Newsletter October 2012

Ekal at CII National Summit on Quality in Education

“Innovate, Lead and Share” was the central theme for the ‘Redefining Delivery of Quality Education’ in the national summit of CII (Confederation of Indian Industry). The national summit was held at the Infosys Limited Electronic City Campus, Bangalore on 14-15th Sept. 2012.
Ekal Foundation of India was represented by Prof. Manjushree, All India Org. Secretary of Ekal Movement in the national summit of CII. She spoke on “Beyond Literacy: Working towards community empowerment”. Prof. Manjushree presented the cause of Ekal as an All Inclusive Education for all round development and empowerment of Tribal/rural communities in India through power point presentation.
The summit was attended by a strong gathering of nearly 500 delegates from corporate, academics and R&D sectors of India. The theme of Ekal Movement was very well received by the delegates from all over the country. They thronged around the speaker to get to know more about the innovative educational programme of Ekal which has reached in 40,000 villages in India, Unbelievable but true! The social impact of Ekal’s strategy ‘Innovate, lead and share’ trough functional education in remote villages, caught the fancy of most of the distinguished listeners. Many of them came forward to join this Movement in different capacities. Ekal as an effective low cost module of education, working silently for changing the face of India was highly appreciated and revered by one and all. The organiser of the summit Dr. A.Senthil Kumaran happily quipped “I wanted this spark to ignite people’s imagination for future of India.” You did it Ma’m. 


Ekal Vidyalaya: helping in Cleft Surgery

FTS Jabalpur is supervising about 1300 Ekal Vidhyalaya in seven Districts of Mahakaushal area of Madhya Pradesh. At regular intervals, vanyatras take place with the participation of Mahila wing and FTS.
Smt. Manisha Dube, Mahial Samity President, noticed that in the tribal area there are cases of facial infirmities like cleft and craniofacial deformities. She took an initiative involving her son Dr Gunjan Dube for surgical cure and took help of another Dr Shyam Bose, Anesthetic doctor.
Dr. Gunjan Dube in collaboration with Cleft Society of Hyderabad carried out the mission of striving to improve facial function and Aesthetic under which patients born with congenital crania and facial deformities were surgically treated. The operation cost included bed, medicine, hospital consumables etc. 85 patients born with cleft lip, and plate deformities have so far been benefited in the last 18 months.
The extensive network of Ekal Vidyalaya has been supporting this project by identifying the patients with such deformities and mobilizing them from different villages in and around state of Madhya Pradesh.


FTS Jamshedpur organizes its annual function

FTS Jamshedpur organized its Annual day Function on 29th to 30th of September 2012, at Tulsi Bhawan, Bistupur. Children from all the three Sanch were called along with Acharyas. But due to Jharkhand Strike Dhumaria Sanch children with Acharya could not come. Total 54 children from 54 village and 23 Acharya from 23 village and full timers (all together 92) attended the Function. On 29th after taking their lunch they were taken to Zoo, Amusement Park, Musical Fountain-Laser show, and Jubilee Park from 3 PM to 8.30 pm.
On 30th there was one hour country play, one hour drawing and one hour Quiz competition and finally prize distribution to all children, Acharya (teacher), fulltimers. The complete programme was organized by Mahila Samiti of the Chapter led by its President Smt Jashree Goyal and team. Chapter President Sri Dilip Goyal lit the lamp, Smt Pasam Adesara, President, Inner Wheel club was the guest of Honor. Sri Dipak Dokanika, Secretary, FTS Jamshedpur conducted the function. Sri Bimal Jalan, Sri Rajesh Mittal, Sri Jitendra Agrawal, Sri Mohan Kedia and many members were present at the time.  National Joint General Secretary Sri Raghavan was also present at the function. Smt Priti Agrawal gave vote of thanks to all.


Bharat Mata ki Aarti

FTS Erode chapter celebrated its 3rd annual day function on 26th Aug.2012, Saturday at Sengunthar school Ground, Erode. It had organised a musical concert of patriotic songs "BHARAT MATA KI AARTI" by Sri Baba Satyanarayan Mourya. Sri Selvaraj, DSP, Special Task Force, Erode Inaugurated the program. The function was attended by around 2000 people of Erode. The function began with Ganesh Vandana followed by the traditional cultural program by the kids of various EKAL schools of FTS Erode chapter. Baba Mourya took over the stage and the people of Erode city were awestruck to witness such a tremendous performance of singing, dancing and painting all together for nearly four hours. His God gifted Art of painting while singing patriotic songs invoked love for this Country in the minds of invitees. There were spectacular lights, sounds, tears and laughter to his talk about the golden heritage of this Country. Not only the elders but even the kids were overwhelmed and enjoyed the evening. The AARTI turned out to be amazing when in the end entire gathering joined it with the lamps in their hands. 


Producing Health in our Backyard

One out of every three malnourished child in the world is an Indian (UNICEF). There are more malnourished children in India than in Sub-saharan Africa. 25% of the world’s hungry are in India. 52% of women in India suffer from Anemia, one of the highest in the world. If there is one problem that smacks us right on the face then it is the problem of adequate nutrition.
Nutrition is more than having food—it is having the right kind of foods to develop and sustain a healthy body. A healthy body houses a healthy mind which allows a person to be Productive, creative and able to provide for him/her and society.
To tackle the issue of malnutrition, Gramothan India Foundation, a sister-affiliate of Ekal Vidyalaya, has come up with the concept of nutrition garden. Nutrition garden is a concept of producing food for your family in your land. The notion dates back to Gandhiji’s ideas of a village-centered economy and the need for Gram Swaraj or village self-rule. Mr. J.C. Kumarappa, Gandhi’s close aide and a key Gandhian economist, advocated the need for each village allocating a certain amount of land area for cultivating food for the village. This was his theory of self-reliance for the village. In recent times, Dr. Vandana Shiva and Dr. Vaibhav Singh have written an excellent research report on “Health per acre”, a paradigm shift from looking at land in terms of “yield per acre” to “nutrition per acre.” They write-- “By maximizing health per acre, we can ensure that every child, woman and man in India has access to healthy, nutritious, safe and good food.” Nutrition Garden advances this concept by maximizing health benefits from a given acre of land.
The nutrition garden consists of: 1. Vegetable farming 2. Fruit trees 3. Medicinal plants 4. Vermi-compost 5. Water harvesting 6. Cow husbandry
1. In vegetable farming, farmers grow a variety of vegetables that provide a variety of nutrients and that grow well in the soil and climatic conditions. The vegetables make good use of the various layers of soil and bear vegetables above and below the earth as well as in the shade. Usually greens, salad vegetables and vegetables like French beans, Karela, pumpkins, gourds, lady-finger, cabbage and other vegetables are planted.
2. In fruit planting, a variety of fruit saplings are planted such that they bear some fruit or other through various seasons. Fruits are an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein and several essential minerals.  Popular fruits planted are mango, papaya, guava, jackfruit, banana, pomegranate, custard apple etc.
3. 4-5 medicinal plants that provide relief to some basic household health problems are planted—for e.g. tulsi, lemongrass, aloe vera, asparagus, drumstick, amrita and others.
4. Vermi-compost production is essential to provide the garden natural fertilizers. Using cow dung and urine and earthworms, the vermin-compost bed provides adequate amount of nutrients for the garden. It is essential no chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used in the nutrition garden.
5. Water harvesting- To build ditches around the garden to store water and to dig a 3ft deep hole in 5% land to store and recharge groundwater.
6. Cow husbandry—It is essential to have a cow to provide for dung and cow urine for the vermin-compost preparation as well as pest-repellant. Additionally, a milch cow can also provide milk for the family.
Nutrition gardens have been developed in Uttar Pradesh around Naimisharanya and Lucknow and in Jharkhand, in and around Karanjo and Ranchi. Nutrition gardens will be taking off in a major way in Bihar, in and around Patna city.  Nutrition gardens in farmer’s houses that I visited showed ample amount of vegetables and fruits as well as timber-yielding trees. The fruits grown were typically mangoes, guavas, papaya and in some cases pomegranate. Vegetables differed from region to region. In addition, most nutrition gardens also showcased shade-loving turmeric (haldi) plants. The farmer’s houses had usually one or more small children and it was heartening to see that the children could easily access the fruits and consumed fresh vegetables from their own garden. 
Nutrition garden is an excellent way to develop awareness of good nutrition, connect with Mother Earth, grow fresh chemically-free food, and become self-reliant. It is a way to beat poverty.
Dr. Bhavana Upadhyaya
Program Director, Gramothan India


Schools and Children

Current number of Ekal Schools: 39,525 Number of Children: 11,14,060


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