Indian-American becomes new president of leading non-profit Ekal Abhiyan

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Ramesh Shah, and his wife Kokila, being congratulated by friends for becoming ‘CEO of Ekal Abhiyan’ after the announcement was made Oct. 15, 2021. Photo: courtesy Ekal.

“Ekal Abhiyan” (‘Ekal Mission’), an umbrella organization, has appointed Ramesh Shah, the former president and chairman of ‘Ekal-USA’ as the new CEO of “Ekal Abhiyan” Oct. 15, 2021. He succeeds former CEO Bajrang Bagra.

The announcement was made in Delhi by the trustees of Ekal Abhiyan and the decision was communicated to Arun Gupta, chairman of Ekal-USA.

This is the first time an Indian-American has been selected to lead this non-profit, the press release said. Ekal, which serves rural areas in India, has more than 60 chapters in North America, France, Thailand, and elsewhere.

Rameshbhai, as he is popularly known, has been a founder member of ‘Ekal-USA’ and credited with building a modest ‘one-teacher-school’ project, 32 years ago, into a national brand in U.S., the press release noted.

Former CEO Bagra, in a statement said, “Rameshbhai will improve upon working of Ekal in fields of operational efficiency and organizational growth. He was my guide and supporter for all matters related to foreign chapters. Moreover, his we unmatched passion and long experience in serving the community in multiple sectors, including VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) & Ekal, has always been a great asset.”

Shah has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from India, and after arriving in the U.S. in 1970, he earned degrees in MBA-Finance and MA in Economics, the press release said. He was politically active against the National Emergency declared by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in India. He has been an active member of the Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh, HSS, the press release said. While at Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, VHPA, Shah initiated the ‘Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation’ in  1988, and is credited with bringing in numerous donors, volunteers and thinkers to Ekal fold and motivated diverse groups to join hands with Ekal.

Shah is also responsible for establishing ‘Gujarati Samaj of Houston’ and leading ‘eyecare’ projects in India.

“During this entire community-centric journey, he was assisted by his soulmate, wife-Kokilaben,” the press release said.

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