Newsletter January 2023

Shri Suresh Iyer expresses his gratitude

Dear Ekal Family, 

It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as the President of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA for the past five years. This journey has been remarkable thanks to the guidance, support, and encouragement provided by every one of you – the donors, volunteers, and the national executive team. In addition to being a tremendous learning experience for me personally, it has also given me the opportunity to connect with so many of you who are similarly passionate about serving the underprivileged. I want to take this opportunity to thank the many donors and Ekal volunteers from across the world with whom I have had the privilege of working, as well as the Ekal office staff whose support has been critical in helping this organization achieve the remarkable growth it has seen. 

It is time for me to pass on the baton and it is with great pleasure that I welcome Dr. Subra Dravida as the new President of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA effective January 1, 2023. Dr. Dravida is no stranger to Ekal, having served in several capacities over the years in support of the organization. Over the last two years, I have been fortunate to have worked closely with Dr. Dravida in his role as the Executive Vice President of this organization. A graduate of IIT Madras with a PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he currently serves as the VP of Technology at Qualcomm and holds several patents in his name. His passion and dedication to the organization is exemplar and I am confident that we will continue to see Ekal ascend to new heights under his leadership.

I wish you a very happy New Year and look forward to continuing to remain actively engaged with Ekal for years to come. 

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Dravida in his new role as the President of Ekal USA.

Suresh Iyer

Past President, Ekal USA


Ekal Helping Hands

On the occasion of the International Day of Peace and Neutrality and to celebrate the end of first semester, Ekal Helping Hands celebrated Raksha Bandhan—the Day of Universal Brotherhood, Sisterhood, and Inclusivity—at Normal Community HS with 75 total attendees, including Unit 5’s Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Dr Shelvin; NCHS Principal Dr Zbrozek and Associate Principal Ms McClure; representatives from ten student leadership and diversity organizations; and additional students and staff.


EVF new chapters at Melbourne and Adelaide

Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation (EVF) Australia chapter launched in Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria, one of the states of Australia.

Smt Manju Srivastava visited Melbourne from the 2nd December to 5th December 2022. Meeting was held on 4th December, Sunday in the office of Shri Kanishka Goel, one of the inital members of EVF Melbourne. The meeting was presided over by Shri Devendra, the senior past president of Sydney chapter who came to participate in the establishment of the new chapter in Melbourne.
Smt Manju didi presented a remarkable journey that Ekal has made over the last 33 years, new initiatives, success stories and the future vision for 2030.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Shri Devendra announced the names of the office bearers and members of the executive committee of EVF Australia Melbourne chapter. 

The current team -
President: Shri Vipin Gaindhar 
Vice President: Shri Sunil Dixit
Secretary: Shri Rahul Gupta
Joint Secretary: Shri Kanishka Goel

 Three successive meetings took place which included a detailed presentation on Ekal by Smt Manju Didi who came to Adelaide to take part in the Diwali Mela. A chapter of South State Australia in Adelaide was formed. Shri Chirag, a senior person amongst the Indian diaspora was instrumental in establishing the chapter. Without his support and encouragement and guidance it would not have been possible for Ms Vijayta to get the support of friends and volunteers to form the chapters.

The Executive Committee announced includes Marg Darshak Sri Chirag Trivedi
President Ms Vijayta Srivastava
Vice President Sri Kuldeep Misra
Secretary Sri Devesh Upadhyaya
Treasurer Sri Jagminder Jeet Singh


Ekal Yuva, "Teched it up" well

TECH-IT-UP, a technology fair was organized by Ekal Yuva Ranchi on 18th December 2022 at Audrey House, Kanke Road to bring forth the talents of students in technical subjects and to provide a proper platform. More than 15 schools participated in this competition. Many famous organizations of the city also showed interest in this program.
The program was inaugurated by Shri Siddharth Tripathi, IFS. He called upon the participating students to become entrepreneurs.
Shri Vinay Sharma (Head of Department Polytechnic) of BIT Mesra and Shri Prasad of Rohini Science Club were in the jury to evaluate the exhibition put up by various schools. Along with this, various exhibitions were also voted by the visitors, in which 40% value was awarded to the best participants.
The entire team of Ekal Yuva contributed to make the event successful.


Ekal Yuva visits Goshala

On 11th  December, 45 Ekal Yuva members visited seven Sitaram Goshala, Ladvi, Surat along with their family members and children of Shabri Basti. During the visit the visitors fed 1200 kgs of green vegitables and 100 kgs of jaggery to the gaumatas in the gaushala.
Rishabh Chaudhary
Secretary, Ekal Yuva, Surat


Blood Donation drive by Ekal Yuva, Surat

A blood donation camp was conducted by Ekal yuva team Surat on 4th  December in Kapar station society. 43 units of blood was collected and donated to Sardar Blood Bank, Surat.
Rishabh Chaudhary
Secretary, Ekal Yuva, Surat


New Mahila Samiti formed at Coimbatore

Coimbatore FTS Mahila samiti, under the supervision of Smt Sarita Bansali from Bangalore, was formed on 25th November. On 15th December Acharya Samman Divas was organised in Ooty Anchal. About 50 Acharyas and karyakarthas participated. Acharyas presented tribal dance and songs. The Mahila team led by its President Smt Kavita Maheshwary presented gifts like travel bags, bedsheets and other gifts.

On 18th December, Ekal, Coimbatore Mahila Samiti kept a stall at Tiny Treasures Early Learning Centre. The stall had Ekal products like coconut oil, Haldi, Gajak, Khakra, Dhoop and few stationery,gift items for children.
President - Ms Kavitha Maheshwari
Secretary - Ms Sapna Chajed
Joint Secretary: Ms Preeti Punjabi
Treasurer - Ms Navya Raheja


Mary Kom is now Ekal Ambassador

Ms Mary Kom's name needs no introduction. She is the only woman to win the World Amateur Boxing Championship six times, the only female boxer to have won a medal in each one of the first seven World Championships, and the only boxer to win eight World Championship medals. She won a bronze medal in 2012 London Olympics in the 51 kg category. She had also been ranked as the world's No. 1 female light-flyweight boxer. She became the first Indian female boxer to win a gold medal in the Asian Games in 2014 in South Korea and is the first Indian female boxer to win gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She is also the only boxer to become Asian Amateur Boxing Champion for a record six times. She is an ex MP of Rajyasabha. She has also been awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of the Republic of India.


Certificates given to 80 EOW students from tribal villages

On 11/12/2022, a certificate distribution programme was held for the students of the first and second batches of the mobile computer training centre (Ekal on Wheels) operating at Kollihills of Namakkal Anchal in Tamilnadu Sambhag.
Anchal Samitis Shri Vadivelu ji, Shri Sathyamurthy ji, Shri Shankar ji, Sanch Samithi, former full timers, and new members to the samitis gave away the certificates to the students. 82 students received the certificates.
Children of Ekal Vidyalaya performed a dance  program. It was a satisfying moment when students and parents shared their experiences. A total of 190 people participated in the program.


Vanyatra experience by Shri Lingraj Patil who recently visited Karnataka Ekal village from San Francisco Chapter on Dec 1st, 2022

Lingraj Patil, San Francisco

We invite you to come and experience the school presence firsthand, through a Vanyatra which will take you through our schools, programs, and more.

Preparation to visit an Ekal village -
Lingada Halli, Gangavathi Taluka, Koppal District, Karnataka. It is 30 minutes from the UNESCO heritage site, Hampi, capital of the legendary Vijayanagara empire. This used to be an empire where precious stones, pearls and diamonds used to be sold by the kilos and pounds on the streets. But then it all fell when the foreign forces invaded it. Now Ekal is helping rebuild some of that lost glory. 

Preparing to visit Ekal Village is quite simple but it requires some pre-planning. You need to find a school you want to visit and fill a form. You can do that here:
The organizers in India will put you in touch with the local Ekal coordinators. I received my response within 24 hours and others have had similar experiences.

My local coordinators were very pleasant and I found them to be very helpful. However you need to keep in mind that things in India move a little slower and also the fact that they need to coordinate with local villages where connectivity might be challenging. So, a two week heads up is recommended. In case you are not able to provide 2 week notice, you can still try, it may work out. Once you decide time and date, please try to stick to that since villagers, kids, and Ekal coordinators eagerly plan for your visit. What touched me the most was the way I was received and welcomed to their village. They will treat you like a rock star, you may not think you are one, but for them you are one. In my case they were so excited that they gave me a traditional Indian welcome with flowers, aarti, and lots of kids eager to meet you. 

Though you are not required to take anything with you, still in my case, I purchased some books on Swami Vivekananda, leadership development, character development. I also took some sports equipment - cricket bat and ball, and volleyball turned out to be quite popular among boys and tennikoit ring and skipping ropes were a big hit among girls.


Doctor from US visit Ekal village

Dr Asha Master, from Florida visited Sonagadh Ekal GRC with her daughter and grand daughter. She supports the Tailoring Center at Sonagadh. After visiting the Ekal Vidyalaya, she became very emotional. The family has comitted to help and support Ekal. Shri Vinod Agarwal, EGF zonal president and Shri Brijmohan Garg acompanied her from Surat.


Vanyatra by EVF USA Board Chairman Shri Kamlesh Shah and his wife Smt Dina Shah to Dediapada Ekal Vidyalaya and GRC centre on 13, December, 2022


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