People’s awareness about Ekal Movement in Southern California
- Sri Amit Patel & Ms. Bonna Chaudhari got married on May 10, 2008 and they asked their guests to donate to Ekal Vidyalaya instead of bringing them the wedding gift. In the past years Sri Anuj & Priya Bhatia and before that Ms. Mamta Kene had done the same.
- Dr. Nidhi Agrawal & Dr. Sheetal Shah got married on July 5, 2008 and they have donated money for the support of one Ekal School for two years instead giving Party Favors for their guests.
- Others who lost their loved ones have also instructed their guests to donate to Ekal Vidyalaya instead of bringing flowers.
- Two young college girls Ms. Amenda Varanasi & Ms. Ketki Wardukar have donated money for support of one Ekal School each in 2007 & 2008 from their scholar ship fund and working during the summer time.
- Last year ten year old Sri Vasant Iyer donated all of his $1000 he won from Spelling Bee competition
- This year high school Student Sri Arin Ghosh has collected $675 from his school for Ekal. When asked what motivated him and what was his method of Raising Fund Arin’s response in his own words.
I was motivated after first hand observing the effects of poverty. In this phase of poverty I felt as if the basics, food and shelter, were being provided, all be it to the minimum but still provided. Then I realized that education had to be the next step to help the people burst out of their deciles. So I searched around for charities here and there and finally one day I was told about Ekal and soon I went to an Fund Raising event in 2007 where I learned more and more about it. Soon I fell in love with Ekal and I wanted to help their programs. One other thing that really attracted me was that the school would be self sufficient in around 5 years time. This was ideal because a) other charities just keep taking money etc, and b) that is really the way to do it because in the end the community should be supporting the school, not Someone else.
The method for our raising the money was something inline with Ekal's mission; promoting education! Our event was a Spelling Bee that had upper school and middle school teachers competing one against the other. In the end one teacher won the prize and we made money not only though donations at that event buy by selling Pizza and beverages. The event was attended by upwards of 100 people during one of our G periods during the school day and over 10 teachers participated.
Hindu Student Council Students from UCI and UC San Diego have collected Funds for Ekal by selling Indian Food during the community service week on Campus.
Report on Celebration of Launching EVF New Zealand
‘EVF NZ’ has been launched on 20th July in Hamilton with a big fanfare. The preparations started around 2 months before the program date. Apart from Sri Sanjay Joshi, national co ordinator, Sri Neeraj Duggal (staging singing programs as well as supervising other programs) Sri Nandan Modak, (General assistance and selling tickets) Smt. Nirmala Narasimhan (General assistance and particularly getting ads for souvenir), Sri Narasimhan (keeping track of finances), Smt. Sudha Rajan (getting ads), Sri Rajiv Chaturvedi (computer expert and compiling ads) Sri Davinder Khalsa (sponsorships, food arrangement through Gurudwara) were too involved.
A program of duration of approximately 2 and half hours, with a souvenir and dinner was planned. Sri Vijay Bulland promised to print the souvenir at cost.
The ticket price of $7.00 was decided. This was on lower side but spreading the word was important and getting maximum audience was priority.
Ma. Shyamji Gupta, "the man behind the Ekal Movement" was going to be with us. This was one of the rare occasions where different communities had come together for the noble cause.
One week before the event, this program received good exposure by local newspaper ‘Hamilton Press’, Indian radio ‘ Radio Masti’. On the day of the program, local community radio interviewed Ma. Shyamji, Sri Sanjay and Guna Magesan (Hindu Council secretary).
Maximum ticket sales took place on the day of program. Approximately 400 people turned up. It was a good number, considering that the program venue could not accommodate any more people.
The program started with a prayer and welcome speech by Sri Nandan Modak. It was immediately followed by a DVD show and presentation of Ma. Shyamji Gupta. Following that the variety entertainment programs started. Seventeen items were performed by the local artists. The theme of the program was from the children of New Zealand to the underprivileged children of India. So the items were mainly presented by children with or without adult. Notable exception was Sri Manjit Sing who played solo Tabla with Sri Prithpal Singh on Harmonium, playing ‘Lehra’. Rest of the items were mixture of dances (Classical, folk including Bhangra and Bollywood) singing (mainly Bollywood music) and instrumental (Bollywood and Western). The performers were a mix of all the Indian communities and a New Zealander of European/American/Indian descent!
In between the performances, Sri Sanjay Joshi was asked questions by Asad Mohsin and Meenu Wadhwa who were masters of ceremony. The questions were framed to get perspective of a New Zealand citizen of Indian origin (which is what Sanjay Joshi is). The questions aimed at knowing motivation behind involving in such a project and difference between this project and other charities.
The program was successful at raising awareness EVF New Zealand’s presence. The program got a good coverage in local Newspaper ‘This Week’. It was also successful not only in covering its own cost but sufficient excess funds to sponsor 2 schools on behalf EVF NZ.
2nd Year Anniversary Celebration of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of Hong Kong
Holiday Inn-Golden Mile Hong Kong- 16th July 2008
The program started with lighting of Lamp by the VIPs on the dais and then power point presentation on “EKAL Vidyalaya” on its general operation procedures, and explaining the public the need of such organization in today’s fast moving competitive world by Sri Shyamji Gupta. A short film on “Ekal” was also screened during the program.
Thereafter speech by Sri Subhash Chandra, Chairman of EVFI, briefing the people to let them know on what “Ekal” as a charity organization achieved so far and the goal of One Lakh Schools by 2011, which is still far.
Others who attended the function included Sri Jitubhai Bhansali, President of FTS, Smt. Kunji Bhansali and Smt. Sangita Gupta, EVF Global Co-ordinator.
The program was organized by the EKAL Hong Kong Executive team, the Indian Ambassador Sri K.P. Jain was also present as a host of the program.
Several prominent personalities from various industries were also present during the event.
A questions & answers session was also held to enlighten the object of EKAL by Ma. Shyamji Gupta and the dais was also shared by Sri Subhash Chandra. The session was very informative and interactive.
Noticeably after the program many lady volunteers from prominent business families came forward for the support of EKAL’s progress and improvement.
The program ended with a VOTE OF THANKS by Sri K.P. Daswani Patron of EKAL Hong Kong.
Report on Ekal Events organized in Midwest Region
We just finished our area Ekal concert with Pandya Group. The artists are just excellent and very humble people. We had overall success in the area.
Cleveland event took place on May 30, it was Ekal's first of the series of national fundraising events in 2008. EKAL event preparations started after a small baithak and Sri Shreedhar Nair-ji was nominated EKAL pramukh for Cleveland Shakha. Other key volunteers were Sri Sudarshan Sathe, Prof. Sreenath, Sri Venu Gopalji and Dr. Sudesh Agrawal, Sri Anand Mishra. About 3000 post cards were printed for distribution, 200 post cards were mailed to specific addresses, approximately 2500 cards were distributed in groups in 2 Temples and several community functions. Cards were also distributed via Grocery stores, and community places. This group organized pre event fund raising. The event was also featured by www.podioindia.com, a radio podcast run by Sri Deb & Piya Roy who performed excellent MOCs job. Dr. Sanjay Bhatt was the main speaker and Sri Sathe was guest of honour. Total 150 guests attended the program.
Next program was in Cincinnati May 31st
. The program went very well. Total 125 people attended the event. Sri Arun Gupta, Sri Ambrish Bansal and Sri Nalin Mehta were main coordinators. Three high school students celebrated their graduation party next weekend and announced that all the gifts should be given as donation to Ekal. Another medical college student has been supporting school thru student association. One 5th grade student had excellent idea for fund raising as part of their school project. He invited his friends to watch sports and collected $10 each. His parents provided pizza and drinks. He has been a regular contributor.
Third program was in Indianapolis on Sunday June 1st
. This was the first year that Indianapolis had serious program done and it was very successful. There were about 150 guests attending. Dr. Vimal Patel, Sri Kumar Dave and Sri Vivek Joshi were area coordinators. Keya Dave gave presentation on Ekal Movement.
Next weekend Columbus had their program on Sat June 7th
. There were 150+ guests were there and event was very successful. Sri Jagdish Phuleria, Sri Ambu Patel, Sri Dharmesh ji and Sri Rati Patel were the main coordinators.
Each city has built very strong and active team. We all have great harmony and support. Total schools sponsored and collected 250. Misc. donation of about $10,000 was also collected. All events were free except Cincinnati.
Report By - Arun & Renu Gupta
Report on Ekal Event Held in New Jersey
Ekal Vidyalaya's fundraiser nets $75,000
Monday, 06.30.2008, 01.00 AM (GMT-7)
NEW JERSEY: Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation (EVF) had a successful fund-raising musical concert at Piscatway High School, in Piscatway, New Jersey on June 16. The evening's star performers were award winning Prachi and Sameer Dublay of the famous "Raagee" group from Pune, India, who not only mesmerized the audience with their classical melodies but also played a significant role in encouraging the audience to donate generously for this literacy movement.
By the evening's conclusion $75,000 were realized for over 200 Ekal-schools in tribal and remote area of India. Briefing the gathering, Dr. Umesh Shukla, NJ Administrator for EVF informed that, just with a Dollar-a-day or $365 per year Ekal provides basic literacy and health care training to a group of 25-30 young children in isolated places, many of which were not easily accessible. He further elaborated that there were over 100,000 such pockets of humanity, all over India where over 25,000 such Ekal-Schools were already in operation.
He stressed that this was also a testimony to the trust this charitable, tax-exempt NGO has earned among Indians all over, for its transparency of operation and savvy administration. Bharat Patel, Eastern Zone Vice President, emphasized that, Ekal gives a golden opportunity to donors to give something back to their Motherland, as a way of gratitude for the substantially subsidized education that they had received.
Chief Guest for the evening, Brahmaratna Agarwal of Florida, who, each year sponsors up to 1,000 Ekal-schools, told a touching story of how his little granddaughter had saved her gift-money so that she could sponsor a school on her own. Mukund Khisti, Regional Vice President, honored Dr Jitendra and Ila Sukhadia, as well as Narendra and Shakuntala Lakhani for their "Exemplary Service to Humanity and Commitment to Literacy", by presenting plaques.
Dr. Veena Gandhi, Eastern Zone Director, reiterated that the New Jersey event was a major part of the fundraising efforts -- from Edison, NJ to Philadelphia, PA area - for Ekal's 1,000-schools target for the year 2008.
Ms. Kavya Rajan appointed Executive-Director of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA
Houston (Ekal USA), July 22, 2008 – The Board of Directors of the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA (Ekal USA) welcomes the appointment of its first Executive-Director, Kavya Rajan. Ms. Rajan's main responsibility will be to champion the cause of Ekal in the United States amongst corporations, foundations and Americans.
Ms. Rajan's appointment was announced on Saturday at a fundraiser in Houston, which raised over $ 800,000 towards Ekal's.