By Radha Krishna Das
ISKCON Food Relief Foundation – Annamrita, an NGO affiliate of Food for Life Global that has been working tirelessly for nearly 13 years to fight classroom hunger and provide the underprivileged school children of India with wholesome nutritious meals has won the prestigious IMC Ramakrishna Bajaj National Quality award for the second year in a row.
Inspired by Srila Prabhupada – the Founder Acharya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness who was a true visionary and wanted to see a hunger-free world, the motto of Annamrita is to serve “Food as Pure as Nectar” to all. In partnership with the Government of India and various State Governments and inestimable support from many philanthropic donors, corporates and well-wishers; Annamrita has grown from humble beginnings to serving just 900 students in one school, to today serving 1.2 million meals every day of which over 100,000 meals are served in Mumbai itself and nearly 300,000 meals daily in Maharashtra. The work received recognition and commendation through several awards and citations. This decision was preceded by 4 rounds which needed to be cleared; application and interview, then documentation, submissions and finally NGO site visits to the Mira Road and Tardeo kitchens that were both audited by a panel. ISKCON Food Relief Foundation finally won the Certificate of Merit in the NGO category.
The Awards ceremony which was held at Y B Chavan Auditorium Mumbai on 16th March 2017 saw a gathering of eminent individuals from various sectors like FMCS, Transport, Finance, Healthcare and Social Work. The event was presided over by the esteemed panel consisting of Mr. Deepak Premnarayan – President IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Niraj Bajaj – Chairman, IMC RBNQ Award Trust, Mr. Suresh Lulla- Chairman IMC RBNQA as well as members of the Managing Committee of the IMC. The Chief Guest for the evening was Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, FRS – National Research Professor & President, Global Research Alliance. Dr. Anil Kakodkar – Chairman, Rajiv Gandhi Science & Technology Commission was honored with the IMC Juran Quality Medal 2016.
The selection for recognitions was done by a Panel of Judges meeting held today, 31st January 2017. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Abhay Bang (Director, SEARCH). Members of the Jury were Mr Brotin Banerjee (Managing Director & CEO, Tata Housing Development Company Ltd), Mr Anil Sardana (CEO & Managing Director, The Tata Power Company Ltd), Dr Ram Narain (Executive Director, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital & Medical Research Institute), Dr Gustad B Daver (Medical Director & Consultant, Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital & Medical Centre), Mr Chandrakant Salunkhe (Founder & President, SME Chamber of India), Mr Nitin Dossa (Executive Chairman, Western India Automobile Association), and Dr K B Kushal (Education Advisor, Reliance Foundation). Other winners in various categories for the evening consisted of names like Aditya Birla Financial Services, Marico Ltd, JSW Steel, Ultra Tech cement, Marathon Group, Castrol India, Essel Propack Reliance Industries to name a few.
These awards boost Annamrita’s resolve and commitment to quality with a focus on reaching out to more children especially in the nongovernment-aided sections with nutritious, healthy, wholesome meals. Being the largest Mid Day meal provider in Maharashtra has put a responsibility on Annamrita’s shoulders to consistently deliver on quality without a compromise on quantity. Their new kitchen at Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Medical College and Dr. R. N. Cooper Municipal General Hospital serves nearly 1800 needy patients in Dr. R. N. Cooper Municipal General Hospital and patients in GTB Hospital at Sewri. The project has received recognition from Additional Municipal Commissioner, Shri Sanjay Deshmukh as well as Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis who inaugurated the kitchen amongst many others.
To learn more about the Annamrita project visit www.annamrita.org