Most of us living in Europe have a kitchen with modern equipment where we prepare daily meals for ourselves or our families. But just imagine preparing meals for 100 hungry children each day in a very basic kitchen!
This is the task faced by the wonderful cook and her assistant in Trinity Day Care centre, Kudunure in Telagana South India. As TREAD point out to us, however important it is to educate children, first you need to feed them. Photographs taken of children when they first join a TREAD project often show malnourished apathetic children. Over the years Friends of TREAD trustees have seen the difference that regular nutritional food can make to these children after just a few weeks.
So what is on the menu today? There is always rice – no self-respecting Indian would contemplate a meal without rice in this part of the world. When we westerners visit, we are astounded at the huge mounds of rice one small child can get through! The cooking pots are therefore enormous and cooking is normally done over a fire in the courtyard.
You can also see a pot with chopped potatoes which will be made into a potato curry – much enjoyed by the children and a favourite with us too! However our western palates wouldn’t be able to cope with the heat of these curries – once when visiting the kitchen we leant over a huge cauldron of bubbling red curry. Even the smell made our eyes water but if it wasn’t hot enough, the children would complain we were told!
And here come all the children with their plates newly washed from the tap outside. They form an orderly queue and are served by the cook and staff who ensure that everyone has a good portion and sometimes there are second helpings.
The food which has taken all morning to prepare disappears pretty quickly – thanks to the skill of the cook and her helper!