Newsletter March 2010

Ekal activities find credence in the fest SARANG of IIT Madras

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IIT Madras every year conducts a cultural festival called SAARANG where students from all over the country visit IIT. This year it organized the event for 5 days from 21st to 25th of January 2010. They invited Ekal Vidyashram, an SVO of Tamilnadu, to participate in the event by having a stall during that time to propagate the activities of Ekal and also to sell the products produced by tribal people in their villages. Thanks to Mrs. Priya Ravi who was instrumental in getting the stall at IIT. During these 5 days, we could speak to couple of hundreds of students who were stunned at the spread of our activities and its reach. We could also sell the products. Ivil, an organization consisting of IIT students, which is working for the betterment of Indian villages, is very much interested in working together with us.


FTS gets recognition in Rotary district conference

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Rotary District Conference 2010 (RI DIST 3201) was held at CODISSIA TRADE FAIR GROUNDS, Coimbatore on 14th February 2010. FTS Coimbatore chapter's Vice President Sri Mohan Sankar gave a talk on FTS and Ekal Vidyalaya. Many people were stunned to know about the welfare activities for the tribals through Ekal Vidyalayas. There were more than 1000 Rotarians from Coimbatore and Kerala who attended the conference. FTS was the only outside organization which got this opportunity in this conference.


Sankranti Vitaran Karyakram in J&K held

On the occasion of Sankranti, 400 blankets and 200 jackets were distributed to the full time Karyakartas of Ekal Movement in J&K region. They expressed gratitude to the FTS and the benevolent donors for this act of charity.


Concerned villagers construct a hut for Ekal Vidyalaya

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The villagers of Kadabasanta, Dhenkanal Anchal of Orissa are so much concerned that they have constructed a hut by their joint efforts to run Ekal Vidyalaya.


Ravi Prakash of USA narrates his experience of Van Yatra

Feb 14th, Rehi & Bami Villages

I arrived at the railway station and was promptly picked up by Mahendra and Kapil and few others. I was treated especially well from the beginning. We first went to Rehi to visit the Vidhyalaya that I donated money for. I was greeted with Malas and felt such sincere appreciation for my contribution that I can not describe in words. It was very quickly apparent that the school was a great benefit for the village. The Acharya, Aarti, then gave the students a lesson; so I could see what the class structure was like. I was impressed at the level of knowledge of the students as they did extremely well in maths and in writing their ABCs. We then visited Bermi village where I had a similar experience.  

Feb 15th : Rehi + Shaktesh Ghar & GMY Centre Chauha

  Next day we went back to Rehi so I could give a short lesson about space. Mahendra helped greatly in giving this lesson. The students seemed very eager to learn, which I believed was due to Mahendra's enthusiastic teaching style. I had a great time in this village and felt that I bonded with the students and teachers. I brought some things from America for the students including NASA stickers, postcards with pictures of various planets, candy, and toys. The bond with the students was very apparent as I walked with the village leaders, they too walked with me to the car. 

  Later that day, we saw the GMY centre Chauha. It was nice to see what large aspiration Ekal Vidyalaya has, since they are planning on building a higher education centre. 

  We also visited a government school as a point of comparison with Ekal Vidyalaya schools. However, the age group of those students was older (7th class), so a direct comparison could not be made. On a future trip, I would be interested in seeing how students from Ekal Vidyalaya schools compare with students from Government schools. 

  On this day, we also visited another Ekal Vidyalaya, Shaktesh Ghar. This school experience was similar to the earlier one. This night, I stayed with Mahendra in his village and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. His whole family treated me very well and Mahendra showed me his entire village and introduced me to many Ekal Vidyalaya members. 

Overall, I am very happy that I took the time to visit the Ekal Vidyalaya schools. Seeing the impact that a single dollar a day can make was astonishing. It is nice to know that these villagers lives will actually be changed because of the people in this organization. While I was greeted as if I was a hero, the true heroes are the people spending everyday of their lives devoted to making a difference, the people of the Ekal Vidyalaya programme. I would specially like to thank Mahendra for personally taking care of me this entire time. He helped make this experience very special. From my brief observation of the teaching style, my only suggestion for improvement is that I am not sure if the students are encouraged to ask questions. For example, when I wrote a maths problem on the board, my style of writing numbers is different than what the students were used to. Instead of asking what the number was, the students stood puzzled. 

Overall, I am also quite impressed with the teaching style and abilities of the Acharyas.


Vanyatra by the team of members from Expert Engineering Enterprises, Belgaum- A travelogue

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On 7th February, a bright sunny Sunday morning, we (12 members including families) left Belgaum with a lot of enthusiasm for the Vanayatra to visit the adopted school at Village Bhalke. Driving through the nice scenic roads towards Goa we reached Khanapur at 10 AM where Mr. Vishwas Hublikar of Ekal Abhiyan was waiting for us. We then drove further to Gunji. On the way we were explained the functioning of Ekal Vidyalaya & various experiences were shared by Mr. Vishwas in a very friendly manner. Mr. Netaji Desai of Khanapur Anchal joined us at Gunji.

A very tiny village Bhalke was silent & the first words that the members of our team spoke out were "Wow. What a peace!!". The village was silent because most of the people had left for the work. Mr. Subhash Ghadi was waiting to welcome us. We were welcomed in a traditional manner. 

The school was held especially for us on a Sunday. The school was conducted in the local temple in the village. Children were very curious to see the guests. They started the school by lighting the lamp by the Teacher - Mrs. Kavita Ghadi & the group invocation song, followed by self introduction. We interacted with the teacher to know about the daily proceedings & how the education is imparted. She was free and frank to share her work. As a sample demonstration random questions were asked to the children & they were also asked to solve a couple of mathematical sums. 

In our visiting group we too had children from our family aging between 8 years to 13 years, who study at different schools in Belgaum. They then sang a few patriotic songs and prayers. The children at Bhalke school were then taught Maths by Mrs. Anupama Mamdapur & Social Science by Master Ashwath Islampure. 

We had carried a few puzzles, number games & foot ball for the children & the same was donated by our employee Mr. Manoj Deshpande to the school. The teacher received the same on behalf of the school. Mr. Anil Islpamure & Mrs. Roopa Lokur then taught the children how to use the games & solve the puzzles. The kids were very much cheered up to see something of their interest and were very much spontaneous to spot the opportunity to learn something new. We were delighted to see their sharp minds enjoying the games.

We then requested the teacher to show us how the games are conducted usually & the same was demonstrated by playing 3 group games. We were highly impressed by the involvement & commitment of the teacher Mrs. Kavita Ghadi.

Our employee Mr. Annaiya then distributed sweets, which the children enjoyed. 

We then moved around the village and visited the Vermiculture project & Brick making activity. We were informed about the basics. 

Lunch was then organized at Mr. Ghadi's house and we were served delicious food with all love and affection by the family. 

Having enjoyed the overwhelming hospitality and witnessing the spark in the eyes of the children, we started our journey back to Belgaum at 3 PM, with a jubilated mindset & a sense of satisfaction that we are also able to participate in this programme & be useful to someone!!!


Ekal updates - Ekal Vidyalaya

Current: Number of Ekal Schools: 27,041 Number of Children: 753,123


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