Mangaluru, Dec 21: The Akshaya Patra Foundation in association with GT Foundation and Diya Systems Pvt. Ltd announced the foundation stone laying ceremonyto build a mega kitchen in Mangaluru. This kitchen will serve mid-day meals to over 50,000 children from the year 2019.
A ‘Bhoomi Puja’ was held on Friday 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, in the city.
Among the eminent dignitaries present at the event were Shri Shri Vidyadheesha Threertha Swamiji - SrimadJagadguru Madwacharya Mahasamsthanam, Sri Palimaru Matha Udupi, Shri ShriIshapriya TheerthaSwamiji – Junior Seer of Shri AdamaruMatha, Udupi, Rev. Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza - Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese, Bishop’s House, Kodialbail, Mangaluru, Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa - Vice-Chairman, The AkshayaPatra Foundation, Mr ShridharVenkat – CEO, The AkshayaPatra Foundation.
The event was also graced by prominent personalities namely ShriRamanath 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 VinayaHegde - Chancellor of NITTE Deemed University, Mangaluru, Yenepoya Abdulla Kunhi - Hon. Chancellor, Yenepoya University, Mangaluru, Smt MeenakshiShantigodu - 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. MohiuddinBava- MLA, Mangaluru North Constituency, Shri Vinay Kumar Sorake- Ex. Minister for Urban Development, GoK, Shri KChandrahasaKarkera – President, Taluk Panchayat, BantawalaTaluk, D.K. Smt Kavitha Sanil - Mayor, Mangaluru, ShriSasikanthSenthil 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 AkshayaPatra 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 AkshayaPatra 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, AkshayaPatra 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 programmeby 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.”
Akshaya Patra’s new kitchen to serve mid-day meals to over 50K govt school kids in DK