Students in BMC schools may soon enjoy more delicious and nutritious midday meals. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation education committee has put forward its proposal to award a contract for serving mid-day meals exclusively to the ISKCON Food Relief Foundation (IFRF), taking into consideration the quality of the food they serve to some BMC schools at present.
According to the chairman of the education committee Vithal Kharatmol, the IFRF authorities approached them with the proposal to serve mid-day meals to as many schools as they can. The Midday Meal Scheme of the Government of India is being implemented by IFRF under the name Annamrita. The proposal was discussed in the standing committee meeting last week and is awaiting the approval of the government.
If the proposal is approved, the BMC education committee will find seven spots where ISKCON kitchens can be built, from where the midday meals can be served to students in schools.
Kharatmol said, “The ISKCON authorities came to meet us and we thought that their khichdi was superior in quality to the ones served by other contractors. Hence we decided to make seven kitchens in different places in the city for ISKCON, so that they can reach the BMC schools as early as possible to serve their meals. If this proposal is accepted, we would serve the same khichdi once to all the corporators and officials of BMC, so that they can understand why we chose this company to serve midday meals to all our schools.”
One of the BMC officials said, “ISKCON served better khichdi, which is tasty too. They maintain good hygiene and can also serve different items if given the contract. We saw their machines in Jaipur that make chapattis automatically. ISKCON is a good organisation, giving them the contract will also help BMC, as the students under it would get good food.”
H G Radha Krishna Das, managing programme director of the ISKCON Food Relief Foundation (IFRF), said, “We have met the BMC education department authorities recently. We have put some conditions forward to the BMC education department, if the proposal is accepted, we will implement the plan in a phased manner. We not only serve khichdi to the children but also daal rice and sambar.”
1 lakh: The number of students served midday meals by ISKCON
50,000: The number of students of the 1 lakh who study in BMC schools