Ekal Dallas Enchants Patrons with Bollywood Hits While Working at its Noble Goal of Eradicating Illiteracy in India

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Ekal Dallas, a 501(c3) charity dedicated to helping illiterate children in India, had a successful fundraising concert in Irving, Texas, on July 22, 2007.

Ekal of Dallas, a 501(c3) charity dedicated to helping illiterate children in India have a hope in life, successfully organized a fund raising banquet event on Sunday, July 22, at Irving, Texas. An Indian music band composed of singers and musicians from Chicago, Houston and from India thrilled the crowd with Bollywood hits and patriotic numbers that brought nostalgic memories to those that grew up in India. Young and old alike could not help but take to the stage when popular Bollywood numbers like 'Kajra-re Kajra-re' started pouring out of this heart warming musical group.

But there was also enough time dedicated to update the audience on the great work Ekal has done in India ever since 1986, when it first started schools in the Gumla area of Jharkand state in India. What started as a small personal experiment for the founders, a scientist couple from the US, started showing amazing results right away. Ever since that small but successful experiment with a handful of schools, the project has grown to an astounding 23,189 schools today. When asked what is unique about Ekal, Srinivas Reddy, President of Ekal Dallas region, said, "Ekal works exclusively in remote villages and tribal areas of India. These areas are often hard to reach, and most of them are not served by electricity and running water." Ekal aims to eradicate illiteracy from villages in India by the year 2012, a noble goal in itself.

Patrons attending the concert were generous enough to buy tickets to attend the show, and on top of that showed their generosity when asked to donate funds to support an Ekal school. In fact the chief guest for the event, the Honorable Mr. Herbert Gears, the Mayor of Irving, Texas, was so impressed with Ekal's credentials, that he made a generous personal donation to Ekal. His attendance, in spite of it being a rainy Sunday evening, provided a big moral boost to all volunteers.

"Ekal prides itself in being one of the largest NGO's (Non Governmental Organization) and yet has one of the lowest overhead of charities its size," said Raj Sobhani, Vice President - Corporate Marketing for Ekal Dallas. After hearing of the numerous instances of friends and acquaintances having witnessed Ekal schools in India "I was sold," says Sobhani with passion. Ekal is able to run a tribal school, usually about 35 students strong, for a cost equivalent of just a Dollar a day.
Rekha Gajria, a first year volunteer and Master of Ceremonies for the event was moved by the show of generosity from the patrons. "Even though the patrons were invited to help the cause by donating at least $365 which is enough for one Ekal school, many patrons were so moved that they donated multiple schools" reported Ms. Gajria. There were numerous pledges of 5 through 22 schools by individuals. "It made all our efforts worthwhile when we saw that we would be able to raise enough funds to educate over ten thousand kids, in just a matter of hours," said Purnima Kara, a long time volunteer and Vice President of Event Management for Ekal Dallas.

Vigyan Gotewal, a volunteer for Ekal Dallas, was very impressed with the outpouring of support. "Even after the event, we had people calling and pledging to support schools. We hope to keep getting pledges for weeks and months" says an enthused Gotewal. The whole community pitched in for the event. "Volunteers donated resources, Indya Fusion, the food vendor, charged a nominal price for the wonderful food, and the whole event came together for a minimal cost to Ekal" was the response from Naresh Shahani, who worked hard with the volunteer group from the Gujarati Cultural Society, and the UT-Dallas and UT-Arlington Indian Students Associations to keep costs down.

All Ekal Dallas officers are unpaid volunteers, and 100% of the funds raised in Dallas are dedicated to the cause of eradicating illiteracy amongst tribal children in India.

Contact Person: Gurram Srinivas Reddy
Contact: gyreddy99 @ yahoo.com/ 817-808-3443

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