We get fresh, hot food now
“In the schools where there is no Akshaya Patra”, says M. N. Yashoda, an educator with over 20 years of experience, “teachers face so many challenges trying to prepare school lunch for children, that they are sometimes frustrated and unable to manage.”
“Before Akshaya Patra started providing us with hot food, we teachers had to manage things like stock taking on a daily basis, maintaining records of consumption of rate each child etc. It took a toll on us,” she says. There were times when the cooks appointed to prepare meals would abscond from their duties, placing teachers in an even more difficult position. “It was tough trying to make sure that cooking took place. Preparing food for 160 children day after day is not easy,” she says, recalling the period before Akshaya Patra.
With a few teachers in the school who had to take up monitoring and supervising the cooking process, teaching duties were often affected. For teachers who occasionally have to manage two to three grades together, time is a precious commodity that they are unwilling to lose.
“We get fresh, hot food now. It has been such big help to us. We have more time on our hands.” The children in her school thoroughly enjoy the food, she says, adding “There are so many students here, going through so much. I cannot tell you the things they have to face: broken homes, poor financial conditions, lack of proper guidance from their parents. In spite of everything, they are struggling to come up in life. Anything you do for them is a blessing.”