From February 16th to 18th, the city of Lucknow, India witnessed a massive gathering entitled Parivartan Kumbh (Transformation Convention), at Ramabai Park attended by more than 110,000 delegates including from the United States,
Hosted by “Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation” has worked in 105,000 rural and tribal areas across India, focusing on education, in past 31 years, “Ekal has significantly come a long way and evolved into economic empowerment of rural folks, village development, social-life improvement and digital connectivity,” according to a press release from Prakash Waghmare, chair of the Ekal Foundation National Committee in the U.S.
Ekal is also present in 10 countries, biggest among them the United States. Ekal-USA provides, not only financial assistance, but also, gives active support in fields of ‘technology-transfer’ and healthcare, the press release said. Ranjani Saigal, executive director of Ekal-USA, confirmed that this entire 3-day event had pronounced presence of youths and every aspect of it was flawlessly administered, managed and executed by them, the press release said.
“Initially, the rural-tribal children struggled to incorporate basic functional literacy in their daily chores. There wasn’t any trace of modernity either, affecting their lives. Now, the little ones, with digital ‘Tablets’ in hand, are aspiring to touch the Moon in their routine folklores,” the press release said, adding, “The main objective of this historic gathering was not only to highlight this willful reformation, but also, to emphasize villager’s confident strides towards contemporary ‘main stream’.”
February 16th, saw a mammoth rally comprising representation from most of the Ekal villages in day-long awe-inspiring various village artistry sessions. The unprecedented gathering was also addressed by Sadhvi Ritambharaji.
February 17th was the inauguration day of this congregation and it was officiated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi, held at the B.R. Ambedkar Auditorium in Ram Manohar Lohiya College. The closing ceremony was officiated by India’s Foreign Minister Rajnath Singh.
Noted Ekal alumni were honored. Board members of Ekal’s international chapters, large donors and special-project initiators were also felicitated. This entire event was organized and conducted by village youths.
During this entire event there were deliberations on where Ekal wants to be in Yr.2025? In 2017, Ekal had already resolved to reach out to all of India’s 650,000-plus rural tribal regions. So, in addition to its main objectives, it was decided to make rural areas more ‘women & youth-centric’ to develop the full potential of villages and villagers; to create alcohol-free zones to achieve Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of ‘Su-Swaraj’; and to create ‘Swaraj Senani’ (comprehensive nation building teams) to track progress and development in their village.
A ceremony representing the new dawn was performed by ‘Ekal Abhiyan’ Chairman, Bajrang Bagra by handing over the Parivartan-flag to a youth group that defined rural and urban areas.