TN Guv, CM lay foundation stone for centralised kitchen ���

Chennai, Feb 15 (PTI) The foundation stone for setting up a centralised kitchen under the 'Kaalai Unavu Thittam' (breakfast scheme), to serve the students of corporation schools, was laid here on Saturday.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Chief Minister K Palaniswami took part in the foundation stone laying ceremony for the kitchen to be set up by NGO Akshaya Patra Foundation, here.

'I am delighted to be here today for the Bhoomi Pooja of Centralised kitchen for Kaalai Unavu Thittam for school children,' Purohit said.

'On this day, we celebrate a momentous occasion that will help us, as the state takes a step further in the direction of fulfilling the nutritional requirements of our students,' he said.

Last month, Governor Banwarilal Purohit handed over a cheque of Rs two crore to the foundation to set up the kitchen.

The plan to set up the kitchen follows the 'Kaalai Unavu Thittam' - a breakfast programme run by the Foundation to distribute food for students of schools run by the Chennai Corporation, which was inaugurated by Purohit in Feburary 2019.

Purohit said after seeing the operations of Akshaya Patra Foundation in Nagpur, Guwahati and their track-record of almost 20 years, it was the best way to launch the breakfast programme by them.

'The success of this programme has convinced me to find and extend this scheme to more than 12,000 Corporation school students,' he said.

The Governor noted that the Foundation, which was feeding 1,500 children in Bengaluru in 2000, has grown to become the world's largest NGO run school meal programme.

'Akshaya Patra Foundation is providing breakfast to 18 lakh under-privileged children every day in 13 states. It is a commendable achievement indeed', he said.

The Raj Bhavan would continue to support various initiatives to support the education of under-privileged children of Tamil Nadu, he added.

Following the success of the breakfast programme, Greater Chennai Corporation permitted the Foundation to set up a centralised kitchen in the city.

The Foundation has estimated the project to cost Rs five crore.

As part of supporting the NGO, Raj Bhavan entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Foundation on January 25.