Ekal Vidyalya is a non-profit organization focused on educating rural India. Each school is run by a host of passionate teachers who enlighten an eager population of students in subjects including math, science, and health. The New England chapter of Ekal has been growing since its inception, and in particular, the student movement has increased exponentially over the past year. In July 2015, the Ekal Youth Leaders (EYL) program was launched, in which a coordinated group of highly enthusiastic individuals ranging in age from 7 to 21 find ways to promote Ekal’s cause and raise money for schools. As a result of their hard work, young people are joining EYL every month, each with their own respective talents and ideas for promoting Ekal.
On May 14th , Ekal New England hosted a charity event in the ISSO Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Lowell, Massachusetts. The leaders of the organization, Parveen Minocha and Ranjini Saigal, along with a group of volunteers, successfully led and ran the charity event. The EYLs helped tremendously as well, from registration to soliciting donations to assisting in clean-up. Overall, the event was a resounding success, with over 500 attendees and thousands of dollars was raised.
One particular story stands out among the rest. Two beautiful paintings hung at the entrance to the banquet hall for silent auction. Parents and kids alike took pictures next to the masterpieces, admiring the paintings and wondering which professionals conceived of them.
In reality, the paintings were created not by professionals, but by two EYLs! Prerana Patil, is currently a freshman at Boston University who has a passion for drawing, and Sanjana Sampath (14yrs), whose painting was a Madhubhani, is going to be a freshman in high school. Prerana and Sanjana each spent hours of their time to bring their visions into reality. Each painting was purchased for $365, the amount necessary to run one Ekal school for an entire year. It is incredible to have such talented and passionate youth unite to fight for the basic right of education, and we hope that the younger generation will continue to use their unique hobbies to raise money for such a noteworthy cause.