Desi Talk - page 19

May 6, 2016
– that’s all you need to know
hicago-based non-profit
‘Hand in Hand USA’
hosted the 14th annual
fundraising dinner at
Waterford Banquet Hall
in Elmhurst April 23 for orphans
in India.
Organized by the volunteer
group, it aims primarily at
spreading greater awareness
about HIH’s mission among its
patrons within the Midwest, rais-
ing much-needed sponsorships
for its ongoing humanitarian
For India’s more than 20 mil-
lion orphans, there is little hope
for a better life. For hundreds of
severely impoverished children
living in Odisha, Hariharananda
Balashram is helping to trans-
form lives every day. This residen-
tial, charitable school is one of
the many projects of HIH and
provides a home, food, healthcare
and outstanding education,
ensuring viable futures for soci-
ety’s most vulnerable members.
The other service projects
include multiple charitable
health clinics that provide free
medical and dental care to thou-
sands of patients monthly in vil-
lages, and financial support for
victims of natural disasters and
relief efforts around the world.
More than 100 guests attended
the fundraiser and enjoyed a
social hour before the program
started. At 7pmMC Abhay, kicked
off the program with enthusiasm
and led interactive games that
engaged the attendees and
inspired everyone to open their
hearts and donate to the noble
Durga Chunduri, president of
‘Hand In Hand USA’, welcomed
everyone and spoke about caring,
loving and giving. She also guided
the audience to observe a
moment of silence in honor of
the late Rani Chintam who had
been a long-time and beloved
supporter of the organization.
Her joyful and generous presence
was deeply missed.
Distinguished guest Raja
Krishnamoorthi, Democratic
nominee for Illinois’ 8th U.S.
Congressional District offered a
keynote address congratulating
HIH USA for the organization’s
service and accomplishments.
Puneet Mansharamani and
Mihir Dash, dedicated members
of HIH USA, shared their stories,
photos and videos and gave
updates on the Balashram and
health centers. The Balashram
has recently achieved the mile-
stone of reaching its intended
capacity of 480 students with the
first group of high school gradu-
The cultural part of the pro-
gram included classical Indian
dance performances by Lakshmi
Siva and Natya Dance Theater,
founded and directed by Hema
Rajagopalam. The audience also
enjoyed the live music by Fitoor
For more information about
Hand in Hand please visit
‘Hand in Hand USA’ Foundation Hosts Fundraiser For Orphans In India
Dancers from Natya Academy performing during a cultural program for Hand in Hand fundraiserfor orphans in India April 23 at Waterford Banquet in
Elmhurst. According to organizeers, here is little hope for a better life for India’s more than 20 million orphans.
n April 18, Chicago-
based Professor Manu
Vora delivered a talk on
time management to more
than 500,000 students in
Gandhinagar, Gujarat via
SANDHAN, an all Gujarat
Integrated Classroom using a
satellite to connect with 450
colleges across the state of
Vora was invited by the
state's Commissioner of Higher
Education A. J. Shah, and the
Gujarat Department of
Education to deliver the
"Effective Time Management"
talk at the BISAG Studio.
Dr. Vora started the
“Leadership Excellence Series”
(LES) in 2013 based on his alma
mater the Banares Hindu
University (BHU) principle “ let
us light the lamp of knowledge
to eliminate the darkness of
ignorance.” By sharing his
knowledge and expertise across
India using YouTube interface
via the LES lectures he was able
to educate more than 130,000
students and faculty for free via
Google Hangouts in India and
the U.S. as a part of the Free
Gian Daan Project in collabora-
tion with the American Society
for Quality (ASQ).
According to Vora this is an
opportunity to give back to the
educational community which
has supported him. “During my
formative years I studied at one
of the finest educational institu-
tions in India, BHU, where
more than 80% of my educa-
tion was paid for by the govern-
ment. BHU was a temple of
learning, which focused not
only on technical excellence
but our founder Madan Mohan
Malaviya also instilled in us that
it was also our purpose to work
towards the betterment of soci-
ety through community service,
this philosophy and seed plant-
ed by him and is what has
inspired me to do the work I do
The LES series consists of 12
topics delivered monthly
including leadership, team-
work, time management, meet-
ing management, decision-
making, project management,
risk management, talent man-
agement, voice of the customer
management, operational
excellence, supply chain man-
agement, and change manage-
For more than 23 years, as an
adjunct professor at Northern
Illinois University, Vora has
taught operations management
courses at various business
schools. He has received the
"2015 BHU Distinguished
Alumnus Award", "2015 and
2000 Rotary International Paul
Harris Fellow Medal", the
"2012 IIT Chicago Alumni
Medal", and "2011 Ellis Island
Medal of Honor".
Chicago Professor Reaches 500,000
Students in Gujarat Via Satellite
By Urvashi Verma
he Ekal Vidyalaya
Foundation from the greater
Chicago area hosted its
annual fundraising music gala
April 22-24 with participation of
members and supporters from all
three chapters – Itasca, Naperville
and Bloomington.
Indian playback singers Rajdeep
Chatterjee from the Indian music
shows Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il
Champs, Indian Idol 4 and Sitaron
Ko Choona Hai, and Pallabi Roy
Chaudhary (Dia) with their team of
musicians Sainik Dey (keyboard),
Saugata Mukherjee (guitar) and
Sumit Guha (tabla) performed a
melodious concert to help raise
funds and awareness for education
in schools throughout India.
The foundation is a charitable
trust that initiates, supports, and
runs one-teacher schools (known
as Ekal Vidyalayas) all over India.
With the participation of numer-
ous non-profit trusts and organiza-
tions, this program has become
the largest grassroots, non-govern-
mental education movement that
operates in India’s remote villages.
The dedication of the donors,
supporters, and workers of Ekal
Vidyalaya is the key to this organi-
zation’s remarkable success. Each
year in the United States, Ekal
Vidyalaya volunteers organize
numerous fundraising.
This year’s gala, which was a
success for all three Illinois chap-
ters with more than 600 people in
attendance at the Itasca event April
22, 1,100 people in attendance at
the Naperville event April 23, and
500 people in attendance at the
Bloomington event April 24 and
with more than 500 people in
attendance for the last event May 1
at the Milwaukee chapter.
The Ekal movement aims to
help eradicate illiteracy from rural
and tribal India, employing a holis-
tic approach to social and eco-
nomic development. To date, Ekal
Vidyalaya is a movement of over
53,000 teachers, 6,000 voluntary
workers, 35 field organization
throughout 22 Indian states, and
eight support agencies. It operates
in over 53,000 schools and edu-
cates more than 1.5 million chil-
Apart from its goal of achieving
the national standards of mini-
mum level of learning, Ekal
Vidyalaya seeks to empower the
village community for its self-
development through four aspects:
functional literacy, health care
education, development educa-
tion, and empowerment educa-
With strong participation from
the Chicagoland community, the
Ekal Vidyalaya Chicago chapter
was able to raise funding to sup-
port 850 schools with a goal of 350
more schools in India and to
achieve this end the organization
will host a picnic July 17 at Busse
Woods and the 5k Run/Walk
September 10 at LeRoy Oaks.
Ekal Foundation Raises Funds
For Education In Indian Villages
From left, Gujarat Commissioner of Higher Education A. J. Shah, Swami
Nikhileswaranda, Rama Krishna Mission Vadodara, and Dr. Manu Vora in
Gandhinagar Gujarat giving a lecture on March 18.
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