A Journey as Brand Ambassador of Ekal Education Abhiyan will Energise me to Boost Ground Education for my Motherland Bharat in All ways!
A Journey as Brand Ambassador of Ekal Education Abhiyan Bharat Will Energise me to Boost Ground Education for my Motherland Bharat in All ways!
*Rashmi Rai Mantha
I am delighted to share that Shyam ji Gupta- main mentor of Ekal Abhiyan made me the Brand Ambassador of Ekal Abhiyaan. It was also a great pleasure to receive the inspiring memento for my work towards Ekal. Meeting him I realized his simplicity and highly intelligent thoughts towards growth of the nation. I am grateful and thankful to Arunaji Purohit and Deepali Ghatge jifor their tireless efforts in making Ekal reach heights and introducing me to it. Ekal is contributing highly towards PM Narendra Modiji’s mission of educating people reaching last mile and making India Digital on all fronts. We are what our thoughts have made us; so, take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far. My determined thoughts with purity have made me reach here. I can’t thank my parents enough who have made me stand tall and give back to society with my own capabilities. My Sadguru’s blessings are immense who guides me in every path of my life. I have picked it up with all the support of my entire family. I am thankful to my husband-Ramesh and 2 lovely kids- Pranika & Reyansh who have supported me all these years through in reaching heights.
My journey of undertaking 2 schools’ responsibilities for education of children. Ekal already has around 3 million children pursuing their education. This small contribution will attain their goals nearer. I was fortunate to meet the main mentor of Ekal – Shyam Gupta ji who started Ekal in the year 1985, a social activist who has been working with Vanvasi communities in the state of Orissa, initiated a plan in Fulbani district. To bridge the divide between urban & rural India, Shri Shyam Ji Gupta motivated some affluent families from Kolkata to visit Fulbani district as part of the Vanyatra. While returning from the journey it was decided that a group may be formed which would bring out the realities and problems of these tribal societies and make the urban people aware of them who are ignorant of this reality. Thus emerged “Friends of Tribals Society” as a response to bridge gap between tribals and urban citizens of India, in Kolkata in 1989.
The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him – that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free – Swami Vivekananda. Taking inspiration from his thoughts and my Sadguru Archna Didi’s guidance and blessings I came across this great and blissful experience.
For the last few years, I have been learning that the Almightyresides in every living being and we only need those divine eyes to see and feel them. On my spiritual journey, I gathered a lot of knowledge of love, compassion, inner peace, happiness, meditation, yoga and much more on divinity. I experience all this with my near and dear ones. But still a question that always spiked in my mind was how to reach the real needy people, how do I encounter God by supporting and educating people who are in real need of it.
Travelled India after 4 years, which had many surprises unfolded for me. I experienced it gradually and patiently. From attending the traditional Upanayan Sanskar in family to visiting temples like Mahakaleshwar, Ujjain and Sanskritik Kendra inaugurated by Draupadi Murmuji – President of India, the Pench Tiger Reserve of India,had so much to showcase about India. They were brilliantly structured trips which me, my Kids and parents cherished being together.
My inner conscience was looking for that peace of life which ended up associated with charity. And that’s how I encountered Ekal Sangathan through a wonderful and soulful lady Aruna Purohitji in Nagpur. I was invited by Arunaji Purohit- President Ekal Gram Sangathan, Vidarbha Region to pay a visit through theirVanyatra program.Arunaji is a vibrant, renowned social activist, successful Entrepreneur, soulful and heartily beautiful gorgeous lady. She believes in simplicity and high thinking. She has built a wide network of people who are responsibly working towards the betterment of society. Carsare booked for a group of people together visiting the tribal villages. Ekal arranges all the logistics along with the collaboration of Municipal corporation, Gram Panchayat, and any required Govt. bodies for these visits through their strong networks.
The journey started with the pickup points, and we enjoyed the journey in our cars talking, discussing various topics, relishing Indian sweets and snacks, singing, having the glimpse of nature and forest areas. It was picturesque beauty all around with greenery every where with slight drizzling rains.The weather was in our favor giving us the pleasure of a scenic trip. We reached our 1st destination Kelapur in the district of Pandharkawda, Maharashtra. We were welcomed by Damodar Bajoria – Working President at JilhaGrahak Prahar Sangathan and Former VP at MCD(Pandharkawad), BJP social workers and Gram Panchayats of Kelapur.
The pious journey started with visiting Maa Jagdamba temple situated in the central vicinity of nature in the village. I prayed to Mata Jagdamba for a successful journey and work that I am undertaking with Ekal Vanyatra. It was a pure divine feeling that Goddess bestowed on me. This was the beginning of the trip,meeting hundreds of teachers who were called upon to stay in a largehall near the temple. This wasthe training sphere where the teachers were imparted new methodologies and processes of the education system. Starting the program with lighting the lamp ceremony and worshipping Almighty with our Bharat Mata on top of all.There were hymns and mantras, shlokas and songs sung by all the teachers was very well coordinated in reciting altogether. What a powerful aura I could sense, feel, and experience with the immense energies and synergies of people in the room. Everything starting with sitting in lines, reciting hymns, serving, and eating food was very well organized and synchronized. This depicted the dedication, discipline, and determination of all the teachers and people involved in Ekal. These are the values I have grown up with and have imbibed in my life. At the end of the program, I distributed some snacks to all the teachers and their kids.
Swami Vivekananda dedicated his life to teaching and guiding the youth the importance of social-service and laying the groundwork of character and leader attributes. Taking inspiration from his thoughts and my own values when I witnessed the tradition and culture followed by Ekal Organization I was deeply touchedby the gestures and started to enjoy every bit of it all.Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached. There was a sense of satisfaction down in my heart. It was the Universal power that made me join this trip and do what I wanted to.
Moving on to my next visit was a tribal village inmore internal remote areas in the forests. Here we were welcomed with drums and some tribal musical instruments. The old Grannies of the village – Ghatanji, Yavatmal district, were in front humming welcoming Gond folk songs followed by all children of the village. Warli, Dheda, Dubala, Konkana, Mahadev Koli and others are the significant tribes belonging to the Bhil group and are seen in Western Maharashtra. Various subgroups of Gonds and Pradhan, Kolam are some of the tribes representing Gond groups of tribes in Vidarbha.
The welcome ceremony wasfull of zest and slogans of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.Culture imbibed in children and people being a savior of one’s nation.Selfless service for the country. The villagers and children were very excited to meet us. It seemed to be a festive time for all the villagers. I was welcomed by a girl who washed my feet before entering the main hall marking this as a sign of respect. This truly reminded me of the days when my relatives visited us in my native village up North of India. My Aunties (Badi Mummy and Chachis) used to wash feet of my Bua or my Mami washing feet of my Mother when we visited my Grandparents in summer vacations. The Gond folk songs & drums continued for some time.
We were moved inside the Gram Panchayat room where lighting the lamp ceremony was held. It was a dark room as it was raining heavily outside. There was no electricity due to wind and heavy rains. But this did not stop the zest of the people. We were welcomed by Sarpanch, Presidents, teachers and many more with hand made bouquet of leaves and flowers of trees and plants from the village. The teacher was again asked to showcase the work done for past few years educating the children under her supervision.To my amazement, I could feel the same aura, power, and positiveness in all the children. They all recited the hymns, poems, and mantras in one synergy and enthusiasm. The kids presented a Gond folk dance which I and all the guests thoroughly enjoyed and will cherish forever. I got a chance to speak and interact with the children where I could see the innocence and enthusiasm both at the same time. The program finished with me distributing some coloring books and sketch pens along with Ekal presenting them Gurukul T-shirts all same color. My daughter learnt a lot by watching and participating in all activities specially distributing Snacks and coloring books to kids. The children were on the moon and very happy receiving these gifts. These small happiness on shining young faces made my day and journey extremely fruitful.
Post to program we visited one of the village houses made of mud and bricks. The houses were open where even a cow or calf has the access to enter. My daughter enjoyed some friendly moments with animals like Cow and calf. I believe the calf must be equallyliking being on the younger side. By the time we left, calf showed her interest in playing with my daughter. I was glad my daughter is learning and having pleasant experiences with animals building an unforgettable bond. It was so fulfilling so far, and we were about to leave, and then I came across a bus.
The Bus was simply not a bus but a moving computer Centre. This bus was inaugurated by Union Road Transport & Highways Minister, Govt of Bharat–Sri Nitin ji Gadkari in Nagpur. This bus is on movement quarterly to villages where the children are educated about computers and their languages so that they are UpToDate with advance technologies of world that does not leave their lives behind. They are provided digital education to make their life easier and happier in future. They have a dedicated teacher who teaches computers to children on laptops.
Wow is the only word that comes out of me. Tremendous work that is being done by Ekal and its volunteers in reaching these tribal villages and educating them and their kids on all fronts including socio-economic and health sectors. Ekal Vidyalaya is a Movement involved in integrated & holistic development of rural & tribal India and Nepal. The main activity undertaken in this movement is to run one-teacher schools (known as Ekal Vidyalayas) all over India, in the remotest rural & tribal villages to take the education to every child. The overriding philosophy of Ekal Vidyalaya Movement is to take a holistic approach of social and economic development to Tribal & Rural India that is Bharat and Nepal.
With all the above experiences I have only these thoughts in my mind. All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.To succeed, we must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. I waited so long to connect with the real needy people of the society. If you are pure, if you are strong, you, one man is equal to the whole world. The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.
I have immense pleasure and satisfaction in serving the people of India where I was born. I take the pride and honour in returning good deeds to the country of my birth by undertaking these 2 schools of the tribal villages and educating the children to become the future of India. I support Ekal Abhiyaan till India outshines in the world which it already has started. Again I end with writing that- This is just the beginning..!!
About Writer :
**Writer Ms Rashmi Rai Mantha is prestigious title holder of Mrs Scotland Universe 2019 in UK, Director AlVirago Ltd, professionally with over 14 years of experience in Supply Chain Management & Project Management roles in UK & India. She is a Motivational Speaker, Philanthropist, Business Leader, Social Activist, and Model. She is passionate about Environment, Women & Youth Empowerment, Author and Fashion. Now She is Brand Ambassador of EKAL Abhiyan,Bharat .
Ms. Rashmi is also Vice-President(Scotland) of UK India Business Council of the Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WICCI) & Chairperson of Ladies of All Nations International(Scotland),Director Scotland – International Youth Society focussing on UN SDG goals. She is also multi-award winner for her services towards humanity with many accolades in her record like 10 Most Influential Indian Women 2019 in House of Lords (UK Parliament), Women Economic Forum UK 2021Award as Iconic Women Creating A Better World For All, Mahatma Gandhi Global Peace Award-2020, WAW Hall of Fame UK 2021, The Best Humanitarian award in Scotland by ELS Edification Plus UK, Global Change Maker (UK) by LOANI, Princess Peace & Future Entity Leaders by LOANI & FEL(Egypt), She Inspires Me 2020 Award (UK).