Ekal Foundation raises $6.5 Million at star-studded Gala

by Prakash Waghmare

New York: Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation (EVF) hosted a star-studded Gala, called ‘Future of India’, on December 5 and raised a record $6.5 Million in pledges and donations for its special projects.

The eminent personalities who took part in the gala gave their full-throated vote of confidence in the ‘Ekal’ movement. They included iconic cricketer Kapil Dev, movie star Vivek Oberoi, Indian Minister Piyush Goyal, business leader Ajay Piramal, and Bollywood singer Sanjeevani Bhelande.

The Gala was chaired by Mohan Wanchoo, Chairman  & CEO of EC Infosystems. He related how a ‘Rikshaw-puller’ and a ‘Lok-kathakar’ from an Ekal village transformed his life for the better. Kamlesh Shah, co-chair of Gala, started the pledge-drive by contributing $580,000 and appealing donors to raise the bar of Gala-2020.

Former Zee TV CEO & Chairperson of Ekal-Global Dr Subhash Chandra gave an overview of what Ekal is all about. Ranjani Saigal, Executive Director of EVF, outlined Ekal’s special projects. Vivek Oberoi, Ekal’s brand Ambassador, emphasized that “the donation to Ekal wasn’t a subsidy for the needy, but a divine investment in India’s future”. He  appealed to Indian youths to join ‘inquisitive, creative and passionate organization like Ekal’ to give purpose to their life.

In his live interview, Kapil Dev asserted that, “in life, winning is not everything”. The most endearing memory to him was playing for his beloved country – and not winning the ‘World Cup’ or the captaincy of the team. He was impressed by Ekal’s infusion of fun-sports in education.

Business tycoon Ajay Piramal said, “Ekal’s emphasis on dispensing quality education and primary healthcare in rural areas is a game changer”.

Sajjan Agarwal not only donated $250,000 for ‘Arogya Sevika’ (Healthcare Assistant) in the villages, but also appealed to others to match his pledge. Manubhai Shah was among the 15 who heeded his appeal. Ajay Keshap confirmed donation of a whopping one million.

Hon. Piyush Goyal affirmed his family’s long association with Ekal. He lauded PM Modi’s August 15 speech committing to connect all villages by digital broadband in the next 1,000 days. It is likely to promote widespread digitization of education & telemedicine.

The program included acknowledging the loyal support of long-term philanthropists. Earlier in the year, after successfully controlling Covid-19 in over one lakh rural & tribal villages of India, Ekal had raised funds through 10 regional virtual concerts for its conventional activities even in the pandemic.

There has been overwhelming support for ‘Integrated Village Development’ (IVD), E-Shiksha, Tailoring Center, Telemedicine, ‘Arogya Initiative’, Ekal-on-wheels, Gramotthan Research Center (GRC), Computer Center etc.

In September, Bajrang Bagra, CEO of ‘Ekal Abhiyan’ had proposed to keep 102,000 school tallies ‘as is’ and embark on a transformative ‘roadmap’ that would revolutionize rural life in all its aspects.


Image courtesy of (Photos source: Ekal)

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