My Speech for the Cause of Education (EKAL Vidyalaya)
At the EKAL Cricket Event
Venue: Zabeel Park, Dubai, U.A.E. on 3rd June 2011

Your Excellency, Shri M. K. Lokesh,
Honoured Consul General, Shri Sanjay Verma,
Chairman EKAL Gulf, Shri Harshad Mehta,
Cricket Personalities – Shri K. Jayanti Lal, Shri Dilip Vengsakar and Shri Sanath Jayasuriya,
Esteemed Guests and Friends – Namaskar. As President of EKAL Gulf, it is my privilege to welcome you.

By a well thought-out decision, all of us here are instrumental in attaining the results of a wonderful gathering. What we find relevant for us is the fondness of kartaviya, duty – towards giving back to society and making a change ‘happen’. Friends, right away, right now, each of us has actually put the renowned doctrine of Karma Yoga into immediate practice. In simple clear tone, Karma Yoga means to connect with God / Cosmic Order through the path of: work. The best conceivable description of a Karma Yogi is a person who is resolute and even-minded in resurrecting the lives of others, especially the less fortunate ones. Universally, today India has a bright place and while it is making commendable advances in various fields, a big chunk of India’s population is still illiterate. Even worse off is the position of tribal India which has a literacy rate below 30 percent.

Your Excellencies, the EKAL Vidyalaya Movement aims to help eradicate illiteracy from rural and tribal India, through its non-formal one-teacher schools and is now considered as the greatest non-governmental education movement in India. The EKAL Vidyalaya Movement sponsors non-formal schools in 22 Indian States, encouraging village-involvement. Where there is sufficient interest, villagers have formed watchful committees to monitor the progress of education amongst the kids. The strength of EKAL Schools non-formal-education is that they run on the children’s terms gauging every child’s family circumstances. Moreover, full-time workers help maintain the school’s regularity. Plus, prominent urban families serve as ‘caretaker families’.

The whole idea of EKAL Vidyalaya Movement is to bring forth to the child the basic concept of figures and letters at his doorway. This is not a small step for the child. Infact, it is the first step of the child’s success, where his spirit is raised to begin thinking of learning the basics. Basic education of 1 + 1 will make him brave with enlightenment. Subsequently, the same kid will rise higher to help others to achieve what he has achieved. Imagine how this flourishing link will release a whole new generation from the shackles of illiteracy.

Your Excellencies, honoured guests, with the final note that the world is ours to change – let’s cover the spirit of philanthropy. If each of us picks up the pledge to help the down-trodden, especially children to be educated at the grass-root levels, our journeys will shine like stars in the sky. Thereby, exactly, we will have succeeded in making the change ‘happen’.

On behalf of Mr. Harshad Mehta and the entire team of EKAL members, I thank you for giving your time and zest to the cause of EKAL.

Enjoy cricket-playing and cricket-watching! Plus, please make the EKAL cause win.


Geeta Chhabra

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