 100 000 mid-day meals per day. Costing approximately 9 crores to set up, they are built with funds from public donations.
The kitchen from the inside, consisting of rice cauldrons each of which cooks up to 110kg of rice in 20 minutes. Sambar cauldrons cook up to 1200 litres of sambar in two hours.
It is washed thoroughly on the 2nd floor
Washed rice is sent down the chute to the 1st floor
Rice pours down into steam heated cauldrons for cooking. The entire cooking process takes place on the 1st floor
Super heated steam is used to cook food instead of flame.
When cooking is finished, it is loaded into trolleys
Cooked rice is sent down the chute to the ground floor
It flows down the pipe into containers
Piping hot rice on its way to being loaded into food vans. Around 6000 kilos of rice are cooked daily in each kitchen.
Food materials in Kitchen
Stock in the kitchen
Washed dal and vegetables flows down the chute into sambar cauldron on the 1st floor.
Vegetables and dal ready to be cooked
Sambar being cooked on the first floor
Cooked sambar is packed and sent to the food vans to be loaded.
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