Akshaya Patra has received a funding of around Rs 200 crore from philanthropic arms of Infosys and Tata Group. Akshaya Patra is the NGO running the largest mid-day meal programme in schools. The received contribution would be used for expanding the reach of the programme along with improving the quality and execution of the same. Akshaya Patra plans on opening more kitchens and using latest equipments in order to make meals faster and cheaper,
Infosys foundation has pitched in Rs 127 crores by building 3 modern kitchens in Jodhpur and Hyderabad serving 50,000 and 1,00,000 meals respectively in a day. Another Rs 20 crore would be used for the corpus. Along with this, the operation cost of the kitchens in Mysuru, Jodhpur and Hyderabad will also be managed by Infosys. The Jamsetji Tata Trust would make a contribution of Rs 55 crore to help Akshaya Patra acquire latest technology equipments.
The Tatas will also cover hiring of qualified food safety inspectors for the 22 kitchens across India and 4 modern food labs at Ahemdaba, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar and Lucknow.
“When we made a presentation to Mr Ratan Tata, he agreed to support us to improve our internal food safety measures,” Chanchalapathi Dasa, vice-chairman at Akshaya Patra Foundation. The organization has roped in the Central Food Technological Research Laboratory in Mysuru for technology partnership.
Akshaya Patra is switching to closed-vessel cooking technology, a technique that preserves the food’s aroma. “We are importing the Tetra Pak technology from Sweden, and have placed orders for six machines, each of which can prepare 7,200 meals in 20 minutes,” Dasa said.
“Our Hyderabad kitchen is going to be an orbit shifting technology change for us.” The organization has asked Tetra Pak to start making the machines at its Pune plant as it does not want to continue with imports. The Infosys Foundation, Sudha Murty said, has been backing Akshaya Patra for a long time. “We have supported the mid-day meal programme wherever Infosys has its presence.”