Historic New Dawn at "Ekal Abhiyan"
an article by Prakash Waghmare
There is historic new dawn at “Ekal Abhiyan” (‘Ekal Mission’), an umbrella organization for all the ancillary ‘Ekal branchlets’, as we approach ‘Diwali’. After the departure of former CEO of “Ekal Abhiyan”, Shri Bajrang Bagra, Shri Ramesh Shah, the former President and Chairman of ‘Ekal-USA’ has been unanimously appointed as the new CEO of “Ekal Abhiyan”. He is the first Indian-American to be conferred with this distinctive honor. Shri Ramesh Shah, has been a founder member of ‘Ekal-USA’ and credited with building a modest ‘one-teacher-school’ project, 32 years back into a national brand in U.S. for ‘selfless social work’. While endorsing his successor, Shri Bagra said, “Shri Ramesh Shah will improve upon working of Ekal in fields of operational efficiency and organizational growth. He was my guide and support for all matters related to foreign chapters”.
Coming from a humble rural background, Shri Ramesh Shah with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, arrived in U.S. in 1970. He subsequently obtained degrees in MBA-Finance and MA in Economics. While at ‘V.H.P. of America’, he took the responsibility of floating ‘Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation’ in 1988 and turned it into a monumental success, as confirmed by Dr. Mahesh Mehta, former Chairman of ‘VHPA’. In the initial days of ‘Ekal’, Shri Ramesh Shah used to carry box-load of self-prepared material to various community events to highlight rural illiteracy of India. Over the years, Shri Ramesh Shah and his wife Smt Kokilaben have brought in numerous donors, volunteers and organizations to Ekal fold with their amicable nature and tenacity. Shri Ramesh Shah has also spearheaded countless ‘Eye care’ projects for India.
The high points of Shri Ramesh Shah’s community involvement came in 2014 and 2019 when he successfully planned and coordinated public reception for Indian PM Shri Narendra Modi on a grand scale in New York City and Houston. In January 2017, Shri Ramesh Shah was honored with the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA)’ by the then President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee in recognition of his achievements, both in India and abroad. Basically, as CEO, he is going to be the bridge between Ekal-India and Ekal-Global; a one point-man for all Ekal activities; an accountability administrator; a success assessor of various rural projects; and the strategic planner for Ekal’s future.
EKAL OUTREACH event in Rubana
Ekal Outreach Event happened during Fall festival in Rubana. Ekal robotics, Ekal recycle my battery and Ekal stem team had put stalls. Over 100 people visited the stalls. Ekal card and Diya were given to people for Diwali celebrations.
Diya given by Ekal DC team
Ekal DC, Maryland, and Virginia youth team gave Diwali cards and Diyas to participating residents of community cleaning and food donation services.
Urbana STEMM and Ekal Volunteers Team up with Green Team Urbana to Plant Natives for Pollinators!
Times Fashion Show powered by Ekal Yuva
Ekal partnered with Times Fashion week to showcase garments made by women being trained at our GRC centre in Khargone under Master G program. In just a month’s time the village girls created 16 beautiful outfits adorned by professional models on the ramp. The little Ekal kids wore traditional attire of different states to represent the pan India presence of Ekal. Ekal Yuva also had a stall with haldi, poltlis, diyas and masks made at various IVDs as well as shabri basti.
Our showstopper was Divya Malhave, an Ekal Vidyalaya alumni who won accolades for India in Japan by bagging gold in karate. It was a house full show, filled with applause for the work Ekal is doing. The show was live on times of india handles. It boosted the confidence of the girls from Khargone and gave them a dream platform. Shri Karan Mittal sponsored the event which was an initiative of Ekal Yuva supported by entire Ekal Family.
Visit the link to watch the kids on the ramp https://youtu.be/BzPv9yUkwh0
Sports Carnival by FTS, Surat
On 11 and 12th of September FTS, Surat youth wing conducted Ekal Khel Mahotsav
to create an awareness about Ekal Abhiyan and its role in Nation building. First day, indoor sports like Table Tennis, Badminton, Chess and Carrom were conducted in which about 100 contestants participated. Second day was for Cricket. Ekal Cricket League was organized in which 12 teams participated. The best part was that all these 12 teams sponsored one Ekal Vidyalaya each for a year.
Hind Book of World recognizes Ekal Shri Hari Satsang Samithi for having gathered essays from over 175000 children for Hanuman Nibandh Pratiyogita. Shri Gajendra Singh Shikawat, Cabinet Jal Shakthi Mantri gave away the certificate.
Navratri Mahotsav by Surat Mahila Samithi
Navaratri Utsav was celebrated by Mahila Samithi Chapter of Surat. Program was attended by over 170 people. During the program, Rotary Inner Wheel (Sea Face) donated 25 swearing machines – 1 Gramthon Resource Centre (GRC), 3 IVDs (Integrated Village Development) and 1 SDC (Skill Development Centre) of Gujarat.
Ekal Kerala celebrated Gandhi Jayanthi with welfare programs
Community cleaning work was carried out by the students of Ekal at Wayanad Meenangadi Sanch, Avayal Vidyalaya, Nenmeni Sanch Alanthur Vidhyalaya, Idukki Munnar Sanch, Gramsland Vidyalaya, Kallar Estate, Pudhukkad division, Niravilpuzha Sanch, Vaaliyannankunnu Vidhalaya.
Certificates distributed to EOW students
Over 75 students who have completed the computer course successfully through Ekal Abhiyan’s Ekal On Wheels (EOW), Nizamabad got their certificates. The Nizamabad’s EOW is managed and operated by Ekal Gramothan Foundation from Brahmanapalli village, Kamareddy district, Hyderabad.
The sad demise of *Shri. Shyam Sundarji Damani*
The sudden demise of *Shri. Shyam Sundarji Damani*, the National Vice-president of FTS, is mourned by the entire Ekal family.
Shri. Shyam Sundarji Damani had not only devoted his valuable time for the upliftment of the Vanavasi society of South India, but he had devoted a large part of his life for the needs and prosperity of the Vanavasi and till the last moment he fought for their rights and self-reliance.
He inspired all the members of Ekal family to stand firm on the path of service by setting an example of sacrifice and dedication. Ekal family will always take lessons from his spirit and will continue to remain determined to fulfill his dreams, creating a feeling of his presence amidst us.
FTS Central Committee of Ekal, while paying homage to the departed soul, is praying to the Parameshwar for eternal peace of his soul and praying that He may give him a place at His lotus feet
Ekal Bharat Lok Shiksha Parishad went on a Vanyatra to Jammu. The members visited Takwala village and Rajpura village Ekal Vidyalayas.