The South Asian Times

22 August 2019 11:58 AM

Ekal's Long Island chapter holds musical evening

Bethpage, NY: The evening of May 18 brought together a vibrant and supportive community at the Sterling  here for the annual musical evening in support of the Ekal Abhiyan, a worthy and noble movement aimed at empowering rural and tribal communities across India and Nepal.

Mohan Wanchoo, President of Ekal Vidyalaya's Long Island chapter, presented a summary of Ekal's workings and achievements. In 2017-18 Ekal had 85,100 schools, educating 2,316,114 young minds, bringing the organization closer to attaining its goal set by Prime Minister Modi of covering 100,000 villages by the year 2022.

Dr. Pradeep Bansal and Nilima Madan talked about the transformative effect education has on vulnerable livelihoods. Empowered by exceptional accountability, Ekal's philosophy is to keep the cost of its operations to a minimum, to ensure maximum impact. To this end, the funds raised are invested in teacher salaries, teacher training and teaching aids in the schools, rather than building structures. Most of the schools operate under trees or residential courtyards in rudimentary conditions.

As long standing supporters of Ekal, Dr. Yashpal Arya and his family were inspired to break the mold and actually build a school in Udampur in Jammu & Kashmir, which upon completion they donated to Ekal to run and manage. Dr. Arya shared his family's inspired journey in this quest.

Lynette Iglesias, representing Perfection of Man Foundation, and speaking on behalf of Satish Mallick. talked about sponsoring tailoring centers at Ekal Gramothan centers. Each such center serves people from a community of 100 villages, and is targeted at building skills to increase and diversify income for each household in every participating village. This year, The Perfection of Man Foundation pledged to support 300 schools (valued at $109,500).

The Past President of Ekal's Westchester Chapter, Dr. Rakesh Shreedhar recognized the substantive contribution that the Long Island community has made towards Ekal's remarkable progress.

The successful evening was hosted by Mohan Wanchoo, supported by a strong team including Nilima Madan, Dr Rajendra Modi, Veer Mukhi, Dr. Yashpal Arya, Anu Gulati, Dr. Pradeep Bansal, Sunita Sadhnani, Anu Jain,  Simrranjit Kaur and  Nishu Aggarwal.

The accomplished singers, Dipayan Banerjee and Madhuraa Bhattacharya of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa fame, gave an enrapturing performance that ensured that all present had a great time.

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Update: 26 May, 2019