Vrindavan: Elaborate preparations are underway in Vrindavan for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's programme here on Monday during which he will serve food to underprivileged schoolchildren and address a huge gathering.
He will also unveil a ceremonial plaque to mark the serving of "3rdbillionth meal" by Akshaya Patra Foundation at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir campus in this holy city.
"The prime minister will serve food to about 20 schoolchildren from underprivileged background in the campus, marking the three billionth meal offered by Akshaya Patra,"Naveena Neerada Dasa, the head of strategic communications in ISKCON, said.
Funded by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Akshsya Patra is a Bengaluru-based not-for-profit organisation that works with the government on mid-day meal schemes.
Akshaya Patra has a state-of-the-art kitchen in Vrindavan and Modi will serve food to children near the facility.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar, BJP's Mathura MP Hema Malini will also join the prime minister at the event. "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," Dasa told PTI. The prime minister and the UP chief minister will address the gathering, he said. Modi will also pay floral tribute at the Vigraha of Srila Prabhupad, the Acharya of ISCKON, the Union government said.
This would be PM Modi's "first visit to the Chadrodaya Mandir campus" and elaborate arrangements have been made for it, Dasa said.
Police and security personnel are keeping a tight vigil in the town in view of his visit, and the venue and the main stage have been decked up.
Twelve LED screens have been put up for the audience and 70 mobile toilets and four VIP washrooms have been arranged for the event, organisers said. "The programme would be streamed live on the Web across all 42 centres of Akshaya Patra in the country.
"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," he said. A silver 'patra' (container), as symbolised in our logo, will be gifted to the prime minister, Dasa said. The event will commemrate the NGO's serving of cumulative three billion meals since its inception in 2000.
The NGO's state-of-the-art kitchens have become a subject of study and have attracted curious visitors from around the world. "Today, Akshaya Patra is the world's largest (not-for-profit run) mid-day meal programme serving wholesome food every school day to over 1.76 million children from 14,702 schools across 12 states in India," according to its website.
A few ministers of the Uttar Pradesh government, including Anupma Jaiswal, minister of state (independent charge) for basic education, child development and nutrition; local MLAs and Mukesh Arya Bandhu, Mayor - Mathura-Vrindavan Nagar Nigam, are also expected to be present on the occasion, the official said.