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Ekal Vidyalaya Raises $2 Million at New York City Gala to Fund Rural Education

Ashok Danda, Chair of US Board of Directors (left); Subhash Gupta, Chair, Board of Advisors; Chirag Patel, Co-CEO & Chairman of Amneal Pharmaceuticals; Mohan Wanchoo, Chairman of Gala and Founder of EC Infosystems; Rajesh Gooty, Founder, Pres.-CEO of M Corp; Subhash Chandra, Chair Zee TV; Bajrang Bagra, Ekal India CEO; Laxmi Goyal, Chairman, BLSP; and Naresh Kumar, BLSP at the fundraising gala on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Cipriani Banquet Hall in New York.

Ashok Danda, Chair of US Board of Directors (left); Subhash Gupta, Chair, Board of Advisors; Chirag Patel, Co-CEO & Chairman of Amneal Pharmaceuticals; Mohan Wanchoo, Chairman of Gala and Founder of EC Infosystems; Rajesh Gooty, Founder, Pres.-CEO of M Corp; Subhash Chandra, Chair Zee TV; Bajrang Bagra, Ekal India CEO; Laxmi Goyal, Chairman, BLSP; and Naresh Kumar, BLSP at the fundraising gala on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Cipriani Banquet Hall in New York.

By Ranjani Saigal

NEW YORK: Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, the largest non-profit organization working to bring education and development to over 58,000 rural remote villages in India, hosted a fundraising gala on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the ‘Cipriani Banquet Hall’ in the Wall Street area of New York City. The gala attracted community leaders from around the US and helped raise over $2 million.

The event featured inspirational keynotes by Dr. Subhash Chandra, founder of Zee TV, who is the Chairman of Ekal Global, and Mitze Perdue, motivational speaker and heiress to the Sheraton Hotel and Perdue Farms businesses.

Ekal-in-3

The event was the brainchild of Ekal supporter Mohan Wanchoo, CEO of EC Infosystems, who worked with a small core team to create this event. Chirag Patel, Co-CEO & Chairman of Amneal Pharmaceuticals, came in as the first co-chair for the event and helped shape the event.  Other co-chairs for the event included Soner Kanlier, CEO Jasmine Universe, Rajesh Gooty CEO M-Corp Inc, Chintu Patel Co-CEO & Chairman of Amneal Pharmaceuticals, and Gautam Patel, Managing Director, Tarsadia Investments.

The star-studded guest list included Rajat Gupta, ex-CEO of McKinsey; Akhil Gupta, the former CEO of Blackstone India; Robyn Meredith, Sundaram Tagore and others. Over 20 people had traveled all the way from Houston to attend the event. The Houston attendees included Ramesh Shah, winner of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman and  the founder of Ekal USA, Ashok Danda, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ekal USA, and several Ekal supporters, including Swapnil Agarwal, CEO of Nithya Capital.

Ekal-in-2

In the opening segment the “Apna Ekal Hoga Na, a special song created for Ekal, was released.  The song was created for Ekal by Anuradha Palakurthi and featured musicians from around the world. A youth panel, featuring Nikita Minocha, Nandini Seetharaman and Rithvik Pothapragda, and coordinated by Anuradha Upneja, Ekal Youth Leaders Director from New England, followed the song release. The youth described their experiences visiting Ekal villages. 

 
The highlight of the event was an auction that helped raise over $2 million. Three generous donors – Chirag Patel, Ajay/Ranjini Poddar, Sant Singh Chatwal – each donated $250,000 each.

Ekal-in-1

“The gala in NYC was simply magnificent.  It was attended by many eminent personalities. The collection at the gala exceeded our expectation”, said Subhash Gupta, Chairman, Board of Advisors for Ekal.

For long-time Ekal supporter Vijay Pallod, the event was truly memorable. “I had never seen so many donors raising their hand to donate large sums. I was delighted to have Dr. Subhash Chandra personally sign my copy of his book: The Z Factor: My Journey as the Wrong Man at the Right Time,” said Pallod.

“New York Gala is really beginning of a new chapter for Ekal Vidyalaya in USA, said Ashok Danda.

The event ended with the honoring of Mohan Wanchoo by Ekal India team to thank him for all of his efforts on behalf of Ekal. Dr. Subhash Chandra applauded Ekal efforts and said he looked forward to seeing Ekal USA expand its outreach and support the efforts of Ekal India so that Ekal India could reach 100,000 villages.

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