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Akshaya Patra goes green with biomass smokeless stove

Akshaya Patra Foundation, the world’s largest NGO running the Mid-day Meal Programme, is leading the way in reducing carbon emissions with the Biomass Smokeless Stove in its kitchens. These stoves, which are eco-friendly and emit no smoke, have halved Akshaya Patra’s fuel expenditure.

Even as the Indian Government is stepping up efforts to reduce carbon emissions as a part of the India Green House Gas Program, Akshaya Patra has replaced its gas stoves with Oorja stoves, which use biomass pellets as fuel. The smokeless stove has a chamber for burning briquettes, a mini-fan powered by rechargeable batteries and controlled by a regulator, which blows air to fan the flames.

These stoves run on processed organic waste material like banana peel, groundnut shells, and waste wood pieces. The biomass pellets cost a fraction of LPG gas cylinders, make it more cost effective for an NGO like Akshaya Patra, who depend primarily on fund raising to run their programs.

These stoves can efficiently help in preparing meals for at least 1,000 people at a time. Collectively, all of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens feed an approximate of 1.3 million children across India.

“Our mid-day meal programs have helped in ensuring that the children attend school and continue their education. By using more energy efficient kitchens, we can save money and stretch our resources further to help reach more children. As an NGO, we depend heavily on fund raising and every penny makes a difference. Through the biomass smokeless stove, we also do our bit for the environment and the country by reducing emissions,”says Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman, And Executive Trustee.

India’s emissions grew 7.5 percent in 2011, compared to 9.4 percent in 2010. India set up the India Greenhouse Gas Program in July 2013, as a part of its initiatives to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. India is taking several other steps to help this initiative, and Akshaya Patra’s step sets an example for several others in the field to go the clean energy way.

About Akshaya Patra

Akshaya Patra beganin the year 2000, with the motto “No Child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.” The NGO, which started with a small kitchen in Karnataka, feeding 1,500 children, is currently present in over 20 locations across 9 states in India and feeds over 1.3 million children.

Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal programis currently active in the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, GujaratOrissaRajasthanTamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.