Hyderabad: Amid the gloom, a whiff of fresh air.  Hyderabad’s Annapurna kitchen is feeding around one lakh people per day in the lockdown. How is this Mega kitchen functioning amidst the COVID-19 lockdown? No major hiccups, says the organisers. Even while the nation is under a lockdown, this kitchen has been able to feed around one lakh people a day.

Run by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation in collaboration with the Hare Krishna Movement Charitable Trust-Hyderabad, the Annapurna Central Kitchen tries to ensure nobody suffers from hunger during the lockdown. The high-tech, state-of-the-art, centralised mega kitchen , located at Kokapet, makes food to be distributed as mid-day meals, as well as food for dinner. Corporate companies like Infosys are also supporting the kitchen by providing funds, the organisers say.

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So how does the kitchen function, even amid the lockdown? “There is a dedicated team of around hundred workers. Each have a role to play, from bringing the commodities, to taking part in the cooking and distribution of food at the canteens. The organisers say, a separate advanced RO purifier plant has been built for this Kitchen. This  filters the  water, reducing wastage.

The workers in the kitchen begin their work in the wee hours of the day at 4-5 am at dawn. Right from the washing of the vegetables  to packing the food, the workers wind up by ten in the night, says the organisers. Every day, around 14,000 kg of rice, and 8000 kg of vegetables and other items go into preparing the food, that feeds several of the migrant labourers who have been stuck in Hyderabad, without labour and money to keep them going. The food is tested by a team  before it is delivered to the homeless in Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, the GHMC has begun 25 more centres, taking the total number of free Annapurna canteens to 175. These canteens, which previously gave 5-rupee-meals, is now giving food for free to people who are in need during the health crisis.

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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