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Ekal Future Of India Gala Raises Over $4 Million

Press Release

You can watch the Ekal Gala at www.ekal.org/gala2021

Ekal Vidyalaya, an organization that brings holistic development to remote rural villages held its annual Future of India Gala on Nov 13, 2021. Fireside chats on Power of health by Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Power of Education by Renu Khator and Power of Giving by Niren Chaudhary helped the audience understand the importance of supporting the work of Ekal. 

The event opened with statements by Subra Dravida, the executive Vice President of Ekal USA who described the new era at Ekal under the leadership of Ramesh Shah, who is taking over as the CEO of Ekal Abhiyan. Kamlesh Shah, the co-chair for the gala welcomed the audience and set the agenda for the evening. 

“I must congratulate you on this health initiative you have undertaken under the Ekal Arogya umbrella”, said Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Founder and CEO of Biocon,  whose fireside chat focused on the power of health. She described the importance of telemedicine to bring healthcare to the last mile. She was interviewed by Ekal Board Member, Meena Subramanyam. Mohan Wanchoo, the other Co-Chair of the Gala, spoke about  his experience visiting an ekal village and followed it with a musical presentation. The second segment featured a chat conducted by Ekal Regional President, Yogi Patel of Renu Khator, President and Chancellor of University of Houston,  who shared her own life’s inspirational journey that showcased the power of education particularly to empower women. In addition, stories of how impactful Ekal was in supporting the Ekal villages during the 

The last fireside chat was between Ranjani Saigal, Executive Director of Ekal and Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread. Chaudhary described the life of his daughter, the late Aisha Chaudhary whose life story was featured in the Netflix movie “The Sky is Pink”. “My daughter taught me the value of compassion and giving,” said Chaudhary. “I really commend you for the work you are doing at Ekal and the focus you have on education and women empowerment”. 
Penn Masala delighted the audience with unique Acapella numbers. 

“Every donor dollar is matched with over $8 in volunteer time”, said Ranjani Saigal as she emphasized the volunteer effort that goes into Ekal Several donors pledged to support different initiatives. Bharat and Uma Aggarwal from San Diego pledged $500k to support a Gramothan Resource Center, while Sarva Mangal Family Trust from Los Angeles pledged $500k for health and E-Shiksha. 

President Suresh Iyer presented the roadmap for Ekal. Board chairman, Arun Gupta presented the vote of thanks. Ramesh Shah, the CEO of Ekal Abhiyan who is in India on the ground, presented his vision and asked everyone to work together to make a difference. Over 4 million dollars were raised in pledges and donation making for a successful evening.

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