Akshaya Patra - Contributions towards a sustainable Mid-day Meal program for rural schools in Guwahati
The presentation of various design solutions by the groups and the subsequent extensive discussions were held in the presence of representatives from the Akshayapatra Foundation, Guwahati. The seven groups presented their design brief supported by mock-up models and computer generated models to substantiate their ideas. Their ideas were highly appreciated by the Akshayapatra management team as well as the Professors and mentors from IIT Guwahati.
A detailed study was carried out which include involving aspects of the following stages of running the kitchen.
• Planning of the schedule,
• Procurement of materials in the form of food grains from FCI,
• Procurement of vegetables from the local farmers,
• Cleaning of food grains,
• Cooking of rice, dal and vegetables (sabzi),
• Packaging of ready food in stainless steel vessels,
• Transportation of food in insulated vehicles to the schools,
• Other related issues like material handling, housekeeping, administrative jobs and
maintaining accounts etc,
• Returning of vessels from schools to the central kitchen,
• Washing of vessels,
• Preparation of schedule for the next day’s requirement.
The students studied the complete system from visiting the kitchen and accompanying vehicles to the schools in order to understand the operations of the whole system and being able to identify scope for design intervention.
The students identified a number of areas for their design which included stacking space for the vessels, problems encountered while packaging, loading and unloading of the food, transportation, adopting energy efficient practices, cleaning and handling of vessels. Some of the solutions were feasible to be taken ahead and developed further to be adopted by the Akshayapatra management. Giving a name for the group formed a part of the creative exercise.