Newsletter September 2006

Schools & Children

Current: Number of Ekal Schools: 18,225 Number of Children: 546,750


Ekal Marathon in USA

Northern California Ekal Marathon team completed another milestone of successfully finishing San Francisco Marathon. Though this was an intermediate step leading up to the final event Santa Clara Valley Marathon on Oct 29, 2006, the participation was very encouraging. With modest beginning of 2 runners and ~$4000 in funds raised in 2004 to 30 runners and ~$35,000 raised last year, the Ekal Marathon has been progressively successful year after year. This year we are expecting 40+ participants. The best part is most of the participants are new introductions to Ekal with few registrants picking Ekal from the long list of charity organizations to support from the official marathon website. The benefits are numerous for us, Ekal as an organizations.

Each of the runners deserves a grand applause for completing the marathon. Congratulations to you all. Marathon team did a commendable job starting from orientation to the mid point of San Francisco Marathon and going forward for the final event in Oct. Wish you all good luck for the final marathon, Santa Clara Valley Marathon on Oct 30. For now lets get together and celebrate this success. The participants list is following and beyond where there were registrations from outside individuals who ran for Ekal who picked Ekal from SFM official website. This is a very encouraging list.

Full Marathon:
1. Barinder Saini
2. Santha Kumar

First Half Marathon:
1. Chetan Surpur
2. Maitrey 
3. Satish Upadhyay
4. Vijay Keerthi
5. Krishna Katikaneni
6. Sunil Eraballi
7. Chetan Yaliwal
8. Ravi Kasirajan
9. Krishna
10. Narendra Gathoo

Second Half Marathon:
1. Bharati Shirashyad
2. Rupesh Jain
3. Chandra Jaiswal

(5K Run/Walk):
1. Ritu Jaiswal
2. Manthan Mallikarjun

(Progressive Marathon):
1. Mallikarjun Shirashyad 
2. Rupali Mallikarjun
3. Rudra Aiyar
4. Bala Aiyar


Ekal Musical Concert in USA

The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of America (EVFA) Southwest Region and the Indian-American community hosted a very successful music concerts ‘Ekal Sur Sandhya 2006’ with dinner in Corpus Christi on July 28, Houston on July 29, Dallas on July 30, and Baton Rouge on August 5, 2006. The Indian Community responded generously and sponsored more than 500 schools in Houston, 51 schools in Corpus Christi, 150 schools in Dallas and 40 schools in Baton Rouge, and donated over $270,465 to support these schools.

The overwhelming response & sold out event in Houston held at the Stafford Civic Centre provided ample testimony to the success of the program and the community’s commitment in support of the growing people’s movement to eradicate illiteracy in India’s tribal villages. 

After a sumptuous vegetarian dinner, the landmark event was inaugurated amidst a melodious “Vande Mataram” rendition by Urvashi Shah. Mrs. Meera Kapur, VP Southwest Region, warmly welcomed the participating audience and donors. 

The Consul General of India and keynote speaker, Hon. S.M. Gavai recounted how India’s literacy rate has gone up from 18% of the population in 1947 to 65% today. He urged the audience to remember the remaining 35% of Indians who could not read or write. Unless that segment is also brought into the main stream through literacy, India’s achievement will remain incomplete. ”We need innovative solutions. Ekal Vidyalaya has shown an effective way of bringing literacy to the tribal areas. Spread the word and enhance the support to achieve the target by 2011,” Gavai said.

Houston philanthropists, Jugal and Raj Malani, made an excellent presentation highlighting the rapid strides made by the Ekal-USA chapter in raising funds in the last 5 years. Jugal Malani, who also serves as Regional Advisor for Ekal Vidyalaya, stressed that since Ekal was run primarily by highly accomplished voluntary officials who received no salaries, the movement had very low overheads and more grassroots development from the donations. “The founding principles of Ekal Vidyalaya movement which spreads literacy in India’s tribal areas through one-teacher schools at a cost of one dollar per day are sound and strong and they are working,” Jugal said.

The audience then watched a documentary on Ekal’s activities as a growing “people’s movement” of 18,225 ‘Ekal Vidyalayas’ (meaning ‘one-teacher schools’) that is currently educating and empowering over 540,000 tribal Indian children. The participants learnt how the Ekal Vidyalaya movement aims to systematically eradicate illiteracy from rural India by 2011 by striving to bring value-based primary education, healthcare, women’s empowerment and grassroots development to the nearly 100,000 remote tribal villages of India. 

“Ekal is truly a people’s movement fulfilling Swami Vivekananda’s dream. I am so excited to see many organizations joining Ekal movement. Hindu Student Council sponsored 5 schools and Senior Citizens sponsored 2 school. I am so thankful to our seniors, 5 Senior Citizens sponsored schools from their tight budget,” Meera Kapur said.

Mr. Naren Chavda, Ekal Houston Coordinator, during vote of thanks stressed that over 100 million tribals living in rural India were deprived of their share of education. Today the tribal literacy rate is quite abysmal, barely 12% among men and 5% among women, he emphasized. He announced that the Ekal USA National Meeting is planned for Oct. 2006 where Ekal officials from India will participate.

Hosted efficiently by the emcees Amit Misra and Chanda Kewalramani, the highlight of the evening was a musical extravaganza of bhajans, ghazals and film songs by singer Kumar Sunil Mungee with Hemendra Kumar Mahavar on the Tabla, Indrajit Roy Chowdhary playing Sitar and Hemendra Bhavsar with cymbals. The noted singer not only mesmerized the audience with his soul-stirring and melodious voice, but provided comic relief with a liberal sprinkling of humorous anecdotes. This Ekal musical concert series will be performed at 25 cities all over USA & Canada by Sept 2006.

The organizers took pride in mentioning that most of the hard work in organizing the event was done by second-generation Ekal youth volunteers and they took pride being part of the Ekal movement that is transforming India.

For more info on the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, visit or call +1-281-933-6169


Upcoming Annual Meeting of EVF USA

2006 National Annual General Meeting of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation USA is to be held at Detroit, Michigan on 6-8 October 2006 (Fri – Sun).
Location:Holiday Inn Express & Suites
3950 S Lotz Road
Canton, MI 48188-2909
Travel/hotel:For hotel reservations, please call 734-721-5500
& ask for the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation rate (2-4 people per room) $85 per room/night
Arrival:5 Oct. 2006 (Thursday) evening
Departure:8 Oct. 2006 (Sunday) after 12.00 noon
Please Send Travel/Flight Info to Bhagirathbhai Parikh [EVF USA office]
Schedule:5 October - Thursday
Evening arrivals:Welcome, Snacks, Reading Package
6 October Friday
06.00 - 07.30 am:Breakfast
08.00 - 09.00 am:Introduction & Meeting Agenda
09.00 - 09.30 am:EVF USA President's report, Q&A
09.30 - 10.00 am:EVF USA financial report, Q&A
10.00 - 11.00 am:Donor Relations Discussion
11.00 - 12.00:Event Committee Report(s)
12.00 - 01.30 pm:Lunch
01.30 - 03.30 pm:Board of Director's Meeting
Parallel Sessions:
  • Brochures
  • Youth activities and support
  • Reaching more people in USA
  • Advisory Board Meeting
6 October Friday continued
3:30 – 4:00 pm: ----- Tea Break -----
4:00 – 5:00 pm:Youth Activity Report
5:00 – 6:30 pm:Media, publicity, brochures, posters, etc.
6:30 – 8:00 pm:Dinner
8.30 - 10.30 pm:Brainstorming for 2007 Ekal goal(s), fund raising event(s), media, publicity, national office needs, etc.
7 October  Saturday
6.00 - 7.30 am:Breakfast
7.00 – 8:00 am:Board Meeting
Advisory Board Meeting
8.00 – 9:00 am:Event Committee Planning 2007
9:00 – 11:30 am:EVF - India report & presentation; FTS presentation; activities & communication with EVFI, etc.
11:30 – 12:00 noon:Global Ekal activities & report
12.00 - 1.30 pm:Lunch
1.30 – 2:00:Dr. Sudhir Prabhu's Ekal Travel Experience
2:00 – 3.30 pm:Regional reporting (10 min per region max)
3:30 – 4:00 pm: ------ Tea Break -----
4:00 – 5:00 pm:Regional reporting (10 min per region max)
5:00 – 5:30 pm:Regulatory & legal requirements
5:30 – 6:30 pm:Break
6:30 – 7:00 pm:Inspirational talk by Ma Purnananda Ji
7:00 – 9:30 pm:Dinner & entertainment
8 October  Sunday
6.00 - 7.30 am:Breakfast
8:00 – 11:30 am:Board of director's report
Action plan and assignments
Plan for 2007
12:00 noon check-out and departure . . .


Upcoming Annual General Meeting of EVF Australia

Notice is hereby given pursuant to the provisions of EVF Australia Incorporation Rules that the Annual General Meeting for the period ending 30th June 2006 will be held as detailed below:
Date:Sunday, 3rd September 2006
Time:10:30 am
Place:39 Bridge Street Epping


Arogya Yojna (Health Awareness Plan)

We have one dedicated training centre called National Arogya Training Centre (NATC) at Medikeri (Karnataka) for Arogya Sanch Nirikshika (Arogya Supervisor taking care of 30 villages). One more NATC has been recently opened at Ooty - Nilgiri Hills (Tamilnadu).


Ekal Global Learning (EGL)

Respected All,
Itinerary of Ekal Global Learning (EGL) for Ranchi (Jharkhand) is given below. If you are interested to join on any date please write us at Period: January 1 to January 9, 2007
01.01.07Reach Kolkata by 6 PM & Train for Ranchi at 9 PM
02.01.07VANYATRA - Jharkhand
03.01.07VANYATRA - Jharkhand
03.01.07Orientation - Bishanpur - School Working
05.01.07Orientation - Bishanpur - Sanch Working
06.01.07Orientation - Ranchi - Anchal Working
07.01.07Orientation - Chakradharpur - Swavalamban Working
08.01.07Orientation - Chakradharpur - Arogya & Gram Vikas
08.01.07Departure for Kolkata at 8 PM
09.01.07Orientation - Kolkata - Chapter Working
09.01.07Departure in the Evening from Kolkata
Itinerary Cost: (Approximate)
Full Package IRs 11,000 - Kolkata to Kolkata (Jan 1-9)
Full Package IIRs 10,000 - Ranchi to Kolkata (Jan 2-9)
Vanyatra Package IIIRs 4,000 - Kolkata to Ranchi (Jan 1- 4)
Vanyatra Package IVRs 3,000 - Ranchi to Ranchi (Jan 2- 4)


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