Ekal organises a fun filled harbour cruise

ekal 2



By Manju Mittal

Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of Australia organised its first Cruise in the beautiful Sydney Harbour with amazing sunset dinner for our community members. Guests enjoyed the harbour, an exceptional experience of the passing summers on a relaxing Sunday of  March 15, 2015.

ekal 1







The evening started off with heavy rain and when I finally reached at King Street Wharf, I was late but the rain had not dampened my spirit and I braved the drizzle walking down the slippery length of the pier to get on board but what a lovely reward at the end of the walk. All in all I ended up making it to the cruise after the gate close. I made it on to dry deck inside, as we sipped our drinks and slowly got to meet others, listening live music the rain subsided and it was calm, dry and sunny interludes interspersed with clouds. Three hours passed as the dark night set in with Sydney city skyline lit  in a thousand lights and people mingled and mixed bonding with each other making friends and enjoying wonderful views.

ekal 5







Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of Australia is a non-for-profit charity that runs schools in rural and tribal India. EVF Australia has by now sponsored 750 schools which are based on the philosophy of ”˜one teacher-one school’- most of them situated in the remote villages where education is a much needed service for the children. According to Mahatma Gandhi “If we want to impart education best suited to the needs of the villagers, we should take the vidyapith   (University) to the villages”.

ekal 3








The Ekal movement originally began with a group of young educators working with the tribes of Jharkhand in the late 1980s. It started  in Australia eleven years ago with the sponsorship of 30 schools and today Ekal Australia sponsors over 700 schools supporting more than 20,000 children. The organisation has since grown in strength and is currently operational in a number of countries across the globe including Australia, Hong Kong, U.K and the U.S.A.

Shobha Yadav was emcee for the evening as she warmed up the audience with humorous stories and her excellent singing. Charming and talented she welcomed Ekal Vidyalaya volunteer Poornima Menon on the stage. Poornima is impressed by Ekal’s ethos as she said,  “Ekal is different from many other organisations because the aim is not to make a difference to one child but to an entire community. ”

ekal 4







Highlight of the cruise was our local talented singers – Gul Hora who entertained the audience with his beautiful song ”˜Sun raha hai na tu’ from movie Ashiqi 2 It was an interesting choice and he captured the audience’s attention with his vocal brilliance and playing on a guitar was amazing. Then came Saleem Zaman with Shobha Yadav as they started off to a thundering applause with the soft romantic number ”˜Yun hi tum mujhse baat karti ho’. A Rajesh Khanna nostalgic number set an exciting passionate romantic mood for the evening.  Saleem Zaman’s melodic voice touched the heart of the audience and Shobha surprised and delighted the audience with her soothing and fresh voice.  Saleem Zaman also included other hits from his album.  Arun Mehta and Raj Kaushik entertained us with their versatile voice. Another enjoyable song was  ‘Aaj kal paon zamin par nahi padte mere’ by Monika Geetmala’s Radio  Jockey Shailja Chandra. Singers encouraged interaction with the audience in an informal atmosphere thus the listeners felt involved and evening turned out to be quite entertaining. It ended with Saleem Zaman’s song ”˜Kabhi alvida na kehna’ as he made audience sing along.

Ekal Cruise was a packed event though there was plenty of space for all of us to take great pictures on a sun set harbour view. The youngsters sat on the upper deck to enjoy Sydney’s magnificent view across the Harbour. The sea was calm but a little breeze to remind us we were on a boat and gliding gracefully over the water. The reflection of light on the water held a certain fascination for me and I couldn’t stop myself to stand back and enjoy the spectacular view.  My ipad camera was clicking all the time and I managed to get some good photos. Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of Australia gave us the privilege to go on a beautiful harbour cruise with Ekal volunteers helping make the evening a great success. Cruise came to an end at around 9 30 pm, everyone back at the Wharf smiling and hoping for another fun filled cruise next year, all for a good cause that is to help educate children in the remote villages of India.





Short URL: https://indiandownunder.com.au/?p=4629