Over 57,000 school students in and around Rourkela would be benefitted by a unique project launched by SAIL, Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) at an investment of about Rs 8.24 crore for to provide healthy and nutritious mid-day meal.
Project Akshaya Patra, a novel CSR initiative covering 431 schools, was dedicated to people of the region by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday in presence of SAIL Chairman C S Verma, RSP's CEO G S Prasad and a host of dignitaries, a senior RSP oficial said.
He said SAIL, RSP is implementing the project as a part of its CSR initiatives in association with Odisha government and Akshaya Patra Foundation.
"The first of its kind in Odisha with state-of-the art facilities and the largest such set up in SAIL, this project has given a new dimension to the CSR activities of this region," said another steel plant official.
As a part of the unique project SAIL, RSP has set up a modern centralised kitchen at Sector-7.
This includes boilers, a rice cleaning machine, a cold storage, tailor made utensils, conveyor belts and packing and cleaning facilities. Besides, 20 customized vehicles have been provided to transport the cooked food to 431 schools located in Lathikata and Bisra blocks as well as Rourkela Municipality area.
The Steel Plant has made a capital investment of Rs 8.24 crore for setting up of the entire facility. It will also provide about Rs 2.6 crores per annum towards the operational support, he said adding the remaining portion of operational expenditure will be borne by Odisha government and Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO.
The project envisages preparation of fully vegetarian meals in a completely hygienic environment keeping in mind the nutritional requirement of the children.
The fresh food will then be transported to the schools in the customised vehicles having facility to keep the food warm. The food will be supplied on all school days.