Ramgarh: Hazaribag MP and chairman of parliamentary standing committee on finance, Jayant Sinha, on Sunday laid the foundation of a centralised mega kitchen at Keitha village along NH-33 in Ramgarh for serving hygienic food to 50,000 government school students. The kitchen will be set up by non-profit Akshay Patra Foundation with financial help of Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), a subsidiary of government owned Coal India Limited.
A tripartite Memorandum of understanding was signed between CCL, district administration and Akshay Patra Foundation for the project. The construction is projected to get completed in two years. CCL has granted Rs 22 crore for the project, of which Rs 7 crore is operational cost for three years and the remaining for construction
Akshay Patra Foundation is already serving midday meals to 21 lakh government school children through its 67 centralised kitchens in 12 states.
Sinha said that the mega kitchen will be spread on over 2.5 acres which will be provided by the state government. “The centralised mega kitchen is aimed at increasing attendance and curb dropouts in backward areas and provide fresh and hygienic midday meals to fight malnutrition among underprivileged children,” he said. Regional president of Akshay Patra Foundation, Vyomapada Dada, said, “Our organisation has been serving midday meal to nearly 21 lakh government school children through 67 centralised kitchens in the country.”
“Midday meal prepared in our centralised kitchen for each student costs Rs 13. Government provides just Rs 6 and 100 grams of food grain. The gap of Rs 7 comes from donors,” Dada said, adding that of the 12 crore children enrolled in government schools in India, they are providing middays meal to 21 lakh children.
Balakrishna, general manager (welfare) at CCL headquarters, said, “We have sanctioned Rs 22 crore under corporate social responsibility for the centralised kitchen.”

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