Dr. Subhash Chandra is the immediate past Chairman of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of India, a charitable trust that initiates, supports and runs one teacher schools providing support education in 57,502 (as on 1st March 2014) villages all over the country. Ekal has an ambitious target of reaching a lakh of villages soon.
Currently, there are more than 16 lakh students taking advantage of the support education programmes in 57,502 Ekal Vidyalayas across the country working to educate and empower children in rural and tribal India. These schools are spread across remote areas. Ekal Vidyalaya's education programme is customized to meet the needs of rural and tribal children. The 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.
Ekal also undertook a drive of planting a million trees on 5th June 2010 and achieved the target in just four months. Ekal continues such efforts to help in reducing global warming.
The schools are run for three hours every day and the timings are as per the local needs. There are no school buildings, the schools are run under a tree or a small hut offered by the local people. Apart from basic education, Ekal also extends support for health care education, development education and empowerment education to the marginalized section of society residing in remote India.
Dr. Chandra has visited many of the villages in remote areas where the schools are run. He has got a feel of the life there and seen the impact the Ekal Education has made in the life of the tribal brethren. He has also attended the training programmes where the trainers are trained and interacted with the volunteers and teachers.
Under the Global expansion programme, Dr. Chandra has extended considerable support and motivation to form Ekal Support Groups in countries abroad.
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:
• '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 and '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
SEEING IS BELIEVING
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.150/- annually and also be viewed at www.ekalprayas.org