Suresh Iyer has become the new president of Ekal Vidyalaya USA.
In 2002, Iyer was asked by a friend to host the organization’s founder Shyam Gupta in a last minute change of plans and within hours, he became a donor.
From a donor he gradually became more involved as a volunteer, chapter president, Chairman of the Board and now the president, according to a press release.
Iyer absorbed the importance of education and the spirit of service early in life as though his family lacked monetary resources his mother was determined to educate all six of her children.
As they did well in school, she cleared out the balcony so they could coach other children who were not faring as well for free.
After graduating and securing his first paying job at the Indian Space Research Organization as a scientist, the first thing Iyer did was to fund the education of several children who were academically good but couldn’t afford the fees in his school in Bengaluru.
After working at Air India and Tata Consultancy Services in the U.S., Iyer started his own company in 2002 called Infospectrum, which provides tracking software for aerospace maintenance as well as real time tracking of transportation assets.
Though Iyer is happy with his entrepreneurial background, his work with Ekal “brings a different level of satisfaction.”
The Ekal movement started in 1989 with one village and one school and today, there is an Ekal school in 70,000 villages in India offering free schooling, vocational training, digital competence and agricultural education.
Iyer makes it a point to visit a school every time he visits India and as president he is excited to take Ekal to the next level.
Ekal raised nearly $8 million last year and this year, aims to raise more than $10 million.
Iyer is also working on putting a system of donor communication in place, intends to strengthen those Ekal chapters that need a little boost and wants “Ekal’s message to be out in the world loudly and clearly.”
Iyer has always had the support of his loving wife Kanaka and their two sons Vasant and Sumant, both of whom have interned at Ekal villages.