for The Times of India on April 2, 2011
GURGAON: The education department has outsourced a contract to provide mid-day meals to primary government schools all over Gurgaon. An MOU has been signed between the Directorate of Elementary Education and ISKCON to provide meals to more than 90,000 students across the city.
A semi-automated kitchen will be set up to ensure that the food is cooked in a hygienic way and also to reduce the need for a large staff. The semi automated
kitchen would reduce our manpower needs but the people working in the kitchens currently would not loose their jobs.
They would be involved in other work like washing utensils and cutting vegetables etc. 30-35 vehicles are being donated by the corporate houses and MNCs which would be utilised in supplying food to the schools, said Dhananjay Krishna Das, director (North India), ISKCON Food Relief Foundation.
According to officials of the education department, they would be provided land or a building to set up this automated kitchen. We have provided them with a list of 16 dishes to be prepared for the students. An Assistant block resource coordinator has been in talks with ISKCON representatives.
The mid-day meal programme is expected to start next month after summer vacations end, said an official.
The education department has been running the mid day meal programme in all government schools for several years. As per the MOU, the
department would provide wheat and rice to the agency. They will be paid Rs 2.69 per child for students of class 1 to 5 and Rs 4.03 per child of class 6th to 8th students.
The mid-day meal programme is an initiative started by the government to ensure students from poor sections of society have a good reason to attend school. The programme would be started in a phased manner in different blocks of Gurgaon (Pataudi, Manesar, Gurgaon) starting with Gurgaon.
To learn more about ISKCON Midday Meal project visit: http://www.middaymeal.com/aboutproject.htm