Ekal’s chapter president Narayan Pallavur highlighted the need for social empowerment and Ekal’s long term vision.Suresh Iyer, Board advisor, presented the annual progress report for 2015 and the road map for 2016. He disclosed that “as of March 2016, Ekal had over 53,000 schools educating over 1.6 million children”.He also highlighted “Ekal on Wheels” a unique project launched in 2015 with mobile computer labs to train village youth in computer literacy. This effort, a part of ‘Digital India’, brings to life Swami Vivekananda’s words “If the poor child cannot go to Education, then the Education must go to the child”.
The two emcee’s for the evening ,youth volunteers, Amulya Madhav and Rithika Iyer shared their firsthand experience of visiting an Ekal school in India and their motivation to volunteer for Ekal. They encouraged others to visit the schools and to do their part. The rest of the evening belonged to Dhwani. Their show, ‘Then & Now’, was performed by talented and versatile artists – Navin, Sriram and Sarita and their equally notable ensemble who captivated the audience with a superb display of their talent. The group enamored the crowd with its synchronized visuals from late era and modern movie sequences. Navin, the lead singer often entered into humorous conversations with the audience, always making sure Ekal’s cause was in the forefront. Many a times, the group challenged the audience to dance to their beats and as the evening progressed, more than half of the audience were on the stage dancing to the tunes of their favorite Bollywood songs.The audience donated generously to Ekal’s noble cause. Iyer delivered the note of thanks expressing deep appreciation for the artists, sponsors, donors, and army of volunteers who helped put together the event.