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Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation rapidly approaching 100,000 schools Target”

Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation rapidly approaching 100,000 schools Target”
August 22
14:52 2019

PRAKASH WAGHMARE

Considering Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation’s (EVF or Ekal) profound impact and rapid growth at the grass-root level, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017 gave Ekal a unique goal of establishing 100,000 schools by the year 2022.

In India’s history, the year 2022 has a very distinctive significance. It will be the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence. EVF is going to ring the ‘target-bell’ by early 2020 itself. As of now, Ekal has 93,000 schools in the same number of villages that are grooming 2.55 million children for life’s major challenges.

The most remarkable thing about these staggering number is, more than half of them are girls. Moreover, quite a few of its alumni have gone on to become high-calibre teachers, district officers, company administrators and technocrats.

Although rooted in education, Ekal has forayed into health care, integrated village development and economic empowerment. Recently, UNESCO confirmed that defying the global trend, India is likely to meet 100 per cent child enrolment and school completion target set for 2030. This is an affirmation and endorsement of EVF’s educational mission in rural and tribal areas of India.

This year, Ekal Abhiyan Trust, an umbrella organization of various off-shoots of Ekal, was bestowed with the iconic national honour, the Gandhi Peace Prize, by the Indian government for its contribution to education in remote areas. EVF is the largest literacy movement undertaken by the Indians and NRIs in a dozen countries.

In the last one year alone, Ekal has successfully added 20,000 schools. This meteoric rise has been partly due to the high-end Future of India galas that Ekal has started hosting in various metropolitan areas since 2017. Last year, between October 6 and 13, it hosted three galas in Houston, Washington and New York and raised over $5 million. This was in addition to $6 million it had already raised through its annual fund-raising concerts across 55 cities in the US.

This year, two galas have been planned – one in Los Angeles (LA) area and the other in New York City (NYC). The LA Gala will be held September 14 at Hyatt Regency (200 South Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA), and the NYC Gala November 9 at the majestic Gotham Hall (1356 Broadway, NYC, NY 10018).

For details of ticket purchase, sponsorship or special-project enquiry, please check www.lagala.ekal.org or www.nycgala.ekal.org for respective Galas. At LA Gala, the keynote speaker is going to be Emily Church, executive director of XPrize Foundation with Bollywood heart-throb Vivek Oberoi as the special guest. Bollywood Comedian Omi Vaidya will give a performance which will be capped by a fusion-music concert by Nauzad.

Suresh Iyer, president of ‘Ekal-USA’, has confirmed that so far this year, Ekal has raised almost $5.5 million. Attributing this stunning achievement to thousands of its donors and dedicated volunteers, Iyer is confident that, with the two upcoming galas, Ekal, will once again cut through the $10-million mark by the year’s end.

In 2017, Bajrang Bagra, CEO of Ekal Abhiyan Trust, initiated a special literacy project for areas in India’s border regions. He confirmed that as of now almost 6,000 Ekal schools are in operation in Jammu and Kashmir. The schools there are run by local people under Ekal’s guidance.

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