Ekal Movement working with support organizations is the biggest voluntary effort of its kind spread over 50,000 villages. And the target is to reach more than a lac of villages as power centers and surrounding villages in its ambit. This will ensure that the message of development and empowerment reaches every village of the country.
Ekal Movement has a five-pronged education programme to empower the marginalized and particularly the tribals in remote Bharat. The education programme includes - basic education, health care education, development education, empowerment education and value education.
The spread of Ekal work is throughout the country - from Kashmir to Kerala and from North East to Gujarat. Started in 1989, Ekal very recently celebrated its Silver Jubilee in service to the needy.
Ekal's education programme is customized to meet the needs of rural and tribal children. The schools are run for three hours every day. The timing of classes are scheduled to meet the needs of the village children and are often adapted depending on the season and harvest schedule. The school curriculum is tailored to teach the children basic literacy and life skills to help them develop self-confidence and succeed in rural occupations and pursue higher education. Surveys have proved that the drop-out rate from higher formal schools have come down in Ekal's area of operation. There are no school buildings. The schools are run under a tree or in a small hut offered by the local people.
In Ekal's health care education efforts are made to tell the children how not to fall ill. The importance of cleanliness and personal hygiene is communicated in an easy to understand mode. And when these children at Ekal understand this, the message reaches across to the parents at home too.
Development education is the third dimension of Ekal Movement. Believing that our villagers should make their earning for livelihood in their village itself Ekal imparts training for better farming to give them more produce in value terms. Other skill training programmes, tailor-made to the specific needs of a particular area, are being implemented in some regions.
Empowerment education to the marginalized section of society residing in remote Bharat is what Ekal aims at. Giving training for how to get information from government, including by using RTI, and use of digital technology has been accepted as the tools for this empowerment. The enthusiasm amongst the rural folk has made Ekal increase its target to reach more and more areas.
Values and ethics are the prime requirement for any society to develop in the right sense. And here Ekal plays a very important role. Through various programmes Ekal makes sure that this rural population, children and the adults, understand and imbibe this primary need. And only then our beloved country will become a Global Guru.
Dr. Subhash Chandra, Chairman - Essel Group &ZEE, has visited many of the villages in remote areas where Ekal functions. He has got a feel of the life there and seen the impact that the Ekal Education has made in the life of the tribal brethren. He has also attended training programmes where the trainers are trained and interacted with the volunteers and teachers.
Now, that Dr Chandra has become the Chairman of Ekal Global, he has a vision to make every villager of Bharat empowered and real 'swaraj' attained.
It may be mentioned here that Ekal has support groups in 11 countries presently and Dr Chandra's target is to reach 25 countries for Ekal support soon.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
The work of EKAL and its support organizations has been recognized at various forums in the recent past. Some of the important ones are:
SEEING IS BELIEVING
- 'Uttakrishta Samman' by Bharat Vikas Parishad in recognition of the work done in the tribal villages by providing education, primary health care and village development
- 'Outstanding Contribution to Social Work' trophy by the PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- 'Excellent in Social Service' award by the Punjab Kesari Group for being the best NGO andÂ 'Meri Dilli Award' by the NNS Media Group
- 'Thakkar Bapa Rashtriya Samman' by the Madhya Pradesh Government for rendering valuable service for promotion of self-respect, education, healthcare and economic development of the backward Janjati Community
To have a feel of the impact of work done in the villages, Ekal welcomes all to witness the changes through personal visits. These visits are called 'Van Yatras'. This is a unique concept to let the urban donor know what Ekal is doing for its rural counterparts in which villages. The visits help to empower villagers and create opportunity for bonding among the two sets of people. Our assurance is once someone is there, it is a feeling of being in a different world. This comes from the warmth of the people which leaves one spell bound.
Also, to keep oneself updated of Ekal's performance, one can subscribe to 'Ekal Prayas' - a bi-monthly, bi-lingual magazine which can be subscribed at just Rs.300/- annually and also be viewed at www.ekalprayas.org