Long Island, New York: Indian American community members came together to support Ekal Vidyalaya at Antun’s, Long Island on May 7. Ekal is dedicated to facilitating the process of empowering rural & tribal communities based on the concept of social, economic and gender equality.
Acclaimed TV presenter and singer Gita Setia hosted the evening which started with the American and Indian National Anthems.
Ekal Vidyalaya Long Island & New York City Chapter President Mohan Wanchoo shared the impressive work of Ekal with a crisp presentation and talked about the enormous work undertaken by Ekal with supportive images and videos.
While individual donors were impressed by the concept of $1 per day for a school, few foundations also came forward to strengthen Ekal actively serving and realizing the spirit of swami Vivekananda, who said, ‘If a child cannot come to school, the school must go to the child.”
Mukund Padmanabhan, Founder, Chairman of Guru Krupa Foundation appreciated the work of Ekal Vidyalaya. His foundation has sponsored 500 schools in remote Ekal villages, provided tablets for e-shiksha program, provided computer education through “Ekal on Wheels” program, provided COVID relief, and most recently is providing support for the Integrated Village Development (IVD) project in Amrabad, Telangana.
Lynnette Iglesias, Managing Director of ‘Perfection of Man Foundation’ addressed the gathering and appreciated Ekal’s innovative approach and openness to new ideas. This foundation has been founded by Satish Mallick who is a long time supporter of Ekal and has sponsored many schools in remote Ekal villages.
The foundation has provided support for three Tailoring Centers, and is providing support for the Integrated Village Development (IVD) project. Mallick is supporting the plantation of 1 Million fruit trees in remote and tribal villages of India. He believes strongly that fruits provide the best nourishment for our children and that all children should have a healthy and memorable childhood.
The mission of Ekal is holistic development of villages through empowerment of tribal (vanvasi) and rural communities in India with basic education, digital literacy skill development, health awareness, learning modern and productive agricultural practices and rural entrepreneurship.
It is worth noting, by now, the number of Ekal Volunteers have crossed 400,000 and every dollar donated is matched with $8 of volunteer time. The support for Ekal was extended by many community leaders, including Chandra Bhansali, Kanak Golia, Kamlesh Mehta, Neil Jain, Mohinder Sardana, Dr Yashpal Arya, Dr. Rajendra Modi, Bina Sabapathy, and Ashok Vyas.