School children eating lunch as part of Akshaya Patra's midday meal program
“No child should leave school hungry”. This is the very philosophy that drives India’s largest midday meal programme for children. Welcome to the mega kitchen of Akshaya Patra in Hubli, Karnataka that works to feed hygienic and free meals to more than a lakh schoolchildren across 10 states in the country.
NatGeo’s India’s Megakitchens, has given the viewers the scale of effort and enthusiasm that goes behind running the country’s biggest kitchens. From Shirdi’s Shri Sai Prasadalaya to Karnataka’s Dharmasthala Manjunath temple and Akshaya Patra in Hubli, everyone is driven by a common purpose of serving people equally nutritious and delicious meals. And, that we think is incredible.
Akshaya Patra’s kitchen in Hubli has the capacity to cook 1,75,000 midday meals putting the spotlight on the need to feed hungry and malnourished children, and also encourage them to go to school.
In a country where a child is typically fed by the mother on her lap, let’s admit this challenge is huge. It is therefore heartening to watch them eat their meal away from home. The noble minds behind this mega kitchen maintain that their mission is to make a better tomorrow.
The television series that premiered on Monday on the National Geographic channel was formulated to showcase some of the country’s most recognisable mega kitchens. It goes without saying the technology they employ is far superior to a normal household kitchen.
Sri Sai Prasadalaya in Shirdi can feed up to 80,000 people, and all this is cooked with solar power. And at Annapoorna, the mega kitchen of Dharmasthala Manjunath temple, the number of devotees during lunch time can go upto more than a lakh! Such is the commitment of the people behind the functioning of India’s mega kitchens.
Watch India’s Megakitchens on Natgeo, Monday to Thursday, at 10 PM.