God’s Own Kitchen by Rashmi Bansal

I had read two other books from Rashmi Bansal which i had liked. Based on my opinion about previous books, read this book too and i was not disappointed. Book is about “Akshaya Patra” program by ISCON temple. For all who have not heard about Akshaya Patra, it’s a program which sponsors meal in government schools and places near factories throughout India. It was started in Bangalore for 1000+ school children and has reached 1.5 million meals a day spread across India. Author has explained about the program from day 1 when it was started in year 2000 for about 1000+ children’s and how it could scale to 1.5 million meals per day till now. There will be social and financial problems for any organization and Akshaya Patra has also gone through this. Serving thousands of meals everyday with only money raised from charity is a challenge and Akshaya Patra has gone through financial crisis at times. In one such circumstance, instead of stopping the meal program, they have taken a brave effort to take loan and continue the program which is notable. After initial struggle, state governments recognized the effort of the organization and are contributing to the program by providing raw material/ingredients for meals which has reduced the cost per meal. With the money raised from charity and support from state governments, Akshaya Patra is able to continue serving meals day after day without a break.

Serving 1.5 million meals a day is a remarkable achievement. Surprisingly, each meal cost is 6 Rs/- only inclusive of transportation cost of taking the meal to schools and other locations. Most of the people working in ISCON are volunteers and do not take any salary for the job. This also contributes for low cost of meals. To sponsor a child meal for an entire year it cost’s around 1000 Rs/-. Government of Karnataka and Tamilnadu have started Amma Canteen and Indira Canteen which serve meals at low cost couple of years back. But Akshaya Patra is doing it from year 2000. This is something which all state governments can replicate to provide good food at low cost.

I am very much impressed with the program and it’s mission. I will be doing my part my contributing to Akshaya Patra. I urge others also to contribute for the program too with this writing. If you are convinced about the program, you can contribute to the mission of Akshaya Patra at click of a mouse @ https://www.akshayapatra.org/ .

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