PM Modi serves food to students at Vrindavan, asks if he turned up late
While Rahul was elated when the Prime Minister asked which sport he loved to play, Satyendra, Neetu, Chanchal and Chandni were amused when Modi asked them if he was late in turning up to serve them food.Updated: Feb 12, 2019 08:21 IST
Aarti, 15, was delighted to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi serving mid-day meal to her and nearly two dozen other students at a special enclosure on the campus of the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir here on Monday. He even spoon-fed a few children and blessed them.
The occasion marked the three billionth meal of the Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-profit organisation funded by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The foundation has been serving mid-day meal to schoolchildren in 12 states for over 18 years.
He also unveiled a ceremonial plaque at the event to mark the serving of “3rd billionth meal” by Akshaya Patra Foundation.Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also joined him in serving food. BJP’s Mathura MP Hema Malini also joined the prime minister at the event.
The prime minister went to this enclosure after addressing the gathering and served food to schoolchildren.
“First thali through this NGO was served by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and “I feel fortunate to serve the third billionth thali today,” Modi said. From serving just 1,500 children in the beginning to over 17 lakh now, the NGO is helping in the growth of the country.
The meal that the PM served to the students on Monday included vegetables, dal, rice and gajar ka halwa (a dessert).
The students described their experience as ‘bahut achha’ (very good). The PM asked Annu, 14, in which class she studied and then he fed another student, Yogesh, with a spoon.
“Main apne doston ko bataunga’ (I will tell my friends about it),” Chetan, 12, a student of Purv Madhyamik Vidyalaya at Nagla Kiki near Vrindavan.
“He asked me if I know cooking. When I said yes, Modiji wanted to know how I got the time to study. I told him that I always found the time to study,” Aarti said.
While Rahul was elated when the Prime Minister asked which sport he loved to play, Satyendra, Neetu, Chanchal and Chandni were amused when Modi asked them if he was late in turning up to serve them food.
Governor Ram Naik, chief minister Yogi Adityanath, UP ministers Shrikant Sharma, Laxmi Narain Chaudhary and Anupama Jaiswal as well as Mathura MP Hema Malini were present on the occasion.
Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who is associated with the Akshaya Patra Foundation, said an advisory council discussed the mid-day meal menu.
Indeed, it was great to have the Prime Minister serving meals to students, he said.
Kapoor called upon the corporate sector to come forward to help such efforts to serve healthy food to children.
“The menu has been evolving. Only dal (pulses) and chawal (rice) was served initially. Once a chapatti-making machine became available, an addition was made to the menu. Then, it was decided to have sweets twice a week. Today was a special day, thus ‘gajar ka halwa’ was served,” said Kapoor.
Akshaya Patra Foundation chairman Madhu Pandit Dasa, vice-chairman Chanchalapathi Dasa and independent trustee Mohandas Pai welcomed the guests.
‘’Akshaya Patra rose from a humble beginning, serving just 1500 students in five schools (initially). Today, we are serving wholesome food to 1.76 million children across 12 states of India,” Madhu Pandit Dasa said.
(With inputs from PTI)
First Published: Feb 12, 2019 08:20 IST