Newsletter July 2011

Ekal Dubai promotes Ekal movement with a cricket festival

Dubai support group of Ekal Vidyalaya conducted an exciting cricket tournament to spread awareness for Ekal and raise funds for schools at the same time. The event was held on June 3rd, 2011, and saw a good show of support from over a hundred enthusiastic families.

Celebrities from the cricketing world (including Sri Dilip Vengsarkar, Sri Sanath Jayasuriya and former Indian test player Sri Jayantibhai and Ranji debutant Sri Shahid Shaikh) graced the occasion.

It started off with a luncheon where Ekal awareness was spread. A couple of speeches and dessert and the stage was set for the game. The cricketing action was inaugurated by H.E Mr. Lokesh the Indian Ambassador in UAE and H.E Sanjay Verma the Consul General of India in Dubai playing each other after the toss for the first game.

In an exciting interlude, Sri Sanath Jayasuriya and Sri Harshad Mehta faced off in one-over-each batting and bowling session. Ekal UAE and Ekal Australia made it to the final, which was an exciting match finally won by Ekal UAE.

The awards were distributed by Sri Bharatbhai Shah, Sri Harshadbhai Mehta and Smt. and Sri Jeetubhai Bhansali, who had specially flown from Mumbai to attend the ‘Ekal Cricket’ event. Ekal Dubai’s President Smt. Geeta Chhabra and her husband Sri Ved Chhabra, gave a vote of thanks while delightfully announcing that over 200 schools have been adopted both by the players and the patrons of Ekal Movement.

The event was a great success. The event was enjoyed by all and the ultimate winners are actually the children, who will be benefitted from the funds that were raised on that Friday. All proceeds from the event went towards raising new schools and support for Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of India.


My Ekal Experience

I am a seventh grader living in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. I would like to share with you information about an organization that helps children in the rural and tribal areas of India. Every day, I am fortunate enough to have access to an amazing education from wonderful teachers, state-of-the-art technology, and other great resources. I can have all of this because of my parents and grandparents. On both my maternal and paternal sides, my grandparents studied hard in school to become professionals. They passed good values and education onto their children, and I am the beneficiary of this.  It dawns on me that I could have easily ended up in the same position as my brothers and sisters in India who do not have access to resources or a safe environment to study and live in. This greatly saddens me.

A few years ago, my family attended an Ekal Vidyalaya concert. Ekal Vidyalaya is an organization based on Sir Vivekananda’s concept saying that if students cannot go to the school, the school must go to the students. Ekal helps children in tribal and rural India to receive an education. It teaches the children literacy, health and hygiene, economic development and social empowerment. They teach 30 to 40 children in one school by one teacher for just one dollar a day. At the moment, there are around 34,000 schools teaching around one million children all over India. The schools are taught by a single teacher hired by the Foundation. Each student’s education lasts for five years, and then most of them go to formal government schooling. The Ekal goal is to eradicate illiteracy in India by 2015.

My whole family wanted to help these children, so we joined the Ekal Vidyalaya movement. Every month, we go to a meeting where I actively participate in the planning and organizing of the next event. At the events, I help set up the room, and in this recent event, I delivered a speech to the audience. I feel happy that I am able to help these children.

Although there are around one million children getting the benefits of an Ekal Vidyalaya education, there are millions more who have not been given this opportunity.  It would be wonderful if more people helped educate these unfortunate and underprivileged children in India. One dollar doesn’t mean much to us at the end of the day, but it can educate 30-40 children for one day.

If you have any questions, you can go to for more information.

Somil Sanghvi
Wilbraham, Massachusetts, USA


Project Jyotirgamaya – Solar Lights to Villages

22nd May, 2011 would always be a memorable day for more than 450 villagers of Karanje and Mayare villages when solar light illuminated their life. The night before was dark as usual.

The Lodge Victoria of Belgaum, an associate of Grand Lodges of India, approached Ekal Abhiyan, Belgaum for joining hands in the ‘Project Jyotirgamaya’ to provide solar lights to homes of 50 villages across India. To initiate the project, Ekal Abhiyan identified two remote villages Karanje, with 47 homes and population of 300 and Mayare with 23 homes and population of 150.

Ekal Karyakartas prepared a detailed map of the villages showing the location of homes, distance between them etc. Sri Adrushayya Anchal Yojana Pramukh, Sri Vibhakar, Anchal Prashikshan Pramukh and Sri Sanju, Sankul Pramukh of Dandeli Sankul and Sri Netaji Desai (Health care Initiative head) from Khanapur Anchal coordinated the implementation work for more than 10 days with the technicians. Roof-top models of solar system were fitted at Mayare since homes are at distance from each other. And at Karanje solar panels with dry cells, which need no maintenance for 3 years, were fitted. Each house is provided with 1 light and an additional socket and village with 3 street lights. The total Cost of Project was Rs.10,00,000/-.

The inauguration by the Regional Grand Master Sushil Raj from Chennai happened on 22nd May 2011. Members of Grand Lodge from Hubli and Belgaum were also present along with the volunteers of Ekal Abhiyan from Belgaum, Khanapur and Dandeli to witness the change.

The villagers were overwhelmed and promised to use and maintain the system with full care.


BPCL signs MOU with FTS

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. – BPCL, Kochi Refinery, Ambalmugal, Kochi signed a Memorandum of Understanding- MOU with FTS, on March 4, 2011 for re-sponsoring 75 Ekal Vidyalayas for 3 years starting from 2010-11 to 2012-13.

From BPCL Sri M.P. Govindarajan, General Manager, HR, Sri George Thomas, Senior Manager, Public Relations, Sri Vineeth M. Verghese, Deputy Manager, Public Relations were present and FTS was represented by Sri S.S. Agarwal, President, FTS Kochi and Sri S.Sankaran, Secretary, FTS Kochi.


Signature Campaign by FTS, Bhubaneswar

A 14 year old girl Medha Tibrewal, daughter of Mr. Prakash and Rajani Tibrewal, both active members of FTS Bhubaneswar team, decided to sit on one day fast in support of Sri Anna Hazare’s movement. She maintained complete fast for 24 Hours. Her zeal made all other think and do something to support the Anna’s call.

Smt. Rajni Tibrewal and Smt. Suchitra Gupta of the Mahila Samiti, Bhubaneswar, took the lead and planned a Signature Campaign on April 8, 2011, at Master Canteen Square. And well-wishers, friends and students were approached through Group SMS, telephone calls and personal visits to schools and colleges.

By 12 noon the team enlisted more than 2000 signatures and proceeded to the Raj Bhawan to deliver it to the Governor, and it was accepted by his ADC.

The FTS initiative was widely covered both in the local newspapers and electronic media.


Proposed visit of Subhash Gupta in Ekal Schools of Srinagar

Sri Subhash Gupta, President, EVFUSA has plans to visit Ekal Schools in Srinagar. The report will be given in next issue.


Proposed visit of Mr. Todi in J&K Schools

Mr. Todi from The Todi Foundation, USA has plans to visit Ekal Schools in J&K in the Doda region. The report will be given in next issue.


Ekal updates - Ekal Vidyalaya

Current: Number of Ekal Schools: 33,908 Number of Children: 949,435


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