Newsletter December 2009

Veena Gandhi from US narrates her exciting experience of Ekal Kumbh


I returned from India two days ago full of memories and great experiences at "Ekal Kumbh" in New Delhi.

In New Delhi the program was from Oct 29th to Nov 1st. Subsequently on Nov 2nd we had informal meeting with EVFI officials and in the evening dinner at the invitation of Sri B. K. Modiji at his place "Malaviya House".

"Ekal Kumbh" was the true reflection of our Ekal work in the villages. There were 14,000 delegates, mostly I think were Ekal schools teachers. There were also sanch & upsanch in-charges and EVFI's Trustees and well wishers from whole of Bharat. The program was very well planned to give encouragement, inspiration, comfort, and feeling of unity and "Ekta" to all these delegates from the different parts of Bharat and instill patriotism by providing appropriate, well presented evening programs and for the Ekal trustees and foreign representatives like us, it gave exposition of Ekal's true progress in the form of gram swaraj, gram vikas, gram shikesha and gramin health progress reports by the various village teacher speakers. One cannot but feel very proud of these delegates-speakers. They were great orators and seemed to have deep conviction in their work. They had eagerness in their eyes and joy in their hearts. Gram economic development projects were very impressive. "Swabhiman abhiyan" and empowerment goal seemed successful, as reported by many women and men speakers from different states.

There was also an exhibition presented by the different states of Bharat. It was very inspiring and competitive.

We were told how these villagers were looking forward to this event. They had collected penny by penny to come to this event. Some of them had come on the train for the first time in their lives.

Baba Ramdev, Pu. Paramanandji, Pu. Ritambharaji, and others had blessed the occasion with their wonderful talks. Baba Mauryaji gave one evening program with homage to Bharat mata, and "Hum Hai Hindustani" musical in the evening stole my heart with love and tears in the eyes.

Friends, overall, I feel that true freedom and not only geographical freedom of Bharat can only come when our villages become strong and our minds get unslaved as Pujya Mahatma Gandhiji had envisioned. Uninterrupted efforts focus and insight by the Founders of Ekal Vidyalaya Movement, seemed to have taken its shape. Only one thing I could have wished more is to have presence of some of the leaders of the nation and national media who are neutral in their outlook to see this tremendous progress and efforts. Hope in the future there will be enough of the critical mass of such thinkers, so that we get enough publicity to flow our ideas to the remaining good hearted people of Bharat. Now let us continue our work in USA with great zeal.

 

Ekal Volunteers ‘Mahakumbh’ International Conference concludes in New Delhi – A report


New Delhi, 2nd Nov 2009: The 12,879 volunteers of EKAL, from the villages, towns and cities and even from abroad have all left with great satisfaction the Japani Park grounds in Rohini, New Delhi. 

It all started on the 29th November when in the evening Yogrishi Swami Ramdev inaugurated the Ekal Exhibition. In this exhibition there were stalls depicting the work done by Ekal in the different states of India. This was the first time that Ekal had organized such an exhibition and volunteers from different areas could see what the others are doing.

Swami Ramdev in his forceful speech praised the Ekal for its wonderful work being done to educate the poor in remote areas of India. He said that our country is battling with so much of crime and terrorist activities and it is only the education provided by Ekal which can overcome this and help in making a better society.

The formal inauguration of the four day meet was done on Friday the 30th November. The Ekal volunteers were asked to keep equi balance between expansion of more schools and their quality. It was emphasized that if one had to choose between religion and money one should prefer religion. In the gathering a few Ekal volunteers narrated their experiences informing how the Ekal work has made transformation in their respective areas. In the evening Baba Satya Narayan Maurya enthralled the gathering with his unforgettable performance of "Bharat Mata Ki Aarti".

On Saturday, the third day of the conference, Ekal volunteers were discussing their expansion plans. It was announced that by 2013 Ekal will reach to the poor community in 100,000 villages. Thorough discussions were held as to what problems could be faced and how they are to be overcome. In the evening a performance was given by Prof Shukla and his team from Maharashtra with their programme ‘Jago Hindustani'. 

In the concluding session on the evening of Sunday, Ekal Volunteers were told that it is only education which can give self respect and make the poor self dependent and we would be made responsible till illiteracy is completely eradicated from the country. Sadhvi Ritambhara in her dynamic speech that the poor children of the country are just collecting garbage today. She asked the Ekal volunteers that they should not rest till their work reaches all the villages of the country.

What is EKAL
The Ekal Vidyalaya Movement started in the year 1988 from the state of Jharkhand, the erstwhile state of Bihar. Today Ekal has its presence in 27110 villages in 22 states of the country. In these schools 7,78,965 students are getting their education free.

These schools function on single teacher non-formal teaching system. They provide education upto class III after which many of them go for further formal education in nearby schools. On an average some thirty students are enrolled in a school. 

The Ekal schools are run for three hours every day and the timing is decided by the local village committee convenient to the students and the teacher. The reason for this is that the students help their parents at home or in the fields or in grazing cattle. Sometimes it is also the village teacher who has other chores to do in the day time. 

Teachers and their training
The teacher is from the village itself. This ensures that the classes are held regularly and there is mutual involvement of the teacher and the taught. There is extensive and continuous training of the teacher to maintain efficiency. 

Besides providing basic education to students Ekal has also taken the responsibility of imparting Health Care Education, Development Education and Empowerment Education to the village folk. All this to realize the dream of making a ‘sikshit, swastha and samarth Bharat' (literate, healthy and empowered India).

Ekal has succeeded to put the rural folk in constructive activities, check on liquor consumption, create interest in education, prevent migration from villages, establish harmonious atmosphere in the villages etc. The efforts and commitment of our volunteers is noticed and appreciated now. Recently in the highly naxalite affected area of Chhattisgarh state the security force personnel followed our city volunteers in a remote village Khetarpal in district Bastar, 186 kilometers from the state capital Raipur. Our volunteers were on a routine ‘Van Yatra' to an Ekal school. In the village the volunteers did their routine activities of games, teaching and appreciating the tribal for their work etc. This went on for about four hours and the security forces were witness to all this. Later the Commandant called Ekal's chief and appreciated what was being done saying that this is the right way to overcome acts of terrorism in the area. 

Ekal schools are run in the most difficult areas also including in North East, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir etc.

The managing of Ekal is done in a very professional manner with supervision at different levels. The training programmes, conducted by experts in their areas, are a regular feature.

The complete funding for the programme is done with the help and cooperation of the society. Philanthropists at home and abroad are eager to support voluntary work to see the upliftment of the needy and see India prosper. It is a very cost effective programme where one has to contribute just Rs16,000/- to run Ekal activities in one village for a full year. The administrative cost is kept to a bare minimum which is below ten percent.

To facilitate city folk to see what Ekal is doing ‘Van Yatra' or visit to schools is organized often. Here, one gets first hand information as to what transformation has come about and the urban population also comes to know of the living conditions of the rural masses.

The International Meet in Delhi
The four day meet attracted volunteers from all over. The Ekal supervisors who oversee the working of 28,000 schools came and talked about their experiences in the villages they operate in. They gave examples of the transformation that has happened in the community they serve and they also talked about the difficulties being faced. This was an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved so far and also to plan activities for the coming future.

Recognition was given to persons who have succeeded in achieving the targets set for them. These recognitions were for the activities in the field of Basic Education, Health Care Education, Development Education, Empowerment Education and for achieving self sufficiency.

A total of 14 sessions were held in the meet discussing all the aspects of Ekal Vidyalaya Movement. All the sessions were conducted by the people from the field which gave all an opportunity to witness as to what has been the empowerment of these rural people.

A very good media coverage was achieved this time. More than 60 newspapers around the Country gave coverage to this event. The names of the newspapers are being compiled since the news from different regions are still coming.

For further details log on to http://www.ekalkumbh.org/

 

Ekal Volunteer conferred with ‘Jhansi ki Rani’ award by Sanskar Bharti


"This is victory to the Ekal Mission for serving and empowering poorest of the poor tribal brethren living in remote India." said Smt. S Hemamalini Satheesh, the Kendriya Saha Prashikashan Pramukh and Zonal Incharge of Tamilnadu and Karnataka, when she was honoured with the prestigious award " Jhansi Ki Rani Laxmi Bai Samman" on 19th Nov,2009 in a public function organized by the Sanskar Bharati in Gwalior to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Jhansi Ki Rani Laxmi Bai as Naree Shaurya Diwas. 

Smt. Hemamalini, a post graduate in Psychology from Coimbatore Tamilnadu joined social service along with her husband Dr. Satheesh who is also a fulltime Volunteer of Ekal Movement. Hema showed tremendous grit when during Tsunami in Tamilnadu, she bravely removed the dead bodies from the sea shore and saved many lives. She also worked as councillor to many troubled families and brought happiness to them. 

Both Hema and Dr. Satheesh have dedicated their lives for the national cause of Ekal Mission. Ekal Pariwar is proud of them.

 

Ekal Volunteers extend rescue operation in Tamil Nadu


Because of the heavy rains in the Nilgiris Mountain in the Tamilnadu there have been heavy damage to the Ooty hills. There were around 500 places of land slide. Around 100 people died and more than 1000 people become homeless. The govt. was helpless. The Ekal Volunterrs Ooty Anchal immediately went to the affected areas and started the rehabilitation work. The work is still going on.

 

 

Schools & Children


Current: Number of Ekal Schools: 28,050 Number of Children: 807,165

 

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