EKAL support group in Oman
Ekal Support Group in Oman organized their bi-annual meet on Saturday, 21st May 2016. Nearly 100 attendees belonging to different states of India were present at the meet. Besides Shri Anil Wadher, Chairman Ekal Support Group Oman, two very prominent, respectable and well established personalities Shri Kiran Asher and Shri Harshendu Shah graced the occasion as Chief Guest and Guest of Honor respectively. Incidentally, they have been associated with Ekal since its inception in Oman. It is seen that the success of this meet will result in spreading Ekal movement in Oman and thereby help Ekal grow to reach the target of 100,000 schools.
An interview with Anuradha Upneja
Anuradha Upneja is currently a teacher of English as a Second Language at Cabot Elementary School and Director of the Ekal Youth Leaders program for the New England Chapter
Question: You have taken on the role of Director for the Ekal Youth Leaders Program. What motivated you to get involved with Ekal and take on this role?
I joined Ekal because I found a group of people that were just as passionate about education as I was, and as importantly, they were passionate about spreading education to rural villages in India. I took on the role of Director for the Ekal Youth Leaders Program because I saw how passionate the youth were about Ekal, putting on Arangetrams and basketball tournaments to fundraise for the cause. Some were even donating their pocket money, summer income and birthday gifts to Ekal and support education to rural India. This touched my heart, and when Ranjini ji asked if I would lead this new program, I happily accepted. I felt that we should have a program where we can provide a support system to encourage these actions and help brainstorm new ideas as well, so that the kids can have help in planning their wonderfully creative events.
Question: Can you please tell us about the program and who all can get involved in this program?
The Ekal Youth Leaders are a group of children ranging in age from elementary school to college. Often, we get together and brainstorm, ways to help fundraise and publicize Ekal. The ideas that these youngsters bring to the table are really spectacular. From nationwide essay writing competitions to garbas, these kids think of them all. They are the future of America and the future of the Ekal Organization, and anyone who is in this age group can and should definitely get involved.
Question: In your opinion, why should people get involved in the EYL program?
The EYL program is under the parent organization of Ekal which serves to spread the gift of education to kids in rural India. The youth group is especially amazing because it provides a community for these children to care for the cause. This also keeps our kids connected to our roots in India.
Question: Please, can you detail us about the upcoming events?
We just ended the submissions for our national Ekal Poetry and Writing Competition! The winner is going to New York City in September to present their essay at the national conference. We have one major event coming up on July 9th at Boston University called an Appathon. Our Ekal Youth Leaders, who received a training session on how to create an app from the CEO of Thunkable, Arun Saigal, will lead this event. Kids will split into different teams and create their own apps, and at the end of the day, each team will get a chance to present their ideas. We really want to encourage all of the kids to come for this amazing experience. For more information please contact Ayush Upneja at firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: Do you have any message for our readers?
The leadership, creativity, and generosity of the Ekal Youth Leaders of New England have taken the organization by storm. As parents we are proud of our children for taking up this noble cause. We are touched by their kind hearts and know that the future of the organization is in good hands.
Dance Program to support EKAL Vidyalaya
Neeraja Deshpande performed her Arangetram this summer and dedicated it for the cause of Ekal to support children's education! Through all these programs, the most important thing Ekal provides is hope. For people who have often given up on the idea itself, it renews faith, providing hope to dream big, hope to rebuild communities, and hope to make the society as a whole a better place for all.
Ekal's anti drug-addiction campaign in MP
Ekal helps in creating anti drug-addiction awareness in the villages of Madhya Pradesh. On March 3, 2012, under the stewardship of Shri Durga Prasad Katare, a huge anti drug-addiction campaign was organized which was attended by more than 5,000 people and around 1500 persons resolved to give up drugs. This resulted in Lath village to be declared as the best model village by the collector of the district. Apart from this EKAL involves in creating awareness on anti-bribing and anti-grafting practices in the issuance of BPL cards (below-poverty-line) and other welfare activities in those areas.
Anchal Pranam Programs in Himachal Pradesh
Ekal successfully conducted five Anchal Pranam programs in Himachal Pradesh for 15 days in spite of harsh weather. About 90% women constituted in a gathering of around 40 thousand people enforcing Himachal as a glaring example of women empowerment through Ekal.
100% Literacy in West Bengal Villages
Ekal Vidyalaya was started in 2001 in Aklul Bdupadha village, Malda district, West Bengal. With a population of around 272 in 2001, hardly only one or two people had completed their elementary education. Due to Ekal’s continuous effort for the past 13 years, the entire village is now literate. Currently, there are no illiterate children between the age of 6-14 years in this village. Further, the village committee in 2005 built an Ekal school and at present there are 40 students enrolled in the school.
Nathi Pooja in Tamilnadu Sambhag
Rivers Day (Nathi Pooja) was celebrated on June 16th with Nathi arathi in about 234 Ekal villages in Tamil Nadu. About 2014 students took to cleaning the rivers with awareness to keep our rivers clean and pure.
World Environment Day on June 5, 2016
World Environment day was celebrated in Tamil Nadu by involving in activities such as tree plantation and temple & hospital cleaning. Around 2310 EKAL vidyalaya students and 1330 from general public were involved in these welfare activities.
Annual Day Celebrations in EKAL schools in Tamil Nadu
Annual day was celebrated on 11.06.2016 in Semmedu, Kolli hills, Tamil Nadu. 1531 students and Acharyas participated in the program that included cultural events, yoga.
Medical Camp report on the Health Awareness Campaign in Udaipur, Rajasthan
A medical camp was organized on 21/03/2016 in Godva Phala Village of Jhadol Sanch in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Dr. Harish Anand (AFI-Delhi) and Dr. S.N. Vyas (AFI Udaipur) participated in the medical camp. Health care education was provided by Dr. S.N. Vyas on hygiene and sanitation especially on regular nail cutting. He also educated them on anemia control, use of green leafy vegetables and the importance of gur-chana in the diet. A total of 120 patients were treated during the camp.
Awareness program on Organic Farming in Assam
On 06.12.2016 Ekal Abhiyan Tezpur, Assam conducted an awareness program on organic farming. During the program, around 92 farmers were trained on organic agriculture using innovative practices such as vermin compost, kitneotrok(plasticized), amrita jal, dantmanjaj, java amrita.
Arogya Yojana in Semra Village, Jharkhand
Shri. Shyam ji, the visionary of Ekal Abhiyan, on his maiden visit on 6th June,2016 gave his approval and appreciation for the Arogya Yojana project in Semra Village. Further, he observed the recently built soak pits and nutritional gardens. He appreciated the Safai (cleanliness song) sung by the Sevikas in procession. Shyam ji in his speech suggested the sevikas to motivate more and more people to follow the health awareness teachings and participate in the campaigns promoting cleanliness.