Prime Minister Narendra Modi will serve food to schoolchildren from underprivileged background in Vrindavan on Monday, marking the "three billionth meal" offered by an NGO that works with the government on mid-day meal schemes.
Akshaya Patra, which is a Bengaluru-based not-for-profit organisation, said that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar are also likely to join the prime minister at the event to be held at its Vrindavan campus.
"Prime Minister Modi will serve food to a few school children underprivileged from background in the facility at Vrindavan where Akshaya Patra's kitchen is located. A couple of children, who have been beneficiaries of the programme, will also share their experiences," a spokesperson of the foundation told PTI.
The event will commemorate the NGO's serving of cumulative three billion meals since its inception in 2000.
BJP's Mathura MP Hema Malini, ministers of the Uttar Pradesh government, including Anupma Jaiswal, minister of state (independent charge) for basic education, child development and nutrition, local MLAs and Mukesh Arya Bandhu, Mayor - Mathura-Vrindavan Nagar Nigam, are also expected to be present on the occasion, the official said.
In 2012, Akshaya Patra reached its first major milestone of serving one billion cumulative meals since the inception of the programme in 2000, the NGO claimed.
"By 2016, the organisation had already served cumulative two billion meals. This milestone was commemorated in the presence of Pranab Mukherjee, the then President, on August 27 that year in Bengaluru," the foundation said.
As the implementing partner of the Mid-Day Meal Programme, Akshaya Patra has received the support and encouragement of the Ministry of Human Resource Development and various state governments all along its journey.
"It strives to address classroom hunger and bring children to school by implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in government and government-aided schools. Since the year 2000, Akshaya Patra has worked towards reaching more children with wholesome food on every single school day," the spokesperson said.
The NGO's state-of-the-art kitchens have become a subject of study and have attracted curious visitors from around the world.
"Our partnership with the Centre and various state governments, along with the persistent support from the corporate sector, individual donors, and well-wishers have helped us to grow from serving just 1,500 children in five schools in 2000 to serving 1.7 million children," the foundation said.
"Today, Akshaya Patra is the world's largest (not-for-profit run) mid-day meal programme serving wholesome food every school day to over 1.76 million children from 14,702 schools across 12 states in India," according to its website.
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