Foundation today inaugurated a BioOrja plant (biowaste-to-energy solution) for the kitchen run by Akshaya Patra, an NGO-run school meal program, in Harinagar near Vadodara. This bio-waste management project aims to recycle kitchen waste to reduce and replace hydrocarbon usage to save energy.
The BioOrja plant has a capacity to recycle 1.5 tonnes of waste per day producing around 2,500 kg of LPG equivalent per month. This alternate energy source is considered to be a safe and environment friendly way of waste disposal, which will help prevent accumulation of waste thereby preserving nature. Alternately, the bio-CNG (compressed natural gas) can also be used for generating electricity.
Rathin Basu, Country President, Alstom India & South Asia, said, “Alstom Foundation has always been at the forefront in supporting projects that combine economic development, social progress and environmental protection. Particularly through this unique project, we at Alstom are happy to make a positive contribution to the less privileged sections of society and the community on a whole, while greatly reducing the carbon footprint by advocating the use of alternative sources of energy.”
The Akshaya Patra kitchen on an average, delivers 100,000 meals to children per day, representing 5 tonnes of waste every day. This kitchen reaches out to 1.3 lakh children daily in 1000 schools in Vadodara city and the surrounding rural areas.
Alstom Nationally, Akshaya Patra reaches out to over 1.3 million children in 22 locations across 9 states of India. What distinguishes Akshaya Patra from other mid-day meal programmes is the centralised kitchen approach, backed by technology driven process. Akshaya Patra kitchens, especially designed by engineers, leverage technology to maintain efficient processes, cook large amounts of food in a short period of time and thus keeping costs low and maintain the quality and consistency of food. The food is cooked in state-of-the-art kitchen facilities that have been designed and engineered from scratch by the Akshaya Patra management to optimise quality and minimise cost.
Mechanisation has minimised human handling of food to ensure high standards of hygiene and cleanliness. Steam heating has accelerated the cooking process, enabling the Foundation to prepare meals in large scale in less than five hours. Akshaya Patra also adheres to high standards of quality, particularly in newer kitchens that are designed to meet International Standard Organization (ISO) guidelines. Due to the uniqueness of Akshaya Patra’s model, its success in various parts of India, and in both rural and urban areas, and its ability to provide high quality nutrition at a low cost, the organisation’s operations are highly scalable, as is indicated by the rapid growth of the organisation.