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Model of Practice in Akshya Patra Kitchen:
The aroma of hot steaming dal combined with freshly cooked mixed vegetables inside the Akshya Patra kitchen is an indication that food is ready for the young ones who study in the government aided schools, spread across the vicinity of Guwahati city.
The centralized kitchen of Akshaya Patra Foundation, Guwahati branch is located at Amingaon. It is a challenge for the employees everyday to pick up the best fresh seasonal vegetables, pulses and rice to meet the requirement of preparing a meal for nearly 40,000 students. These are then washed in hygienic conditions and subsequently cooked in huge stainless steel vessels. Instead of traditional pots, blackened chimneys and chaotic kitchens one finds huge steam generated boilers, system of hoses for sanitizing the kitchen with hot water, extremely organized kitchen facilities where each day tons of rice, dal and vegetables are cleaned, cooked and then packed in clean stainless steel containers to be transported in 22 vehicles to schools located far away.
The packing supervisor determines the amount of food that would be delivered to each school based on figures calculated the evening before. Each vehicle had a driver accompanied by two loading-unloading workers along with a security guard who ensure that the food reaches each school before 12 noon. The same vessels are collected and brought back to the central kitchen by late afternoon, washed and dried; ready to reuse for the next day. Wastage is kept at a minimum by taking feedback from each school, in the form of a written report, indicating the requirement of food for the next day. This report helps in planning the total cooking requirement for the next day. This cycle continues with modifications to the basic menu during the week.