INDIACSR News Network
LANJIGARH: “My daughter Chumki has hardly remained absent at the primary school at Lanjigarh since last 8-9 months. In fact, she is showing more interest to attend classes unlike earlier,” said Trilochan Gahir of Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district of Odisha. The father was initially unaware about the reason of a positive change that was taking place until Chumki told him one day that, “The taste and quality of the mid-day meal food in our school is so nice that I don’t skip school. The food is supplied to our school from the kitchen made by Vedanta at Lanjigarh”
Reiterating 7-year old Chumki’s version a Primary School teacher said, “The food is hygienic and of good taste. Children love to eat the mid-day meal at schools. The food from the centralised kitchen is being provided to the schools since 16th August 2012. We are thankful to Vedanta for this initiative.”
It is not only Basu, but as many as 5000 students of primary and upper primary schools of Lanjigarh Panchayat in Kalahandi district are provided hygienic and nutritious food cooked at the Centralised Kitchen of Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh. The company has collaborated with the Government of Odisha and Naandi Foundation to set up a hi-tech centralized mid-day meal kitchen in Lanjigarh.
Fresh, healthy and nourishing food cooked in this kitchen caters to students from 50 schools covering many villages viz. Jaganathpur, Basantpada, Biswanathpur, Lanjigarh, Balabhadrapur, Pokhribandh, Chhatrapur, Jodabandh, Niyamgiri Vedanta Nagar etc. The project aims at improving the hygiene and nutritional value as well as increasing enrolment along with the retention of children in schools.
Dr. Mukesh Kumar, President & COO, VAL said, “The centralized mid-day meal kitchen intends to provide quality food to the children of Lanjigarh area. This would facilitate the government run mid-day meal programme and benefit students studying in the remotest of schools.”
As part of the MoU, Vedanta Aluminium Limited, has set up the centralized kitchen, where food will be cooked and sent to schools. Naandi Foundation will be responsible for cooking and management of the kitchen and also for delivering the food at the doorstep of the schools. The district administration will provide ration and other necessary items as per the mid-day meal scheme of the Government of Odisha.
Apart from a one time investment of more than 1.5 crores for building and equipment, Vedanta incurs a revenue expenditure of around 40 lakhs rupees annually. Slowly, but surely a quiet revolution is taking place in Kalahandi.