Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Guwahati Chapter of FTS
FTS Guwahati Chapter celebrated their Silver Jubilee on 11 & 12 Feb 2014 in JMC Auditorium.
Samnavya Varg’s inauguration was done by Sri Bajrang Bagra. The programs have participation of the General Secretary Sri Ravidev Gupta, Vice President Sri Ajay Parik, Chapter President Sri Pavankumar Agrawal. The program felicitated the best teachers and best workers. Annual Souvenir and 2014 Directory were launched. There were bhajan and patriotic song sessions. The Second day program had speeches of Sri Lakshmi Balla of Hindustan Times and Vice President Sri Arunkumar Bajaj. Sri Panalal of H.P. Institutes in his speech assured that his institute will promise that the outstanding children of Ekal Vidyalaya, Guwahati chapter will get proper training from centre and get good jobs. The program’s Chief Guest was Sri Mangilal Jain, in addition to other dignitaries of Ekal’s group.
All anchal samithi office bearers, members from 17 jillas, gram samethi, teachers, students and karyakartha’s presence added to the audience strength of over 2000 people.
Call from Kanpur
On 23 November 2013, Bharat Loksiksha Parashid, Kanpur Chapter has organized a program by Ability Unlimited Foundation at the Ragendra Swarup Auditorium, Kanpur.
Sri Muktharul Ameen, Sri Surendra Gupta, Sri Ghanshyam Das Goel, Sri Indramohan Agrawal, Sri Vinod Agrawal, Smt Darshna Goel, Dr. A. S. Prasad and Sri Rakesh Suri participated. The inaugural speech was given by Chapter President Sri Surendra Gupta, followed by Sri Vinod, Sri Rakhi and Dr. Prasad.
The speakers highlighted the activities of Ekal and requested more and more people to join this noble cause. The program was coordinated by Smt Devika Mukarji and around 450 people participated.
Honors for the Donors
On the occasion of Makar Sankranthi, Mahila group of FTS Surat Chapter invited donations from urban community. This year they planned to felicitate last year’s major donors. On 9 Jan 2014, on the opening ceremony, Surat donors who have been supporting FTS for the last 13 years were felicitated with shawls. Mahila group which collected more than Rs. 20000 were also felicitated. This year, 107 centers were created for collections all over the city. Surat Mahila group President Smt Manju Mittal spoke on donation and its importance. Chief Guest Sri Jayprakash Sony and Smt. Sushma Agarwal also expressed their views. Sri Ramesh Agarwal, Sri Pramod Kumar Choudry, Sri Babul Mittal, Sri Vidyakar Bansal and Sri Maheshkumar Mittal were some of the main invitees.
After 2011, Sri Hashmuk Shah, Executive Vice President EVFUSA and his wife Jyotsna from USA, visited India again to see its development of EKAL activities through Gramothan. From the day he arrived at Delhi they enjoyed continuous travel to different states and their interiors where EKAL has been active. They had taken the Vanyatra after reaching Ranchi with other visitors to village Kala Mati. The entire village has been involved in vermicompost and Posak Vatika. The next one was to the mountain range and Karanjo where there was a Gramothan resource center since 2003. The school there has 250 boys and girls from different tribal villages and apart from education they were taught methods for better farming. These apart, sewing, computer education, jam making were also taught. The visit to the EKAL schools in the hills within the forest was a memorable experience. The school children were found to get better foundation in mathematics and the people were also enterprising using solar power to watch television! Satsang educates them on the vedic culture.
The next visit was to Orissa and Gramothan project near Janakloi. Here, the barren land has been converted into a cultivable one with fruit trees. It was heartening to note, when we crossed upper Orissa from west to east crossing over a number of fertile tribal villages, that EKAL has undertaken the efforts with measureable results in these villages.
The last part of the visit was in West Bengal with a trip to a EKAL village near Rampuhat which was about 200 kms north of Kolkata. The students there have been motivated well by EKAL workers’ efforts. Last three days in Kolkata covered visits to Belur Math and participation in the celebrations of 150th birthday of Swami Vivekananda and 25 years of EKAL movement’s achievements.
Celebrations down South
The 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda was celebrated by Tirunelveli Anchal and Dindigul Anchal in Tamilnadu on January, 2014. The Acharyas, students, committee members and the local people came in large numbers and made a memorable program. The Organizers took this opportunity to communicate the activities and purpose of Ekal to the people and also to motivate those already involved in its activities.
Pongal at Kolli Hills
As planned we, myself, Madhavan, Executive Secretary and Sri Ananth, active member of SVO left for Kolli hills on 13th of Jan 2014 and reached Namakkal and were received by the Namakkal Anchal Samithy members Sri Sathyamurthy, Sri Vadivelu and other active members. Various issues were discussed over the lunch provided by the samithi and then we left for Kolli hills and stayed in PA guest house by night. The dinner was austere because we were served with tasty fruits and sweet milk.
Next morning our full timer Sri Palanichamy came to the guest house and we left for village to celebrate ‘Makara Shankranthi’, called as Pongal festival in Tamilnadu, in which the farmers thank the SUN GOD and their cows for blessing and supporting them in their farming for the whole year. We were earlier told by another full timer Sri Shankar about the customs they follow during the festival. He said there are two groups, one is called Aandi and another Servai. These groups on the first day of ‘Thai’ month (Tamil month) go to villages and sing in front of all the houses. While the Aandi wears simple costume, the Servai wears new clothes, dressed royally with anklets etc. They go to each and every house in the village, stand in front of the house and sing songs. The theme of the songs was invariably small episodes from Ramayan and Mahabharath. When we were going with these groups they were singing about Abhimanyu, the illustrious son of Arjuna being sent to school by his mother Subhadra. Here the groups were not only maintaining the link with the past but also insist through these ‘Ithihas’, the importance of education. It was, indeed, amazing that how our ancestors have diligently integrated the ‘moral education’ with ‘modern education’ and kept the links connected with the past. Kolli hills have hundreds of villages and that there are several groups of Aandi and Servai doing this as service and they accept whatever the people offer. Their only goal is to spread the noble messages from our ‘purana’s on this auspicious day. Later we went to Sri Shankar's house and celebrated Pongal festival there.
T.V.Seshadri, Secretary, Ekal Vidyashram, SVO Tamilnadu
Impressed by dedication
On December 4, 2013, we went on Vanayatra to Tepachi Wadi and Teerthachi Wadi near Junnar in Pune District. It was a great experience for me and my family. We were highly impressed by the dedication of all the volunteers. We were happy to see how the kids in the remote areas are provided knowledge by the local teachers. It was an eye-opener for all of us to see how tough the conditions could be for the kids, the teachers, and the volunteers. But, they gave us a grand hearty welcome and they had planned the events meticulously starting from the welcoming music to the tasty lunch to the kids preparing the bouquets for the event. The whole yatra was organized perfectly and neatly coordinated. We will continue to support Ekal movement from the US as much as we can.
Sandeep Tampoli, US
Delhi to Karanjo
A 24 member team from BLSP, Delhi went on a Vanyatra to Ranchi, Jharkhand for two days from 21st to 22nd December, 2013. Sri Lakshmi Goyal, Sri Vinit Gupta (Both Trustees of BLSP), Sri G. D. Goyal, Sri Sanjiv Goyal, Sri Naresh Jain and all others went with their families. Dr. Hashmukh Shah – Executive Vice President, EVFUSA and his wife Smt. Jyotsana Shah also participated. 3 Members of Ranchi Gramothan Yojna Samity, Sri Arun Kumar Khemka, Sri Arun Chawchariya and Sri Binod Agarwal have also joined the 2 days program.
This is special Vanyatra for Gramothan Resource Centre, Karanjho.
GRC Karanjo has various activities like Vocational Trainings in computer applications, tailoring, and saree making. In addition, there were preparation of Vermicompost, Jivamrit and Insect-pest controller by desi cow urine and maintaining of Nutritional Garden. There was a cultural program of Hostel Students.
The visits included two Ekal Vidyalayas, 3 Nutritional Gardens, One Vermicompost production Centre, One Mushroom Production Centre, One tailoring Centre and One Medical Camp.
Neha – the change factor
Last month I had to travel to Amritsar for a family get-together. I, along with some of my family members, availed of the opportunity to visit the Ekal Vidyalaya. We went to Patalpuri village. Km Neha was taking care of the Ekal Vidyalaya in this village. She’s simultaneously pursing her fashion design course at Amritsar. She returns at about 3 pm and serves at Ekal Vidyalaya. Neha was all spirits. The Ekal class started with attendance. Then Neha asked the children whether the students had touched feet of their parents in the morning as a mark of respect. This was followed by enquiries on personal hygiene such as cutting of nails. Then patriotic songs followed. We were treated to a short cultural program by the students. What impressed us most was the support from the community. Many mothers had turned up for the event. The community committee was present in full. The impact of Ekal at this village is phenomenal considering the fact that it was started just 8 months ago. However, Child marriage in this section, is a matter of great concern which demands attention.
During my visit, I went to two villages under Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation. I really enjoyed this trip. It was an amazing experience; from the start to the end. In the beginning, we were joined by two Ekal volunteers, Rajshri and Mira Vadaporkar. They were the nicest people and very sociable. Even though they had just joined Ekal a couple of months ago, they were well informed about the organization. It was a 3 hour car ride to the village, and all of us had a great time in the car talking about Ekal. When we reached the village, we were welcomed by the villagers – they were playing drums. I loved this so much! It was such a warm welcome and made us feel like home. They played the drums for a while and after this the women from the village came up to us and put tilaks on our foreheads. I really felt honored that they were doing all of this for us. After this we went and sat down and did an offering to Saraswati goddess. All the kids sang slokas and it was so beautiful. I could see how willing they were to learn and how passionately they sang. One of the kids came up to me and showed me his math book. Another child came and showed me her writing book. It looked like they were learning very well. After this, they gave all of us a flower and a coconut. From California, we had brought colored pencils and candies. The children looked happy and excited when we gave them out to them. After this they served us a delicious lunch. It was daal and rice.
Later we went to the next school. Over there, the people were also so welcoming. The little girls of the school presented a beautiful dance show to us. Some of them also sang.
Over all, this was a memorable experience. I had always raised funds in California, but I really wanted to see the school first hand. This experience was definitely priceless, and I hope I can go on a Vanyatra again! Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.
Allahabad Chapter’s Vanyatra on 24 December 2013
Allahabad Chapter President Sri Rajkamal Agarwal, Sri Brijmohan Gupta, Sri Kamal Agarwal, Sri Vishalmohan, Smt Padhma Taini, Smt Neera Singh, Smt Sushma, Smt Madhu Sahay, Smt Ritu Agarwal, Smt Usha Rani Gupta went on a Vanayatra. They were Happy to see the Schools and were in full appreciation of Ekal for the same.
Ekal Updates - Ekal Vidyalaya
Current: Number of Ekal Schools: 53,959
Number of Children: 15,30,765