Newsletter December 2019

Big and Grand - ''Future of India'' Gala

For the third year in a row, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation presented the “Future of India” Gala, which took place on November 9 at Gotham Hall in Manhattan. The gala helped raise $3.1 Million for Ekal and has put the organization within reach of its goal of establishing 100,000 schools in the most remote parts of the country, the organization said in a press release.
Distinguished speakers included Shri Raju Reddy, founder of Sierra Atlantic before it was acquired by Hitachi; Shri Ragy Thomas, the founder and CEO of Sprinklr and Shri Vivek Oberoi, Bollywood super-star known for his philanthropic work with children. The keynote panel was moderated by Ms Amrita Saigal, a young Indian-American entrepreneur. Special guests for the evening included Consul General of India in New York, Ambassador Shri Sandeep Chakravorty and Congress woman Ms Carolyn Maloney, D-New York.
The evening was notable for several game changing pledges to help Ekal accomplish its mission. The Wanchoo family pledged 1 Million dollars. Shri Mohan Wanchoo, who served as the Gala chair, is quoted saying in the press release, "While the donation was significant, Wanchoo noted that it is just a drop in the ocean as the needs at Ekal are great." Shri Vivek Oberoi pledged to work with his business partners and friends in the U.S. and India to spearhead an initiative to bring small scale solar power solutions to all the Ekal villages. “I have received a commitment of over a half million dollars already. Such an initiative will be revolutionary for it would bring green energy to power rural India” said Shri Oberoi. Shri Ragy Thomas pledged $100,000 for Ekal expressing his strong support for the mission of education and expressing the need for accelerating the pace of education. Shri Raju Reddy is partnering with Ekal to bring transformation to rural Telangana. Perfection of Man Foundation announced at the end of the evening that it is pledging half a million dollars to support the planting of 1 million trees in Ekal villages. Sarva Mangal Family Trust and Keshap Group provided a match for technology intervention in education and health.
Ms Riya, a 13-year-old girl, donated $1,000 from a Ekal fundraiser she held in her home. Shri Oberoi applauded Ms Riya’s efforts and asked everyone in attendance to join in her fundraising effort. At the end of the gala,she raised an additional $30,000. Maison De Papillion's donation of a high-end Cashmere sweater was raffled off and brought more donations.
Several supporters of Ekal were recognized during the event. Team Sankalp of Massachusetts was recognized for its financial support to 625 Ekal schools.
Those recognized for their work with Ekal included Shri Himanshu Shah, CEO, Shah Capital, who supports Ekal’s Gramothan Resource Center, Shri Adish and Ms Asha Jain and Ms Vandana and Shri Vivek Sharma who support integrated village development projects, the Guru Krupa Foundation supporting Ekal schools, and Ms Subra and Ms Anu Dravida who support Ekal on Wheels.


LA Chapter organized annual Ekal Walkathon on Saturday, November 2nd.


Unique and innovative Texas Charity Pitch

Texas Charity Pitch, or TCP, is an annual competition held by USIT in which teams of undergraduate students pitch a charity as they would pitch a stock. Students choose a charity and present its causes, finances, management, and effectiveness before a panel of esteemed judges. As the first major competition held by USIT, TCP allows students to build experience in pitching and researching -- all for a good cause. Winning teams will receive a donation to their charity of choice of up to several thousand dollars from our sponsors. Shreya Yemme, Victor Li, Jessie Yu, and Lauren Ouyang pitched Ekal Vidyalaya, placing 3rd and winning $2000 for the charity.
University Securities Investment Team.


1,00,000 th Ekal Vidyalaya at Songarh, Gujarat

Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addresses Ekal Vidyalaya Sangathan via video conferencing for successfully starting their 100,000th Ekal Vidyalaya on 6th December in Songarh. Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Vijayrupani, along with other dignitaries graced the occasion, as chief guest.


Another Sewing Centre inaugurated

Shri Ramesh Shah and his wife inaugurated sewing centre as a Gramothan project in South Himachal Pradesh. They also visited the Ekal villages around the centre and were happy to see the progress.


Ekal thanks its people for Gandhi Peace Prize

After receiving the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2017 Ekal Abhiyan decided to share the happiness with the Acharyas and Karyakarthas who got this award for Ekal, by honoring them. Lot of programs have been organized for this at Anchal and Sanch levels.


Bank of India supports Ekal

Shri G Padmanabhan, Chairman of Bank of India presented Ekal with a cheque to support 25 Ekal Vidyalayas as part of their CSR program.


Field audit by BLSP Secretary

Shri Rajiv Agarwal, National Secretary of Bharat Lok Shiksha Parishad undertook a 3 day audit visit to Dehra Anchal and Kangra Anchal to evaluate the education, cultural and other Gramothan activities. During the time, he met the samithis at all levels.


8th Annual Day celebration by Bengaluru Mahila Samithi

-    Smt Manjula Agarwal, Secretary, FTS Bengaluru Mahila Chapter.

Bengaluru Mahila Samithi celebrated its 8th year anniversary by honoring the senior karyakarthas who were also instrumental in Ekal getting the Gandhi Peace Prize award. A monodrama by Shri Anju Chandak added entertainment to the celebrations.


SEWA visit by Atmiya Vidya Mandir, Surat

On the 3rd of October 2019, students of Atmiya Vidya Mandir, Surat, set out on a journey to understand the rural-urban divide that is prevalent all over the Indian countryside. This trip was a part of the CBSE’s Social Empowerment through Work education and Action (SEWA) and focused on taking learning beyond the school’s boundaries. Students of STD 11 and 12 began their one day trip called Vanyatra in the Tapi district of Gujarat. After a brief introduction, they went to Naranpur and Umarda villages around 35 kms from Anchal Kendra.
The students witnessed that each Ekal child approached their education and learning very confidently and with clarity of the concept. Discussing about the values, the Pandit of the village explained that every child respected their parents and mentors. Moreover, they sang devotional songs, Hanuman Chalisa, and other patriotic songs, which showed their inner saintly and devotion. About 1 acre of land was being used for agriculture and animal husbandry without the use of hazardous chemical fertilizers to support the vegetation need of the village. The students were also informed that the villages where Ekal Abhiyan has reached are almost free of addiction (smoking, drinking). The city school students designed a special activity. They call it ‘basket the throw’ that aimed at explaining Risk & Rewards ratio which is a fundamental concept of Investing. By engaging Ekal Vidyalay students through this game they promoted the idea of learning with fun. The Team concluded the game by delivering the message ‘Invest in Knowledge & Protect the Ecosystem’. Moreover, they were also able to convey the importance of making small savings regularly. The respected elders and teachers were given shawls, sarees and tiffin boxes as a token of appreciation, and the children got an environment-friendly LCD writing pad as token of respect and love. In order to promote the objective of oneness each student of Atmiya Vidya Mandir was made to present the gifts individually to all kids, teacher and karyakartas of Ekal Vidyalay. 
They said, “the first-hand experience of rural India has shaped our mind-sets significantly and left incredible imprints upon us. In the end, we as students must acknowledge that we have a responsibility towards the less privileged, the society and the environment. Trips like these provide us the opportunity to understand our responsibility towards community.”


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