“Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation – USA” (known as ‘Ekal-USA’) had record setting fund-raising in 2015. It raised over $6 million in USA alone and it has satellite Organizations in 10 different countries. Moreover, Ekal has just received a generous donation of $500,000 from Mrs. Prabha Jhunjhunwala, daughter of Shri Madanlal Agarwala, who started Ekal Movement in late 1988 in India. Considering the way it has kick started this New Year, and it is poised to establish a new record for 2016. “My father is my inspiration. He was a very compassionate soul and strongly believed that the Ekal movement would transform India. Were he alive, he surely would have been delighted to see strong Global support reaching into 53,000 villages,” says Prabhaji. “When Prabha decided to make a donation in the name of her father, I couldn’t be happier” says Vinod Jhunjhunwala, her husband and President of Ekal-USA. He further elaborated that,” the seed-money will help us build an endowment that will ensure strong financial footing for Ekal USA”.
Ekal raises funds through series of concerts all over USA and through direct appeals to generous philanthropists. Braham Aggarwal, Avadesh Agarwal, Himanshu Shah, Mohan Wancho have been some of the most generous and valuable benefactors of Ekal. According to Dilip Kothekar, Chairman of Ekal’s Event Committee, two famous musical groups from ‘Bollywood’ would be performing in series of 60-65 concerts all across USA, starting from February 26’ 2016.
For past 27 years, ‘Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation (EVF)’, has been rigorously involved in total transformation of villages, giving sustainability to its people and empowering them. For basic donation of just $365, Ekal has been providing functional literacy and health care training for the whole year to an ‘Ekal-school’, consisting of 35-40 children. For one-time generous donation of $5,000, one can sponsor a whole village for its perpetual development.
To make women-folks self-reliant in villages, multiple cottage-industries have been introduced by training them in tailoring, food-processing, weaving etc. “EVF” is a duly registered as tax-exempt, charitable organization, not only in USA, but also, in several other countries, making it globally the largest grassroots village-development movement undertaken by Indians and NRIs. As of this moment, it is operating all over India, including in Jammu & Kashmir region benefiting over 1.50 million children (half of whom are girls).
“Health Foundation for Rural India (HFRI)”, under the leadership of Dr. Veena Gandhi is committed to eradicate Anemia also in Ekal villages. New water conservation techniques, and use of solar-power for domestic use etc. have been adopted in several villages. In addition, an innovative ‘Ekal-on-Wheels’ digital pilot-project has been launched in some states to make villages computer-literate..
According to Bajrang Bagra, CEO of Ekal-India, this year, Ekal took a giant leap forward in 2015 by establishing 10 village development centers, each catering to the needs of 100 villages, thereby directly impacting at least one million people, and exposing 10 million villagers to innovative techniques. Villagers are trained in multiple cropping, Vermicomposting, based on local conditions.
Pradeep Goyal, Chairman of Ekal-India recently confirmed that retraining villagers for agro-farm based products has given them income ranging from Rs.50,000 to Rs.8 Lakhs. Because of Ekal’s extensive rural network, many Organizations that were engaged on their own in divine rural projects have now forged alliance with Ekal. Dr. Subhash Chandra, CEO of ZEE-TV Network, has recently joined as the ‘Chairman of Ekal-Global’ and plans to take this ‘Literacy’ movement’ to the upper zenith of worldwide conscientious global organizations. According to Subhash Gupta, recent Chairman of Board of Advisers, Ekal derives its strength from its 300,000 global volunteers. As PM Modi said, “When you invest in village, you are investing in India’s future; let’s develop one village, one school at-a-time.