The Akshaya Patra Foundation, doling out lakhs of mid day meals to government schools across the country, has come under the scanner once again for refusing to add onion and garlic to the food. According to their website, Akshaya Patra is providing lunch to over 17.6 lakh school kids in 15,204 schools across 12 states in India.
However, recent reports have divided public opinion over whether or not the NGO was justified in refusing to cook with onion and garlic. Last December, Scroll.in reported that Akshaya Patra Foundation had refused to comply with a Karnataka government memorandum directing them to include onion and garlic in the meals, on the recommendation of the state food commission.
Most recently, an article by The Hindu, detailing that school children were not eating the food provided in school and choosing instead to go home and eat, has stirred the pot again. Twitter was abuzz with people rushing to the defence of the mid day meal scheme while others claimed the food could be made more nutritious.
Here are some of the reactions.
According to a blog post on Iskcon’s (International Society of Krishna Consciousness), devotee network cited by the same The Hindu report, onion and garlic are in the ‘lower modes of nature’ as ingredients and they have the potential to “adversely affect one’s consciousness.”
‘Propaganda About Akshaya Patra; Food is Hygienic and Nutritous’
Many people shared photos and links of the program.
Others believed that asking the NGO to serve food with onion and garlic would be contrary to the basic principles they follow.
‘Kids Need Palatable Food With Nutritional Values’
People commented on the fact that food habits were being imposed on growing children
Others believed that food should be tasty and if that meant adding onion and garlic, then it should be done, rather than the food go waste.
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