New Delhi: After inaugurating the Petrotech Expo Mart 2019 in Greater Noida on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Vrindavan to commemorate Akshaya Patra Foundation’s third billionth meal.

Funded by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Akshaya Patra is a Bengaluru-based not-for-profit organisation that works with the government on mid-day meal schemes.  The prime minister served food to about 20 schoolchildren from underprivileged background in the campus, marking the three billionth meal offered by Akshaya Patra.

Speaking to the media about the programme at Vrindavan, Naveena Neerada Dasa, the head of strategic communications in ISKCON, said, “Arrangements have been made for over 10,500 people, including parents, teachers of schoolchildren, our donors and other well-wishers of the foundation, and enclosures have been made for them.”

Addressing the gathering in Vrindavan, Prime Minister started his speech by, “Just like a building needs a strong foundation, a healthy childhood is essential for a new, strong India… Our government is ensuring that with nutrients, good quality food meets children.”

Speaking of his government’s efforts for the welfare of underprivileged children, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “The central government has attempted to build a strong security cordon around children. There are three aspects in this- safety-catering, vaccination and hygiene. We carried out Rainbow, the vaccination campaign no less than a mission.”

Elaborating on Mission Rainbow, PM Modi added, “Under Rainbow mission, we have vaccinated nearly three crore 40 lakh children and about 90 million pregnant women nationwide.”

About hygiene issues, he added, “This time the Kumbh Mela aimed at delivering a message of sanitation in the country. Usually, the Naga Aghoris in Kumbh is discussed, but for the first time The New York Times reported Kumbh hygiene.”

The prime minister will also pay floral tribute at the the Vigraha of Srila Prabhupad, the Acharya of ISCKON.

ABOUT THE EVENT

Twelve LED screens have been put up for the audience and 70 mobile toilets, four VIP washrooms have been arranged for the event, organisers said.

“In Gujarat, where we are a partner for the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, all government schools will be hosting the streaming. So, people will join on the ground and online for the big event,” Dasa said.

A silver ‘patra’ (container), as symbolised in our logo, will also be gifted to the prime minister, Dasa said.